Pandering with p-words

Self-evident fact number one: women like sports, and as such, we watch sports on television.

And, yeah, we get that far less than zero percent of all advertising or promotional marketing is aimed at us.

Which is fine. I don’t need a pink Detroit Tigers cap, or a pink baseball shaped keychain, or a pink whatever — even though I really do like the color pink and its various incarnations.

pink Tigers hat

Only $15

It’s enough that every commercial contains some thinly veiled misogyny. The hero, a football-loving man (the audience is always assumed to be male), is so oppressed by his wife’s relentless nagging that we (more men) are meant to empathize with him and root for him when he, say, leaves his wife off the guest list for the party in their home.

Oh, and the home is now full of hot bitches drinking some frosty beer, natch.

Fine. Maybe most male sports fans aren’t “fan” enough to watch an entire telecast without the requisite tit shots to hold their attention. Or perhaps Coors really does get a huge bump in sales from men watching these games and living under such horrific matriarchal regimes — who knows.

What I do know is that, when my friends (ladies) and I watch sports, we somehow manage to make it through the entire event without some scrotal cleavage being dangled along the sidelines to keep us too transfixed to turn away.

Yet I cannot attend or watch any major sporting event (save international soccer) without having some half-naked woman tossed out and bobbed along the sidelines like a lure on a fishing line. The USC sweater girls? The endless NCAA tourney upskirts? The barely-contained silicon juggernauts of Tampa Bay and Dallas, ass hanging out from booty shorts? Even hockey has them — the ladies in (what else?) booty shorts and midriff-baring mini-team-tanks scooping up piles of ice shavings.

And what do we get? Well, we get no reprieve. We get the same sweaty ass of the nose tackle, his jock strap clearly visible through his soaked white pants. We get David Beckham puking. We get men at their sweatiest, and most disgusting. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, they’ll have interesting facial hair or spectacular muscles.

But let’s be honest here: women do not watch sports for the eye candy. Perhaps men don’t, either, but they get the eye candy as a bizarre reward for watching something they should be fan enough to watch anyway.

My point being: it was bad enough before.

Now, we have this.

The Fox Sports Girls

Now, every broadcast of Tigers games on Fox Sports Detroit — which otherwise does a fair job of avoiding the “now watch this jiggle” sports marketing trend — features these women, either in the stands or in some thirty-second vignette delivering a stilted, generic monologue about baseball. “I still remember my first game.”

And that’s it. I exaggerate, but you get the point. If the essay question were, tell me about a cherished memory, and that were your answer, you’d fail. And that’s what this whole bullshit campaign is: a fail.

First, it completely insults any fan — male, female, gay or straight — who watches baseball just because they like baseball. It’s the equivalent of your boss giving you a gold star for showing up to work and speaking to you like a kindergartner. It’s like being spoken to as if you were a puppy: “Aw, there’s a good boy! You stayed with us after the commercial break. Now watch me smile.”

Second, it adds nothing to the game. There’s a big difference between Erin Andrews — who is insanely hot but also a fucking good journalist with stellar credentials who actually worked her way up — and these two, “Lauren” and “Allison,” whose only qualifications for the “job” seem to be being attractive, photogenic, and craving attention from somewhat famous dudes.

They’re worse than cheerleaders, who have athletic talent and are victims of creepy cameramen and gross color commentators. They’re worse than the hockey girls, who, scantily clad and overly made-up though they are, still perform the valuable service of cleaning the ice.

This? This is pandering. This is insulting. It’s John McCain choosing Sarah Palin. It’s the slow-motion running sequences of Pam Anderson on Baywatch. It’s the worst of every other sport, made more ludicrous.

This is baseball, assholes. And I prefer mine without the barely-concealed message.

4 Responses to “Pandering with p-words”
  1. Jeanette says:

    Angela, I totally agree – I’m sick to death of t&a. So disrespectful to women and doesn’t say much about the powers that be who put this on.

  2. Michelle says:

    “Lauren” and “Allison” do nothing to enhance Detroit’s reputation as a Great Sports City, and I doubt that they make any money for FSD. If anything, a certain percentage of us are changing the channel in order to escape them.

    • Angela Vasquez-Giroux says:

      Michelle, I agree completely. There’s nothing that ruins a good game for me like announcers salivating over the eye candy, or being forced to consider eye candy as a legitimate source of value necessary to the broadcast.

      I remember, years ago, watching a FOX football broadcast and one of the announcers (JB, I think?) repeating over and over as the Jessica Alba “Dark Angel” promo aired (constantly throughout the broadcast) that she was a “great looking girl,” etc etc etc.

      You could almost hear him licking his lips.

      Between that and Jenn Sterger, famous for her FSU cleavage, I think we’ve reached a new banner low.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Having a bunch of smart bastards around has challenged me, too, to think about my beloved baseball in different ways. Kate Sloan’s piece on the homoerotic overtones of The Dark Knight Returns not only inspired me to read the graphic novel (which was AWESOME) but to think harder about the role of sex, sexuality and gender in baseball. Without Kate’s work, I don’t think I’d have written “Pandering with p-words.” […]

%d bloggers like this: