Last week, ESPN The Magazine unveiled their 2016 version of the "Body Issue", their annual special edition dedicated to artfully-done, mostly-nude photography of prominent athletes. This year's issue featured pictorials of stars such as Dwyane Wade, Jake Arrieta, Elena Delle Donne, and Vince Wilfork, and received a decent amount of buzz.
Well, that got us thinking.
The most important aspect of sports is the athletes, isn't it? Without them, it's just a bunch of taxpayer-funded white-elephant stadiums sitting empty 365 days a year (as opposed to 350). They're the beginning, middle and end of what we love about sports, you might say!
Sure, sure, they're the ones who actually play the sports. They're the ones you [aggressive finger quote gesturing] "come" "to" "see". But no, they're not the only lifeblood of sports in this post-modern, round-the-clock, go-go information superhighway world we live in. No, they share the stage with another noble class of entertainer: the sports blogger. When the final whistle blows, the stadium lights shut off, and the players go home for the season, we're the ones who pick up the ball and run with it, 24/7/365. We're the ones wasting time on our clients' dime so you can waste time on your clients' dime, churning out easily-digestible, GIF-laden content. We're the ones who deliver hard-hitting analysis like "What If A Dog Had Opinions On Sports" or "What If A Coach Got Locked In A Bathroom" or "What Game Of Thrones Character Is Bill Snyder?" (He's Gandalf.).
We're the ones who serve as an essential check, reminding those athletes that they're not in as good shape as they think.
what did you do today?— Becks (@BecksWelker) July 12, 2016
not much really, logged onto the internet to tell LeBron James his chest is too small
I see pic.twitter.com/Svsw1N1lek
We're the ones who don't get an offseason, and we've got the bodies to prove it. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you: The 2016 Blog Bodies Issue.
Chad Blogsman, The Sportsingfun Post
You might be familiar with Chad's work and not even know it - he's one of the most prolific Vine Writers out there today, having recently been nominated for an Internet Content Pulitzer for his Vine "amazing dunk!1", which he recorded off a Best Buy display TV during a basketball game in February. When he gets a break from this grueling work, Chad likes to relax with a craft beer, his dog Wrigley, and the new Jason Isbell record. He also likes Netflix, HBO, and is prolific on Twitter.
Derek Psuedonym, Who Dairys, Wins
The editor and lead writer for this Wisconsin Badgers blog isn't just about football: this 33-year-old lawyer also has strong opinions on 1990s hip-hop subculture, loves sneakers, writes recaps of Game of Thrones, and enjoys homebrewing. When asked how he stays in top condition for this action-packed schedule, he notes "my wife switched us to almond milk a couple months ago."
Blogdger Clemens, Bost' In Translation
The Internet's 5th-most-popular Boston College football blog doesn't stay moving on its own: it runs like a finely-tuned machine thanks to this finely-tuned machine, a lawyer by day who's penned some of the most memorable recent pieces of writing on the Eagles, including "Oh, What The Hell," "I Don't Deserve This," and "I Am Crying In The Bathroom."When he's not recapping a recent Chestnut Hill happening, this pseudonymous scribe stays fit by parking a little further out from the grocery store door or walking in place at his desk to get enough pedometer steps to get points on his insurance's wellness program, and recently injured himself while playing Pokémon Go.
He likes craft beer.
Travis Dogwhistle, Big Bold Old Gold Mold
This former lawyer - a graduate of a really good law school, you should know - stays fit to impress his wife, who's much more attractive than he is, even though he's attractive, let's make that clear, she's really attractive. He's a multi-medium talent, known for penning such encomiums as "I Have Questions About How This Basketball Player Was Raised, I'm Just Asking Questions," his radio show "I'm Just Saying What I Feel, You Can't Get Mad At Me For Feelings, This Is America," and his new low-rated cable talk show "Straw Men."
In his spare time, he enjoys criticizing women's appearances on Instagram and trying unique beers.
Kevin Kevinson, Aggie Are You Okay? Are You Okay? Are You Okay, Aggie?
Kevin's passion is his unaffiliated Texas A&M blog, known for such widely-read recurring items as "Who Is Our Quarterback Now, And Why" and "Why Is Our Quarterback Now, And, What?" He likes eating barbecue, talking about barbecue, and getting mad when people misapply the term "barbecue."
His favorite workout is "getting really mad about barbecue, and having to take a short walk to cool off".
He often pairs his barbecue with a nice IPA that you probably haven't tried.
Bryce LARPer, SB Nation Social Desk
Did someone take a fist, ball or stray pigeon to the groin during a game? You're gonna want a GIF and 150 words on it, and Bryce is your man for the job. He maintains his cat-like reflexes by throwing a ball in the air to himself while laying on the floor, and it only hits him in the face some of the time. He considers mozzarella sticks to be "paleo."
You can follow Bryce on Untapped.
Action Cookbook, Every Day Should Be Saturday
This 34-year-old idiot blogs under a pseudonym for a well-liked college football website, and often goes a level deeper into character by assuming the voice of his 5-year-old Welsh Corgi, Holly, because he did it once and people liked it and now he'll never escape this prison of his own making. [dispassionate impression of dog] He also looks like Jason Biggs's less-artsy brother Phil. [resuming normal voice] He stays in shape by walking that dog as far as she'll happily go in a Kentucky summer, which is about a half-block. His back hurts.
You, The Reader
You're beautiful, no matter what I say.