THE ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAG COVER EXPLAINED

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1. ESPN The Magazine's innovative business model involves sending everyone a cover every week. Or month. Or something. There are things in it, and you can read them online instead between a cover like this and a gigantic expensive watch ad on the back The rest are ads for things you do not and will not buy, or things you will never, ever in a million years. Every year or so, they get a bunch of athletes to pose nude. Like, buttcrack nude, not repro-piping-exposed nude. You still look at it, because goddamn Carmelita Jeter looks like an assassin from countries unimagined and fearsome beyond all reason. Thanks for that and the new amputee fetish. We and our search history can't ever really thank you enough for that.

2. Otherwise, ESPN the Magazine goes right in the recycling, because you are responsible and will never buy an expensive watch because you will lose the bastard minutes after putting it on your wrist, and then have to purchase another slightly less expensive watch. Medical fact: If you buy expensive watches, pens, or cufflinks, you do not have ADD. If you do, you know that life is a black hole you just throw possessions into, expensive and inexpensive, and that is why you always ask for food, booze, or charitable donations for holidays.

3. ESPN knows this. This is why they send it to us, and you, even years after you cancelled your ESPN Insider account. We cancelled ours three years ago, and yet there it is, the stray toy dog of the sports publishing world straggling up to our door every month. We have no idea how it survives out there, but its tail wags every time we open the mailbox. It's a sad moment putting it in the recycling bin, but it's necessary for public health. Otherwise it just sits there, making more ESPN Magazines, and yet still more ESPN Magazines, and then one bites a child and there we are at Dr. Pasteur's door, begging for the expensive and painful miracles of science. Love requires so much cruelty.

4. That cover you get is usually high quality cover, though. So is the writing within, though seriously, you can just read it all online, for the most part, because that's where people read things now when they're not a.) over 50 and b.) on an airplane without WiFi, and seriously why are you flying in Central Asia anyway, there's nothing but Tashkent and spitting mules there. Oh, and Baku, Azerbaijan, where they have a combination disco/sushi bar/high-speed adult go-karting center where you can get trashed and then drive "disturbingly speedy" go-karts to your heart's content.

5. This cover, though. At the last second, desperate for a college football cover, the photographer just takes a light box and starts stuffing it with SEC plush dolls, "Um hey guys GUYS IT'S A VOODOO DOLL THING, GET IT HUH BECAUSE THE SEC NEEDS CURSING!" Some of the greatest ideas in human history come from duress, but this is not Jawaharlal Nehru improvising the midnight speech announcing independence from India on the Red Fort. This is last minute desperation when your "WHAT IF THE SEC WERE ON DUBSTEP WITH BANKSY?" conceptualizing went belly-up and you had to get something, anything on the board. We now feel some sympathy with you, unknown cover artist.

6. The pin placement sucks. Every guy on the planet when considering the issue of where to put pins on a voodoo doll has the same answer: right in the dick. You know voodoo practitioners are largely female because you always see the pins spread out, usually in some vague spot in the torso. Like the placement of gunshots in "slo-mo" mode in shooting games, men would take fifty pins and put them accordingly:

  1. Forty pins: dick
  2. Three or four in the ass
  3. One in each eye
  4. Drop the rest, step on them barefoot randomly for a few months.

7. Like Les Miles DOESN'T employ counter-cursing voodoo queens. This is dumber than you even thought it was before we started.

8. But not as dumb as assuming Georgia hasn't already gotten the worst curse of all: a high preseason poll ranking. Throw on the worst of your Gypsy curses: nothing can possibly do anything worse to Georgia football than this, and that includes whatever Alabama can do to them in the SEC Championship Game. (When they get there, because surely both teams will coast through to the matchup without incident or hiccup HAHAHAHA CURSES! THEY COME IN A THOUSAND FORMS, DON'T THEY?)

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