This just in from the Morning Herald in Sydney, Australia, where it is already tomorrow:
Who said Americans had a sense of humour? Our man in New York, Phillip McCarthy, went to see the Australian gay rugby team, the Sydney Convicts, take on teams from North America and Europe to win the Bingham Cup, named after a gay 9/11 victim, Mark Bingham.
When a couple of streakers from the Convicts section tried to cross the field, the hosts were not amused. Says McCarthy: “Americans don’t really get streaking at sports events — it’s considered an English peculiarity, like bad plumbing,” and the incident brought a swift public address announcement from arena officials threatening to stop the match if there was a repetition.
I missed this incident, but I heard from many people afterward about the streakers at half-time during the final San Francisco Fog vs. Sydney Convicts match on Sunday, May 29. These may have been the same guys who ran naked somersaults across the stage during the kangaroo court at the closing night party at Webster Hall later that night. If so, I’m sorry I missed half time.
I would like to state for the record that the source of the displeasure was not an entity affiliated with the hosts of the tournament, my rugby team. No, we know how to appreciate a well-placed naked man in rugby boots. The announcement came rather from a joyless official on the loudspeaker at Icahn Stadium, which adjoined the pitch where the match was being played, and which was hosting a high school or junior high track meet at the time. I guess the guy on the mic threatened to call the police, with all the humor of a 17th century Puritan preacher and all the authority of your meanest uncle.
Yes, with naked men and women dripping from billboards up and down Manhattan and bullets and explosions all day long on television, heaven forbid we should allow people to see a fun, non-sexual and completely harmless expression of nudity in real life. This shame of the human body in America is freakish.