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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Sports aficionados praise football for its rough and tumble nature. Players are supposed to act like savage beasts foaming at the mouth.

The harder the hits, the bigger the falls and the louder the Boohs,C all the better for the nightly highlight reel.

But in what?s supposed to be one of the most physical, violent and macho sports, there?s an awful lot of not-so-stereotypically manly behavior going on.

Exhibit A: Tony Joiner kissing Tim Tebow?s cheek on the sidelines during the Gators? game against Tennessee.

True, a peck is not something you see during an ordinary, everyday sporting event, but Joiner?s smooch isn?t the first kiss in sports history, and it won?t be the last.

Before tip-off in game one of the 1987-88 NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson and Detroit Pistons standout Isiah Thomas kissed each other in perhaps the first on-court smooch in league history.

The two were close friends then, just like Tebow and Joiner are now. The quarterback said Monday that he didn?t even think twice about the exchange when it happened.

It seems like the public is thinking plenty for him.

The clip was posted on YouTube on Sunday, and out of the 24 comments left below the video, seven use the word BgayC in its description.

C?mon, seriously? What are we in, fourth grade? I suppose we should check them for cooties before either one is allowed to set foot in the locker room.

Exhibit B: The ever-popular celebratory butt slap.

Percy Harvin makes an impressive catch during practice, and Andre Caldwell pats him on his rear end.

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Kestahn Moore runs it in for a touchdown, and Tebow smacks his gluteus maximus.

You see the act dozens of times during games, and no one breathes a word about it.

Yet, imagine that same exchange between two males at Rue Bar or Gator City on a Saturday night, and people would probably look at things a bit differently, even after a few beers.

Exhibit C: Players getting choked up after games.

Tom Hanks summed it up in BA League of Their OwnC when he said one of the most famous and beloved movie lines of all time: BThere?s no crying. There?s no crying in baseball!C

The same holds true for any men's sport, but tell that to Dallas Baker and Steve Harris last season after their final Homecoming game at The Swamp.

When Jarvis Moss saved UF?s victory by blocking South Carolina?s field goal attempt at the last second, Baker and Harris dropped to their knees at midfield, held each other and wept. The moment was so moving that a mob of photojournalists nearly blinded everyone within a 100-yard radius just trying to capture the image.

At the time, Coach Urban Meyer said there was nothing phony about the moment. It was the players? way of expressing their pent-up emotions.

Try applying that same description to a male who is caught tearing up after he lands a major promotion at work or is seen sobbing because he just got hurt. People would either call him a pansy or tell him to suck it up.

The truth of the matter is we could all learn something from Tebow and Joiner?s kiss, or Baker and Harris? embrace.

The bond that these players share and the fact that they?re more emotionally linked as brothers, not mere coworkers, is something to strive for in everyday life.

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