No Homo: The NFL Joke of ChoiceS

Professional sports locker rooms are one of the last bastions for gay humor. That's because there's never been any gay athletes. So, you see, the very idea of anyone being gay is always funny. Which brings me to the first big scoop of my illustrious Deadspin career: The phrase "No Homo" has taken over NFL locker rooms.

It's everywhere, on every single team, the NFL equivalent of the late 90's Macarena dance. No Homo owes its popularity to the remarkably varied and infinitely complicated nature of its use. Or the opposite. One or the other. It's applied thusly:

LenDale White says to Vince Young: "Vince, you've got great nips. No homo."

Did you catch the subtle twist there? LenDale has said something that on any other day might be considered gay, but, and this is key, he's inoculated his heterosexuality by appending, no homo at the end. No homo also works at the front of the phrase but then it's much less enjoyable because the other party has been keyed into the homosexuality of the statement that's to follow. Hence, "No homo. Vince you've got great nips." No dice there.

Like many great evolutions of the English language, this tidy little appellation can be traced to none other than rapper Juelz Santana. (Not surprisingly there's an apostrophized genius behind the curtain, Juelz was rapping alongside Cam'Ron).

Right now, you're shaking your head, giddy with chill bumps, thinking to yourself, this can't possibly be true. The entire NFL can't be swept up in a tide of no homo humor. You, my friend, are wrong. Chances are while you're pretending to work at your desk your favorite NFL player is bringing down the locker room house with a well-placed no homo joke. "Pass me the nuts, Hines. No homo." It's locker room work like this that makes Big Ben such a great team leader.

You're probably lame and white, like me. Which means that most of your friends have never used this phrase or heard it used before. Well, welcome to the future my apple-hineyed friends. No homo. If, perchance, you happen to be so hip that you've been breaking cats down no homo style for the past year then consider yourself enlightened and awesome. Like Kordell Stewart.

Otherwise, get studied up on No Homo.

Because if your life is anything like mine, pretty soon all your emails for the next week are going to feature this tidy phrase. It's probably going to sweep through your profession. Accountants, doctors, Odysseus, engineers, all fall victim to the Siren-like call of no homo. Don't believe me? Since receiving the no homo tip from several NFL players (no homo?), the Nashville legal community has become fertile ground for no homo talk. Even in the pleadings. "Comes the plaintiff (no homo)." It's spread faster in the legal community than imaginary billable hours. Clients are even following suit. Pretty soon, no homo is going to be the new making it rain. And once again we'll all have NFL players to thank for broadening our national jargon. As we begin our 233rd year as a nation, thank god for that. God bless you Roger Goodell's collection of saints, god bless you every sngle one.