Smear the Queer

During tonight's Denver/San Diego game John Madden made an amusing statement. He made a comment about Ladainian Tomlinson's childhood affinity for a game where the ball is thrown up in the air and the other kids attempt to tackle the boy that catches the ball. The funny thing was Madden's need to describe the game and not call it by the name that every red-blooded American boy knows it by – Smear the Queer.

The man who popularized the Turducken is too afraid of offending the gay community to mention a popluar childhood game by name. In fact, I'm fairly confident that the usage of queer in Smear the Queer has nothing to do with homosexuals. Webster defines queer as

differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal

and this definition more appropriately fits the way the game is played. The boy who has the football is unsual. He is unlike the rest (who don't have a football) and the others attempt to tackle or 'smear' him. The 8 year old boys who play this game are not emulating hate crimes or learning how to ban gay marriage, they are chasing each other around a grassy field.

Political correctness in the broadcast booth has been with us ever since Howard Cosell's famous “Look at that little monkey run!” comment in 1983 but it is usually hard to notice. Tonight, Madden's pre-meditated discussion about the enjoyment Tomlinson used to get from being the Queer was just a bit more obvious than usual.