Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White Line F Wit

Dear Chuck,

My boyfriend had been badgering me over the fact that I had never gone to watch him play sport (football). Frankly I have zero interest in any sport (does Ladies Day at the races count??). After consideration I decided that he is a good lad and that I should at least go and show my support. I ignored the fact that the weather was miserable and ventured to the local ‘oval’.

As soon as the game started and I managed to locate my boyfriend, it became plainly clear that he was a different person. He was running around out of control and clearly pissing the opposition off with his behaviour. I was shocked to see him like this.

After the game, he greeted me with a big kiss and asked how he played. He was back to normal but I was looking at him differently.

I’m obviously not familiar with sport so I’m turning to you to explain this to me

Thank you


Dear Sophia,

Let Chuck just say that all Reality Bytes readers whose nasal passages were salivating over the thought of a post on cocaine need to settle down and get a grip of their addiction. No, today we’re tackling one of Chuck’s favourite subjects – Weekend Warriors! Welcome to the world of amateur sport, people. Well Chuck is assuming that you’re talking about amateur sport here Sophia although after watching a number of football codes over the past week, that sort of behaviour was on display at the professional level as well. We had soccer players falling down in stiff breezes, rugby coaches using racist remarks and Australian rules players with buried rape charges (thanks to the local constabulatory).

Men going berserk while playing amateur sport is part of the fabric of life. Chuck distinctly remembers the moment when he decided never to play mixed sport again. The scene? A netball match on a Tuesday night. The incident? A game where the opposition was brutalising Chuck’s team (most would find it surprising that a superior athlete like Chuck would ever be on a losing team, however Chuck is but one man…at most two, and is no match for 6  / 7 others).  As the opposition was running up the score, a ball squirted away and a female team member and male opponent dashed after it. It was a neck and neck race until the bloke hip and shouldered the woman out of the way so that he could claim the ball. The female was knocked to the ground where she landed awkwardly and broke her arm. Now Chuck’s not talking hairline fracture, Chuck’s talking bones snapping and then protruding through the skin while the arm skews off on angles God never intended it to.

The female team member was in severe pain and the team rushed to her aid. The male opponent not only protested the penalty call of the umpire (suggesting that she was unathletic and simply fell), but also asked for the woman to be dragged off the court so that the game could commence. If Chuck wasn’t a man of peace he would have violated this dude in a frenzied attack.

Nonetheless, the netball equivalent of Michael Jordan received a lifetime ban from the sporting facility and the female team member ended up with steal plates and a grotesque scar that ran down her forearm.

That incident really made Chuck stop and take stock of amateur sport. What leads mild mannered men to turn into crazed lunatics once they step onto the field of play?

Don’t get Chuck wrong, there’s nothing like a bit of fierce competition. Chuck has played amateur sport at a reasonably high level and has competed as hard as anyone. But there is that fine line between competing hard and being a fucking annoying knob. It sounds like Sophia’s boyfriend sits squarely in the annoying knob category, especially when you consider that a total non-sports fan picked it immediately.

So why do dudes act like this? In a lot of instances, amateur sport is an opportunity for them to live the dream. You don’t often see really good amateur athletes acting like F wits (although it definitely does happen). It’s normally a marginal guy who never quite cut the mustard when he was younger who takes things super seriously and drives everyone around him crazy. These guys typically have a chip on their shoulder (I should have made the team when I was 14, the coach played his son over me etc etc) and use their time on the field to show the world that they were wronged (like some talent scout is sitting on the sidelines slapping themselves on their head and saying “fuck, I hate myself for not signing that guy”).

White line fever often strikes guys with limited athletic ability (the amateur stage gives them a chance to prove to everyone they can compete) or some physical liability – specifically being short. Little man disease runs hand in hand with white line fever. You know the guys, the ones who check in less than 5’6 who resent the fact that they are short and hate the world because of it. They step onto the sporting field and want to roar like a lion to prove to everyone that they belong.

Some guys are just flat out nuttier than squirrel shit when they start running around and a bit of physical contact is involved. Chuck once played in a touch football game where some dude lost his mind and spear tackled a chick, driving her head and shoulders into the turf and then celebrated like he’d just stopped a winning drive in the Superbowl…..until about 5 seconds later when the testosterone stopped pumping so hard through his body and he realised what he’d done. He then burst into tears and subsequently paid all her medical expenses. His only explanation was that he had no idea what he was doing.

Chuck has also found (meaning that he hasn’t conducted exhaustive medical and psychological research like on some of the other points) that there seems to be a correlation between guys going berko on the sporting field and how they are when they imbibe a little too much. From Chuck’s experience, white line monsters tend to also get a bit aggro when on the drink. The demons that appear when the juice is flowing on the field also pay a visit when they consume the devils water. It’s like the alcohol unlocks whatever it is that causes the crazy behaviour out on the track. These guys aren’t necessarily knocking back a beer then looking for a brawl, but they do seem more inclined to go snappo once they’ve had a few cans.

As far as your boyfriend goes Sophia, it’s hard for Chuck to make an accurate diagnosis as to what’s causing the problem since Chuck has no understanding of his physical shortcomings or the chips that may be on his shoulder. The advantage that you have is that you aren’t interested in sport and you’ll probably never see him act like a fuckwit again. The downside is that from time to time he’ll come home a little worse for wear after someone on the opposition tires of his act and belts him.

Oh and one final Chuck nugget! Guys with white line fever often have small dicks! (Chuck has spent enough time in change rooms to know….and don’t kid yourself, every bloke is checking out what his competition is packing)

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