Be My Valentine: Men's Growing Fascination with Athletes

TJ BuzzeoCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2009

Are men allowed to fall in love with other men?  Of course!

I am, and so are you. I guarantee it.  

Do not take that previous statement the wrong way. I am not a gay-rights activist and really do not want to use this forum to discuss that topic. The man-on-man action I am referring to is our “man-crushes."

All die-hard sports fans have them. That one athlete that you feel you know, even though you have never met them before. When this guy is ridiculed, you take it personally. His number is the same one you always tried to get every year in Little League or Pop-Warner. 

Do you know the guy I mean yet? 

All of my male friends have them, whether they admit it or not. 

I am very open about being in love with New York Yankee Derek Jeter. To the point where I told my girlfriend that in the event the Yankee Captain were to ask me out, I would break up with her. 

For my brother, it is Alex Rodriguez, even with all of the recent steroid stories and other dramas. My brother has stayed loyal to A-Rod going all the way back to his days in Seattle.  

He has always had to have his jersey. For the few years A-Rod was in Texas, my brother had the white home jersey, the blue alternate jersey, and the gray road jersey, all with No. 3 on back. Also, every time the Rangers came to the stadium, we would have to go to at least one of the games.

My friend Brian is the only Sox fan who never, and will never, have a problem with Manny being Manny. 

My father still glows when talking about Reggie Jackson in the 1977 World Series. My uncle still believes Mickey Mantle would make a better center fielder today than either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardener. 

Even my friend Kevin has a man crush, although he would never admit it or agree with my theory. But when you start growing the same goatee, soul patch, or whatever you want to call it as Josh Beckett, then you have a man crush. 

For the record, if his crush was on Scott Spiezio and he acted the same way, I would stop talking to him.

If you believe yourself to be die-hard sports fan, and you do not think you have a man crush, I will help you realize who your true love is.

First, what is your favorite team?

Second, think of your most memorable moments of that team. They should only be positive memories. Sorry, Detroit Lions fans.

Third, is there any player who stands out? If so, he is probably your man crush.

If not, don't worry. Who are the best players on your team? It might not be one of them. But look at the examples above, it usually is.

Who are the guys that your team should do whatever it takes to bring them back in future seasons?  If there is anyone who you did not answer for the best players, there is a good chance he is not your man crush. 

Finally, which players on your team do you feel are just good all-around guys? 

It is a personal question, so don’t worry if you answer differently than most other people. Believe me, there are people who have man crushes on Curt Schilling and Barry Bonds. They are few, but they still exist.

If you still have not come up with anybody, you are just not being honest.