BL: WWPGD – What Would Phyllis George Do about…?
There were two interesting and related articles last week. Internet reader reaction was predictable to a stereotype. Not a flattering stereotype. Stereotypes seldom are flattering.
I agree with both articles’ premises… not necessarily in how they are rationalized. The Issue is:
Are NFL Cheerleaders and Women in Media Objectified.
Objectify = To degrade a person to the status of “an object”…”a thing”.
Article #1 about NFL Cheerleaders as Sideline Eye Candy was in USAToday Sports by Nancy Armour. Nancy Armour is a hard-core razor-totin’ femi-nazi. Her POV on any issue is as predictable as Maxine Waters’ weekly screeds.
Raging against the concept of scantily-clad leggy bimbettes in spandex, high-heeled boots, push-up bras and lots of teeth and hair that flies back and forth a lot… is not new.
NFL Sideline Bunnies have been controversial since Dallas’ Clint Murchison, Tex Schram and Gil Brandt came up with the idea in the mid 60s.
Legend has it Clint, Tex and Gil were staring at a warehouse full of Bob Lilly / LeRoy Jordan calendars they could not give away. Dukes of Hazzard was on the TV and Gil noticed Daisy Duke… and “the rest is history”.
NFL Cheerleaders and The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? Librarians in Iowa have never cared much for either one.
USO trips to “cheer up the troops” and visits to Childrens’ Hospitals are fine things to do… but…
NFL Cheerleaders ARE Sideline Eye Candy.
The Most Objectified Occupation there’s ever been.
That six NFL teams do not have Cheerleaders is proof that they are not essential to the business of NFL Pro Football.
Will America’s ever-evolving moral compass stop spinning long enough to make a decision on NFL Cheerleaders? Not in my lifetime.
I no longer watch The NFL with or without Cheerleaders. Are NFL Cheerleaders a factor in your decision to go / no go to a game?
Would you want your daughter / granddaughter to be an NFL Cheerleader?
If two NFL Cheerleaders in their game uniforms showed up at your front door selling boxes of Cocoanut Macaroons and Thin Mints to help stop genocide in the Horn of Africa, would you buy a box… how many boxes might you buy? Are you concerned about genocide in Africa?
There is nothing new about Nancy Armour’s rage against America’s addiction to NFL Eye-Candy. Again, she is not plowing new ground… nor is her rant likely to have the slightest effect on the issue.
The second article is more intriguing. An ESPN sports media something named Sarah Spain did an hour podcast interviewing other women who are in sports media. I listened to the entire hour of the podcast. You should too.
Sarah talks a lot about her large breasts. Because they are prominent and get talked about on social media whenever she appears on TV. It was not clear if Sarah has one serious stalker or a fan club of them… or tens of thousands of Sarah Spain breast fans out there.
My guess would be a handful of board monkeys get their kicks typing “big boobs” in reader comment forums. And Sarah cannot stop herself from reading their unflattering comments and fixating on them as they do on her chest.
Sarah and her friends commiserate about their experiences climbing the ladder as women in sports media. No mention was made of “casting couches” or Harvey Weinstein / Bill Clinton / Roger Ailes shenanigans. None of them mentioned being propositioned “… so how much do you want this job?”
None of them can figure out why their on-air physical appearance should have anything to do with their ability to discuss Bill Belichek’s Hoodie collection… or what James Harden might look like without the beard.
Men in Sports TV media are not evaluated on lip gloss, length of skirt or height of heel. There were several mentions of the term “thigh meat” which I had never heard. Will that cause you to listen to the podcast… you dawg you!
How much “thigh meat” they reveal purposely or accidentally is apparently an issue. Who knew?
ESPN’s Race Diva Jemele Hill gets lots of comments about her assortment of Afro-centric hairstyles.
Kate Fagan is a very proud outspoken Lesbian. She recounts admonishing her “life partner” to not read social media comments she – Kate – receives because she will learn “there are lots of strange people out there”.
Kate sports a short “boy cut” hairstyle. Someone once thought she was a cross-dressing boy. ESPN has not had one of those yet. The now departed John Skipper (UNC’75) no doubt had it on his To Do List.
I appreciate their concerns about the differences between Men and Women in a visual medium such as TV. Physical appearance has always been an issue for females on TV. Not much of a factor at all in print or radio media. J-Schools call it The Helen Thomas Effect. YIKES!
That has as much chance of changing any time soon as doing away with NFL Cheerleaders.
No one has ever peeped thru a keyhole to watch Colin Cowherd preen nude in front of a mirror… that we know of. Whenever anyone mentions Erin Andrews you think about that, don’t you? Does anyone mention Erin Andrews any more. Not in my orbit.
The crux of the issue, IMO, is these women don’t understand the Grim Reality of Social Media. If they do understand it, they greatly overestimate their ability to change it one iota.
Legislating Social Media is like calling for a Constitutional Convention… or leveling a 3-legged stool. Be very careful what you start tinkering with. When the smoke clears, the original intent may be unrecognizable.
There have always been trolls and perverts and “really scary sickos” out there. Social media has unlocked the cages in society’s basement were we kept them chained up.
Men have always noticed “what women look like”. They especially notice women who exhibit qualities that emphasize their sexuality. Even more than they care about Bill Belichek’s hoodie collection.
As I often note here… the #1 category on the Internet is PORN… by a whole lot. Not all those porn-watchers are Ratzo Rizzo derelicts in dirty raincoats. They are doctors, lawyers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers and Sports Fans of every age… color… income level. They enjoy “boobs… “thigh meat”… NFL Cheerleaders and fantasizing about women they see on TV. How they manifest their interest covers the spectrum of humankind.
Which brings us to Phyllis George… the first “pretty woman” to be associated with TV sports media in the late 60s on NFL Today. She was a former Miss America when that meant something. She was, and still is, very attractive in a wholesome Mary Tyler Moore sort of way.
Did men tune in to NFL Today in the 60s to ogle Phyllis George? 40+ years ago I don’t recall “boobs” or “thigh meat” being an issue… do you? Phyllis George was, IMO, very pretty. Much more so than Irv Cross in my opinion.
How many boxes of Snickerdoodles would you buy from Phyllis George on your front porch?
Do you recall ANYTHING Phyllis George ever said on NFL Today? If you do, I bet it was her interview with Roger Staubach.
“Broadway Joe” Namath was all the rage for his sybaritic hedonistic lifestyle. Phyllis asked Roger what he thought about Joe’s image and life style.
Roger replied “I enjoy having sex as much as Joe does, I just enjoy it with one woman.” … Phyllis George blushed.
She was replaced on NFL Today by Jayne Kennedy… a very attractive “woman of color”. FWIW… I don’t recall her ever wearing “dreads” or cornrows. Or insulting The President.
Times have changed in many ways. In many ways no, they haven’t… and likely won’t.
Really… Listen to that Sarah Spain podcast. It is an hour of your day, but I am interested in your opinion.