Earlier today I received an e-mail from a colleague. He wrote, simply, “have you seen the abortion called Cubed on foxsports.com?”
To start with, Cubed is everything I loathe about the modern state of sports media. Yes, it’s stupid. But it’s so much more than thatâ€“objectifying of women (I’ll assume the two guys in the segment are mere jackasses. But what of the woman? This has to be solely about the paycheck. Has to be.); lacking in any sort of wit or cleverness. Just really, really, really bad.
Sad thing is, it’s not surprising. We work in a business now where sports sells, but sports plus sex really sells. So most of the sitesâ€”from Fox to Deadspin to my home, SI.com, make certain to plaster across the screen as many half-naked women as possible. It sort of takes me back to my early days at the magazine, when a very respected editor had a framed photograph of a woman’s breast above his desk; when 80 percent of the editors had Swimsuit posters in their offices. There was never a thought of, “Maybe this isn’t right,” because, hey, who gives a fart? I’m quite certain within the comfy California confines of Fox Sports, some editorâ€”almost certainly a white man in his 40s or 50s, with a gig on the line and a 401K to protectâ€”thought, “We need hits. And hits rhymes with tits. So …”
Here’s the thing: In the Lord’s year of 2009, women play sports. Lots of sports. They also cover sports. Lots of sports. So how can anyone consider themselves fair to just and right to report on, say, the WNBA or women’s lacrosse or even the whole Erin Andrews nightmare when they’re showing videos of 20-year-old half-nakeds reciting movie lines?
To hell with great writing. To hell with decency. To hell with putting out a classy product.
Virtue is dead. Or, to be more precise, Cubed.