Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Direct TV and the NFL's View of Manhood

If you are watching TV, by now you have probably seen one of Direct TV's ads for their NFL package staring Randy Moss, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo and Andrew Luck.  (If you haven't you can view them all on youtube).  They build off of their popular Rob Lowe "Don't be like this me" ads of those who have Direct TV and those who don't. Except these are about people who have the NFL Sunday ticket and those who don't.

My biggest problem with these ads is the view of manhood or masculinity that they are portraying. The opposite Randy Moss is short, the opposite Peyton Manning has a high voice, the opposite Tony Romo does art and cooks and the opposite Andrew Luck has cats.  So in other words if you don't fit the narrow, confining idea of who and what a man is in our culture than you aren't a real man, and real men, of course, watch the NFL.

As someone who is 2" shorter than the average height for white males in America, has a voice higher than I would like and owns two cats, I guess I simply don't qualify to get the NFL package.  Although the truth is it's because of the ridiculous amount of money they charge.  I get 162 games of the Yankees, and every other MLB team, for less than 1/2 the cost of the NFL package which only has 16 games.

It seems sort of surprising in the year 2015 that we would still get this idea of manhood portrayed, and yet at the same time it's not.  But you would think that with all the problems the NFL has had over the past year, as well as their marketing drive to try and get more women to watch, that they would be trying to tone down this idea of ultra-masculinity, rather than pumping it up.  But instead the opposite is being done here.

It's time for other companies, perhaps Dish Network or one of the cable companies, to come out with "Don't be like this Direct TV" and give us some positive role models of men who don't fit the "normal, acceptable" role of masculinity.

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