Sports Illustrated can keep their whole beautifully air brushed super model thing with their yearly swimsuit issue. ESPN's Body Issue is something different all together.
Sure, the focus is still on bodies. But there's something beyond mere sexiness when it comes to the bodies of these athletes. We all know that Blake Griffin can dunk over a car. But now we know why.
The Body Issue focuses on the human form in a different sort of way. And we also get to see Hope Solo naked. Two big pluses in my book.
While there are a handful of athletes that we'd love to see in the Body Issue, there are just as many that we'd like to avoid—a few we'd really like to avoid.
John Daly comes across as a guy you'd go golfing with on the weekends and have a blast with. And while he seems like a a person who knows how to have a good time, he certainly isn't an athlete I'd want to see in the buff.
Though there seem to be a plentiful amount of female golfers that I can't say the same for. I clearly should have stuck to golfing.
Maybe I'm being a little rough on the golfers.
They don't have the same high fitness standards as other athletes do. But that doesn't mean that Phil Mickelson is a guy we want to see in an artsy black and white photo that highlights the highlights of the human form.
Charles Barkley has earned the right to let himself go after 16 seasons as a dominate player in the NBA.
Maybe in his prime he looked more like an athlete that could grace the pages of the Body Issue, but those days are long gone for Sir Charles.
Peyton Manning has never been known as a top notch physical specimen.
He's an outstanding quarterback because of his brains, and doesn't often make plays because of his athleticism. He has the pedigree to be on the cover of the Body Issue, but he certainly doesn't have the body for it.
Ben Roethlisberger has plenty of adoring female fans, so he must be doing something right.
And while it doesn't seem like his weight has a big effect on his ability to scramble and move in the pocket, Roethlisberger isn't the high end physical example that the Body Issue tries to put the spotlight on.
I'd put Tom Brady in the same category as Peyton Manning. You don't put him on the field because he is going to scramble for 35 yards. You put him on the field because of his brain.
But he's arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and he married pretty well so whatever works I guess.
It's hard to tell through a hockey jersey, but Alex Ovechkin may not be in the best shape of his life.
The Washington Post pointed out that he looked out of shape during an interview and the scrutiny has been on ever since. Ovie claims he is in the best shape of his life, but based on the body of evidence I don't think he'll be posing for ESPN anytime soon.
No one will argue with the statement that Dustin Byfuglian is a very big man. He's one of the largest players in the NHL, and as such he's going to be heavy.
But when he was arrested for drunk boating over the summer it was reported that Big Buff was 286 pounds (!), more than 40 pounds heavier than his last known playing weight, eyebrows were raised.
That doesn't scream ESPN Body Issue to me.
Eddy Curry is listed at 295 pounds, which makes sense given his 7'0'' frame. But the nearly 300 pounds just looks big and heavy on Curry.
He has averaged just over five rebounds so I suppose it came in handy to a degree. But this guy is so big that ESPN would have to give him front and back to feature him on the cover.
Not that any of us want that.
It's tough to call some of these massive NBA players overweight. Zach Randolph is listed at 6'9''—of course he's going to break some scales.
And he plays more than 30 minutes a night on average, so he more than likely isn't out of shape. That being said, he still isn't the kind of body the ESPN seems to target for their Body Issue.
David Ortiz could crush a baseball.
He could clearly crush an entire box of Twinkies in one sitting as well if he felt like it.
That didn't prevent him from being a highly effective ball player though. While the Boston Red Sox may have given him a plaque proclaiming that he was the greatest clutch hitter in the history of the team, an appearance in ESPN's Body Issue isn't likely to appear in his trophy case as well.
David Wells was the John Daly of the MLB. In 1998 he pitched a perfect game, and later claimed to have been half-drunk. Sounds like a player who knows how to have a good time and still be effective.
And based on his looks, he may have had a little bit too much fun with the beer. Kudos for being a bad dude, but drinking tends to lead to something called a beer gut. Not something that has a place in the Body Issue.
C.C. Sabatha is one of the pitching aces employed by the New York Yankees. His ERAs may be microscopic, but his body certainly doesn't follow suit.