Wait a second, smear the queer......

One of my favorite games as a kid was what we called “Smear the Queer” and I’m pretty sure that it’s a universal game, but just in case it was really simple: One guy had the ball. Everyone else tried to relieve him of said ball via any means needed including tackling, punching, stepping on heads etc. The guy who got the ball then became the “queer” I suppose and then everyone chased him. It’s the kind of game that a pack of dogs might invent.

We’re remodling the office right now and the entire front half of a warehouse sized building is wide open. All of the guys in the office were talking about how much fun it would be to throw a ball around, and then someone mentioned playing “smear the queer” and everyone laughed.

Is “smear the queer” as patentially offensive as it sounds to my adult ears, or is it queer in the sense that it’s attack the person who’s different, i.e. has the ball? Surely it wasn’t what I’m thinking now, was it?

I don’t know who invented the name or what they had in mind, but I remember as a kid (in the 70s) playing it quite innocently, unaware of any homosexual allusions. I just thought teh name rhymed and had a nice ring to it.

Other Dopers report having the same experience in this thread (posts #36, 43, 45).

Just a WAG, but I’m guessing it probably came from where you think it comes from.

There were all sorts of names for this “game” when I was in elementary school. “Smear the Queer” was probably the best-known, although some called it “Smother the Mother” or the incredibly-straightforward “Kill the Guy with the Ball.”

I remember playing that in the 80’s/90’s as a kid. It has always been called “Smear the Queer” as far as I can remember.

We mostly called it “Kill The Man With The Ball”.

Not many games where the name of the game is also the rule book.

Yeah we played it. And when everyone jumped on the guy with the ball and he was buried under a stack of people it was called a [spoiler]nigger pile*. :rolleyes:

I was a little white suburban kid who had no idea that what we were saying was offensive. I look back and think, “Holy crap! We sound like we were party of the Hitler Youth Daycamp.”

Smeer the Queer (with a nerf football) was incredibly popular in 4th grade at St. Marys when I was growing up in the 70’s.
The nuns did not however like the name and banned us from using it. So we renamed it simply “Kill”.

I loved the game growing up in the late 80s - early 90s and it was defiantly called smear the queer, I’ve always assumed that the guy with the ball was queer because he was the only one with a ball. I would have no problem saying smear the queer in any company.

Wow, we definitely played that game when I was a kid but it never had a name. I’ve never heard the other names.

I think we mostly called it “Rumble Fumble” but I have heard it called “Smear the Queer”. I think that struck even our preadolescent brains as a little too cutesy. The “rules” sound identical.

We played smear out here on the High Plains when I was a kid. But that’s all we called it, just “smear.” Or “tackle” because that was the object, to tackle the guy with the ball. The only rule was that the guy with the ball ran, dodged and juked until he either tossed the ball in the air, or was tackled and had it taken away. There was no point to hanging onto it, but as an adult I marveled that we’d actually fight to get the ball, when the object of the game was to smear the guy with the ball!

In the western suburbs of Philly, the game was called “fumble-itis.”

We played smear the queer in the 60s/70s when I was a kid. FTR, I had never heard the term queer used in any sexual sort of association, other than that game or as “odd”*. We sometimes used the longer name “Smear the queer with the ball”. This game was the cause of many scrapes, bruises, bloody noses and ripped clothing. Might have been my favorite game.
“My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a poolhall near…”

I’ve never heard of the game, or the name. I grew up in the late '90s.

We also played King of the Hill, which was pretty much the same game with no ball. We didn’t even need a hill, just a little patch of land.

Okay, this might be a totally inappropriate question that brings the thread to a screeching halt (I think I just heard that record-scratching sound effect)…

Why doesn’t “the queer” just throw the damn ball away and avoid getting “smeared”?


  • A Chick

Good ol’ Smear the Queer. And when we forgot a ball, we’d play Bulldog. Similar to Red Rover, except it started out with one guy, and everybody ran at him. Whomever he tackled joined his team, and everybody ran at them. The last one standing was the first guy in the next game.


Because then you’d be playing Hot Potato instead, which is not nearly as fun.

Well that idea eventually comes to everyone, hence why there are no professional STQ leagues out there. All it takes is one good pile on when you come home with a bloody nose, torn or missing clothes, and a black eye before you realize that you might want to play something else.

A. Little boys aren’t that cerebral.
B. Machismo
3. Hi Opal!
D. Masochismo
E. Some did, we’d smear them even harder. You earned respect by carrying the pile with you, scratching and clawing across some imaginary (in your own head) goal line.

By then, actual physical games involving running, tagging and tackling were being actively suppressed and eliminated in schoolyards across America. The effort is nearly complete.