Wednesday, October 27, 2004

From Sporting News to Sporting Nudes

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I like looking at beautiful women. I'm sure God implanted something in the male DNA that causes palms to moisten, Adams Apples to bob and eyes to pop out like a Chuck Jones cartoon, when a guy sees an especially fetching female. And if that female is attired in something particularly revealing, many guys exercise about as much self-control as Wile E. Coyote at an ACME close-out sale.

I also like looking at sports. Not coincidently, a lot of guys- myself included- tend to react with the same lack of resolve when their favorite team's receiver pulls down a "Hail Mary" pass in the end-zone amidst a clutch of defenders with time running out in a tie game. Perhaps it was this parallel of passions, these siblings of sensations, that inspired Sports Illustrated to introduce their swimsuit issues.


The editors and publishers at SI might struggle to validate their decision to enhance their highly regarded sports magazine with scantily clad, partially nude women to the public. But in private there is neither quibble nor debate. As the rappers say: it's all about the Benjamins.

I heard one SI executive quoted on TV as saying the sales for that single, annual issue alone exceeds the total yearly sales of many other magazines. This is the periodical that has idolized gamesmanship, published articles that questioned integrity in various sports and generally held itself up as a paragon of journalistic purety. Once a year it puts itself in a position to identify with the most avaricious and disloyal of athletes.

The wisdom of turning a popular sports magazine into a nudie mag once a year has been hotly debated since the first swimsuit issue appeared in January 1964. Parents, teachers, librarians and pure sports enthusiasts are among those who've written countless letters of protest to SI. Instead of having the desired effect of at least tempering some of the more lascivious photos, SI has gone in the opposite direction; more bare breasts and behinds, more suggestive poses.

I'm sure SIs publishers are losing no sleep over the public outcry. From their perspective, for every parent, teacher, libarian and sports enthusiast who cancels their subscription, a dozen lustful men in the desired 18-49 demographic signs on. And the "cha-chings" make for a sweet lullaby.

My fear is this: for a magazine that will do almost anything for sales, how long before the first Sports Illustrated Kiddie-Porn issue hits the stand?


At October 30, 2004 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised not more magazines have tried this same concept. Could you imagine:

1. Popular Science Swimsuit issue (the latest swimsuit technology to help women look sexier)
2. The Reader's Digest Swimsuit issue (beautiful women reading on the beach)
3. Time Magazine Swimsuit Women of the Year....

At October 30, 2004 8:17 PM, Blogger silas prophet said...

Those ideas aren't too much of a stretch. National Geographic (of all publications) actually did a swimsuit issue:

At November 01, 2004 9:43 PM, Blogger Richard F. Dawahare said...

Dear Silas: I haven't posted or checked my blog in quite a while and discovered your comment. THANK YOU, for the compliment, I really appreciate it. By the way, how did you find it?

Your writing is very good as well. I relate to the SI swimsuit issue--and certainly the "rise" a "fetching female" can create!

Take care, Richard "Peacecow"

At December 09, 2004 3:08 PM, Blogger NewsBlog 5000 said...

This gives me a great idea.

Keep an eye out for NewsBlog 5000, Full Penetration Week.


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