Monday, December 26, 2005

Lame Moments in Sports #14

A few weeks ago, we here at Oi! Thump! took some time out from our usual snarking to pick on Skip Bayless of ESPN for generally being a tool. Boy do we feel crappy about that now, especially after encountering this guy. Let's take a look at the sordid underbelly of fundamentalist Christian sports reporting:

Blind to Their Own Depravity
By Brad Locke
November 17, 2003

(AgapePress) - Homosexual activists have for years tried to convince us that their behavior is normal, that two men or two women can share just as deep a love as a man and woman, and that they aren’t promiscuous perverts at heart.

Funny how all it takes to unveil those lies is a single sports column.

Um, wha...?

Not this column. No, rather one written by Sports Illustrated’s esteemed Rick Reilly. His piece in SI’s Nov. 10 issue, titled “Queer Eye for the Sports Guy,” chronicles his efforts to make his column “gay enough for Nathan Lane to read.” It’s meant as a humorous bit, and there are a few mildly amusing zingers (most, however, are just disturbing).

Oh, to know which bits Brad found "disturbing." Anyhoo, the article goes on to mention how, according to Reilly's piece (which I tried to find a link for, but failed), gays and lesbians want to see pictures of underdressed members of their respective genders. This is espectially shocking, given that the venerable Sports Illustrated would never ever stoop to such lewd and disgraceful pandering.

But wait! Brad is aware that he is coming across as a hypocritical, homophobic twit, and he confronts the issue head-on:

Am I the only one seeing a correlation here to men who gawk over Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue? In both instances, there is nothing deeper than lust involved. At least with the skin mag, the models are willing participants and know why they’re being photographed. As for Carr and McCaffrey and Roddick, how do you think they would feel if they knew a homosexual was leering at them? These men, I would bet, do not want to be homosexual icons. But the homosexual’s appetite is apparently insatiable. And remember, you can’t spell homosexuality without mo sex (forgive my Ebonics).

And how he's a hypocritical, homophobic, racist twit!! Well done Brad (even though his main argument in this paragraph seems to be that homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to look at pictures). Now, that column was from awhile ago; let's see what Brad's been up to more recently:

Sexing Up Sports
By Brad Locke
August 20, 2004

(AgapePress) - As the media have obsessively reminded us, the original Olympians competed in the nude. Judging by recent trends, I'd say modern-day athletes are trying to turn back the clock a few hundred years.

No, turning back the clock is what fundie morons are trying to do.

I sometimes naïvely think that sports is a respite from the sex culture that bombards me daily. I know better, of course. After watching a few days of the Olympics -- where amateurism and a certain amount of innocence once reigned -- I'm reminded that sport is using sex to sell itself. American swimmer Amanda Beard, once known as the precocious teddy-bear toting teen of the 1996 Games, is now a certified sex symbol -- by choice. She's modeled for such soft-porn magazines as Maxim and FHM, and during a profile by NBC the other night, she pranced about and posed in a skimpy bikini. (This was a portion of the programming I was taping for my 7-year-old daughter, by the way. Have to be handy with the remote when she watches it. Thanks, Amanda!)

Yeah, 'cause the worst thing that could happen to your 7-year-old daughter is that she find out what a healthy athletic female body looks like. This guy could tell you that! Oh, and let us note how Brad blames Amanda Beard for the fact that he actually has to watch television with his daughter, instead of simply popping a tape in the VCR and wandering off. Nice parenting, asswipe!

We now arrive the "research" portion of this article:

The media is what ultimately drives this, or at least keeps up the momentum. ESPN The Magazine and find any excuse to feature scantily clad women, athletes or otherwise. CBSSportsline has a "Sexiest Athlete Rating" for Olympians. Sports Illustrated, in its "Sports Beat" section, usually runs a picture of some cleavage-baring bombshell, no matter how remote her connection to the accompanying pseudo-sports story. A few years ago, Serena and Venus Williams posed for Sports Illustrated wearing nothing but the same American flag. How proud George Washington would be.

OK, but all that stuff is away from the arena, where we know sex won't invade the actual competition. Well, except for women's volleyball, where the players' bikinis are at least three sizes too small. I find it ironic that these women have taken offense at the cheerleaders who perform during breaks in Athens. They're wearing more than the volleyball players!

Oh, and women's tennis, where you'll have no problem finding pictures of certain players (Sharapova, Williams, et al.) reaching up their skirt to retrieve a tennis ball, revealing smooth, toned upper thighs. And speaking of Williams, her catsuits make Las Vegas prostitutes look like Mennonites. And as one reader recently pointed out, there is no shortage of pictures or video taken from the floor looking up at gymnasts and other athletes as they splay their legs in athletic maneuvering.

Brad, you and your readers are flat-out creepy... And to think that a year or so before this you were accusing gays of leering obsessively at athletes.

But Brad's still at it, and here he is from within the last month or two:

Getting the Straight Story
By Brad Locke
November 18, 2005

(AgapePress) - We sports writers can appear to be an insensitive lot. When a running back starts showing physical wear as he grows older, we write things like, "He's getting too old to beat those quick linebackers to the corner." When a coach can't make his team a winner, we write things like, "He hasn't been able to make the transition from assistant to head coach." When a high school kid throws to the wrong base, we write things like, "Smith's mental lapse allowed Jones to score from first base."

I once wrote something like that last one. Kid's mom didn't like it. I wrote nothing that wasn't true -- the kid had a mental lapse that cost his team. I did nothing wrong. I was simply reporting what I saw.

Ah, fundamentalist Christian compassion at work! "I'm going to slam your child for a mistake made in a high-school baseball game, and if you object I'll get all huffily defensive." What a loathesome human being. Although it is hilarious that Brad's big moment in cutting-edge sports journalism came while reporting on high-school baseball.

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