Jan 21, 2018

The Gay Hint of "Where's Huddles"

At the 1970 Superbowl, played on January 11th at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7.  The Chiefs got 16 first downs and 151 net yards efficiency. Len Dawson was the individual leader in passing, with 142 yards and 1 touchdown, and a 12/17 c/att.

I have no idea what any of that means, and I couldn't care less. Football is incredibly boring.  I'll go to a superbowl party for the snacks, but I never have any idea what's going on.  Occasionally the other guys in the room scream at the top of the lungs.  I look up from my book and say "So...did our team, like, make a point or something?"

I did try to find a picture of the Kansas City Chiefs with their shirts off.  This one came up, but it also says "Ohio State Football Players Can't Stop Being Shirtless."

I didn't know the Kansas City Chiefs were at Ohio State, but it makes as much sense as anything else in football.

Here's another one of the Kansas City Chief shirtless, at a barbecue that Channing Tatum threw for the Magic Mike Live dancers.

So a football team named after Kansas City that is actually in Ohio moonlights as a dance troupe?

This is why I don't follow football!

But in th summer of 1970, when I was nine years old, I did watch some episodes of a tv series about football!

I know, weird -- nobody watched summer replacement series.  They were awful comedy-variety crap.  Besides, there was something unsettling about watching evening tv when it was still daylight out.

But Where's Huddles was animated, and the two football players, Ed Huddles (Cliff Norton) and Bubba McCoy (Mel Blanc), did a sort of Fred Flintstone-Barney Rubble buddy-bonding routine.  Huddles' wife was even voiced by Jean Vander Pyle (Wilma on The Flintstones).

There was also a Muttley-style snickering dog wearing a football helmet, a daughter named Pom-pom, and a black guy (rare in 1970).

And a football-hating next-door neighbor, Pertwee, voiced with a strong gay accent by Paul Lynde, who I knew from Bewitched.  He voiced everything I thought about football and jocks in general, and he didn't have a wife -- somehow he had avoided the "wife-house-job" future the adults were always mapping out for me!

I didn't know that Paul Lynde was gay himself, and playing the character as gay.  I wouldn't even know that gay people existed for another six years.

But I remember a warm summer evening, when it was still light out, and you could hear the kids playing outside through the screen door, and the fireflies were just starting to sparkle, sitting in front of the tv in our small square house on 41st Street, and seeing a gay man.

1 comment:

  1. That's funny, in Stateball (Polandball for states), most of the conflicts are over football games. And yeah, there's a Kansas-Ohio one.

    Not all conflicts, mind. We do have Kansasball and West Virginiaball working tirelessly to remove cracker, after all.


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