There used to be a local comedy show in the Seattle area called Almost Live that had a sketch called, "High-Fiving White Guys." These basically Wonderbread types would randomly break into high-fiving each other in this annoying, very uncool way. That was the point.
Almost Live unfortunately went off the air. The high-fiving white guys never went away.
I just returned from a Seahawks games in which they totally kicked the living crapola out of San Franscisco. Now granted, San Franciso was 0-2 already, but that shouldn't diminish the Seahawk's victory as they begin the season 3-0 and those of us who have prayed for a winning season are weeping for joy and inwardly terrified that they are just toying with us by winning.
I like to watch professional football. I like living in a city that has a team. Growing up in Boise all we had was high school football and the Boise State Broncos. I didn't like my high school team or the Boise State Broncos. Let's just get this out in the open, I was in band in high school. I was in fact the drum major. And while that is about as cool as you can get in band, it still leaves you on the fringe playing the Star Spangled Banner while the jocks break through the paper banners and admidst the cheers of the rest of the school. And it still leaves you getting wedgies from the jocks that were sober enough after the game to catch you at the pizza parlour.
Although I didn't continue with band in high school (there's only so much you can do with a bass clarinet) I did continue despising the jocks at Boise State. While I worked 60 hours a week despite my academic "scholarship," they got full scholarships and merely had to maintain that "C" average while taking their art appreciation classes.
Bitter? Slightly, but that is behind me now. Life teaches you to accept the inequities and move on quietly plotting revenge.
But I digress.
The one thing that would really drive me crazy is the way people who didn't play football, identified with the wins or losses of the team. If you failed an Algebra test, everyone in the class didn't rip out their hair bemoaning the entire school's loss. Conversely, if you aced a test, the school didn't globely celebrate their victory. For some reason, this is not true with sports. When a school's team wins, the high-fiving white guys start leaping and belly bumping as if they had anything to do with it. So throughout high school and college when someone would say something about how "We" won Friday's game, I'd point out that "We" don't play football and had nothing to do with the victory. This would inevitably lead to another wedgie, but I was smug in that I'd pointed out an inconsistency.
So, it is ironic that I am now a Seattle Seahawks fan. But then again, Boise never had a professional football game and I am now able to take community pride in the team that I fund through ticket sales and taxes for the new stadium that Qwest has bought the naming rights for. But don't get me started on naming rights.
I can now proudly pay $85 dollars for a ticket, $20 to park, $8 for a beer and another $25 for chicken fingers and garlic fries to sit in the stadium and cheer on my team in between the many time outs they take to accommodate network commercial breaks. But the thing that still remains to put a damper on it all are these damned high-fiving white guys, high-fiving and slapping each other on the ass and congratulating themselves everytime the highly paid professional football players complete a pass or make a touchdown. Listen guys, even though you are wearing a $60 shirt with the latest star player's name on it, you don't have a right to congratulate yourselves for their skill. And you don't have a right to cuss them or the coaches out when they make a mistake, especially the quarterback. If you had four or five 350 pound guys running at you at 50 mph, you would probably piss your pants and and make a few mistakes, too. Most of you are so out of shape that you are winded making your way to the urinal to make room for more $8 beer.
While I'm ranting, I'd like to point out that, after college, it's also uncool go to games, drink yourself into a stupor and puke on your shoes. And, despite the four $8 beers and the 25 little airline size bottles of vodka you snuck into the game, you are middle-aged and fat. So no matter how clever you think you are being by shouting stuff at the cheerleaders or commenting something crude about the 20-something year old girl a few seats away from you, you are still middle-aged and fat and are widely perceived that way by everyone around you except for your high-fiving friends who are, by the way, slapping you on the ass. Think about it.
All that being said, give me five, "Go Hawks!"
I'm not so into sporting events, I've been to maybe two in my whole life, but, I am very familiar with the high fiving white guy. We have them at concerts, all the time. We simply call them That Guy. Don't Be That Guy (if you've seen the movie PCU, you know where I got the phrase) They're the ones singing loudly to every single song, whether they know the words or not. They're the ones playing air drum, and air bass. They're the ones hooting the singer's name, as a plea for attention. We see them ALL the time.
At the Pearl Jam show, there were these three dudes, all with tiny Pearl Jam tattoos on their bicep (like, they nearly matched...) and they were singing along to every song, and howling "EEEEDDDDDIIIEEEEEEE" to get the singer to look their way, then they'd do a thumbs up and high five each other. It was sad, and amusing at the same time.
We get them at every show. At a recent Type-O show, there was this one guy, in his mid-30's (which makes this even funnier) dressed all goth, with fishnets on his arms, and his nails painted black, next to us in the front row. The entire set, he was screeching "PEEEEEEEEEEEETE I LOVE YOU PEETE!!! PEEETE" It was awful. The singer noticed, and made it a point to avoid the guy.
There seems to be some in every crowd. But, at least they give us normal fans something to do, between the action, right?
Oh, and for the record, band geeks were waaay cooler than those jarhead football types. I always envy people that have musical talent.
This is a fantastic post. I was looking up "high-fiving white guy" for a metafilter post, and I ended up here. I lived in Seattle for 8 years, loved Almost Live, and got to know VERY WELL the type that both you and Lili have referenced. I think mouth-breather is also a good synonym for this phenomenon. I never ceased to be annoyed by these guys who felt the need to incessantly high five each other after a relatively meaningless accomplishment at work, or when Mudhoney played "Touch Me I'm Sick" at the outdoor show. Again, great post.
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