Stereotype Unshattering: Football Fans And Gay Expatriates

Two articles today on two very different kinds of men who take an interest in youths:

In “Meet the Bag Man,” SBNation, Steven Godfrey has a long interview with a minor “bag man” for a South Eastern Conference football program. He`s part of the deep state aspect of successful college football teams—boosters, typically small to medium-sized businessmen like car dealers, who don`t care about the public attention the big time boosters care about like getting their name engraved on the new weight room. Instead, he and his friends are each happy to hand out $7,000 to $15,000 annually in cash or used cars to their school`s recruit targets and current players. 

If you`re stinking, filthy rich, a good athletic director or university fundraiser has already contacted you for above-board donations, and you likely won`t get into the business of paying players. It`s the guys with just about 10 or 15 grand to burn annually and don`t aspire for ego-stroking that usually become bag men.

“I think it took me seven years. I knew some guys. They knew some older guys. And before, I really didn`t believe any of this happened. Then I start coming around different events, parties, tailgates. After a while one guy says, `Oh hey, I know him. It`s okay, he loves the [team],` and starts talking who needed to get what. And so I was a part of it. I wanted to be.” 

Once properly vetted, your money usually buys you first or secondhand access to information most fans (or journalists) would kill for: player run-ins with the law that go unreported, what certain coaches are really like, what kind of power an A.D. or president really has, and most importantly, who really is in charge of your football program.

These kind of shadowy networks of local guys help explain why college football doesn`t seem just like hired gladiators—State U.`s football team is supported by a vast network of boosters, some public, some covert, who find ways to make the mothers of high school stars loyal. It`s a test of the community.

In The New York Times, in contrast, a story on some middle-aged to elderly European men who live in Tangier, Morocco in lavishly decorated villas: The Aesthetes by Andrew O`Hagan. 

For the legendary expats of Tangier, a life devoted to beauty reaches full flower in this North African hothouse of history and hedonism.

The article never quite gets around to mentioning that one crucial attraction of North Africa for a certain type of expat are the cheap boy prostitutes.