07.30.08

Sports Bloggery + Casual Misogyny = D.K. Wilson Meltdown

Posted in Blogged Down, social crusaders at 1:26 pm by

The NFL.com shop ran an advertisement last autumn for some ladies-dig-football-too line of team logo’d corsets, micro-tees, etc., and after wondering how come I don’t know any girls having parties like that on Sunday afternoons (answer : I LIVE ON PLANET EARTH), I did ask myself, “guys have no fashion brains whatsoever, but what self-respecting women-person actually wears that stuff?”.

Well, thanks to the eagle eyes of Sports On My Mind’s dwill, I think I have my answer.  Though crediting AOL Fanhouse with previously having “included women and treated them as equals in its own white, male, snark and circumstance-dominated bandwidth and pushed women as equals to the rest of the white, frat boy-patrolled sports blogosphere,” Mr. Wilson adds “now, though, it seems that even the women of FanHouse have been undercutted, their value demeaned, and the true perception of their worth exposed.”

The offending content, mysteriously removed, but still available in cached form, leads the SOMM author to conclude, “we can now add misogynist to the already racist atmosphere that acts as a toxic smog hanging over its url.”

Fanhouse founder Jamie Mottram was also dismayed by his old firm’s decision to plug The Fantasy Sports Girls, describing the promotion as “unbelievably bad content…in unbelievably poor taste and reeks of executive ineptitude and shortsightedness.”

Hey, I’m just surprised Yardbarker didn’t think of it first.  Mottram alludes to other changes in the direction of Fanhouse since his departure for Yahoo Sports, and while it’s interesting to watch a good portion of the sports blogosphere leap on Wilson’s righteous bandwagon, how many of ‘em have taken the time to axe this motherfucker from their blogrolls?

9 Responses to “Sports Bloggery + Casual Misogyny = D.K. Wilson Meltdown”

  1. bau3r says:

    I love how boobs are all of a sudden a bad thing for sports blogs to associate themselves with. Where was this outrage for the “Attractive Olympians” posts also done by FanHouse? Oh, that’s right. Men were included.

    I guess if the Fantasy Sports Girls had some Chippendale’s dancers in NFL garb with them, everything would be peachy keen.

  2. GC says:

    well, you kind of make your own point. There’s not a chippendale element to much of the sports-o-sphere because it’s an industry driven by advertising directed at straight dudes of a certain age. That’s not criminal in and of itself, but Wilson is 100% on the mark when he suggests this kinda thing is a huge fuck-you to either Fanhouse’s female readership or women sports bloggers who aren’t named Jen Sterger.

    Is it a “bad thing”? I dunno, depends on whether or not you’re bothered about being pandered to. I don’t imagine the average sports fan gives a fuck one way or another, but I’d also agree with Mottram this was awfully shortsighted on AOL’s part. The traffic was probably robust, but the loss of credibility can’t be good for business, etc.

  3. andrew says:

    AOL Fanhouse has a lot bigger problems, such as the extreme shittiness of most of the writing and a complete lack of creativity and anything even approaching what could be called originality. It’s like the USA Today of sports blogs.

  4. bau3r says:

    Sure it’s shortsighted and yes, it’s disrespectful to women bloggers who are actually trying to put quality work out there instead of relying on the eye candy approach. However, eye candy has always been apart of sports and these Fantasy Sports Girls aren’t really any different from the NFL cheerleaders they are emulating.

    I mean, do we honestly think Cindy from lower Manhattan gives two cents worth of a damn about the Giants and the Jets as she’s cheering for either of these franchises? Of course not. It’s to further (or launch) her budding “acting career,” not for because she’s a die hard New York fan who just couldn’t contain her excitement…

    I guess my shortsightedness won’t let me look past the fact we celebrate things like half-dressed cheerleaders and Packers fans in yellow bikinis but we draw the line at half-dressed women talking about fantasy football.

  5. bau3r says:

    BTW, in my drawn out metaphor, that Cindy woman is a cheerleader for either the Jets or the Giants. Obviously.

    ;)

  6. GC says:

    I’m not particularly troubled by the sanctity of fantasy football being spoiled, Bau3r. Sure, the eye-candy approach is very much biz-as-usual, and I don’t suppose protests by D.K. Wilson are gonna change much. But he’s a-ok with me for dropping a bomb on Fanhouse. If you’re comfortable figuring the F.S. Girls are no different than cheerleaders, no prob. But I can’t help but wonder at what point does a publication like say, Sports Illustrated, determine there’s no use in paying a Selena Roberts real dough when they can just as easily fill the space with some maxim/SBB-esque content. It’s not merely “disrespectful to women bloggers”, it’s also an insult to the intelligence of every dude patronizing the Fanhouse. Some cynical person at AOL figures you’re a fucking moron.

  7. Ward York says:

    dwill’s claim that “(AOL Fanhouse) included women and treated them as equals in its own white, male, snark and circumstance-dominated bandwidth and pushed women as equals to the rest of the white, frat boy-patrolled sports blogosphere,” is a generous one to make, even with his caveats firmly established.

    I haven’t touched the Fanhouse in a few months, but last I remember, there was maybe one actual female blogger (i.e. one that did some actual writing) — the other XX contributors came from dailyish one-minute YouTubes where various girls discussed some sports stuff. And if they weren’t working a very tenuous EOE angle w/ their picture galleries, they were glady throwing pics of NFL cheerleaders and NCAA football fans around, or using the image of some UFC booster’s ass whenever MMA was discussed, or just wallowing in busty blog controversies like the Stokke fiasco.

    The difference between sideline cheerleaders or dance teams and the FSGs might just be a matter of context, but the NFL & NBA aren’t making their name on the backs of beautiful women. You can’t pass gas, however, without getting your stink up the nose of a sports blogger that’ll gladly go on a worthless monosyllabic rant about Your Sports Team while using an incongruous glamour shot as the hit-count-boosting lead-in. And therein lies the beef — even if that’s a misleading generalization, it’s what high-profile folks like Buzz and your average disgruntled print columnist are promoting, and when high-profile sites like Fanhouse go ahead and kowtow to that stereotype, they become part of the problem.

  8. Don says:

    I’m not sure why Gerard thinks someone at AOL is “looking down their nose” at their fanbase and thinks they’re morons. I find it much more likely the writers themselves and their supervisors are morons high-fiving themselves over this. “chicks get clicks.”

    I worked with a group of women who loved sports and they were universally loose jersey-wearing, after work softball league, let’s go for a jog at lunch time sweatpants. I’ve never met a serious woman sports fan who would dress like the above and I’m sure it bores them to tears.

  9. D.K. Wilson says:

    Firstly, thanks GC….

    SBB has always pissed me off – to the point where I think a few years back I made a conscious effort to completely “X” them out of my thoughts.

    andrew-
    I have said exactly the same thing about the FanHouse way of news dissemination, right down to the USA Today comparison. I always wondered if anyone else thought that way and now I know.

    ———————–

    The number of women writing at FanHouse grew in number enough to be firmly representative of something potentially special in sportswriting. Though I have had and do have issues with FanHouse being pumped up as some sort of credible sports media outlet – I never knew a 250-word blurb about a sports or sport-related topic with 150 of the words being a quote was sportswriting – the fact that they were inclusive of women was something to be lauded.

    Why the honchos above the bloggers thought the Fantasy Sports Girls were going to do anything but demean their, ‘FanHouse is credible new journalism’ marketing ploy is beyond me.

    Finally, I was glad to see that so many of the bloggers at FanHouse had major beef with their higher-ups for their decision. I just hope they can see how this correlates to half-naked cheerleaders, Erin Andrews and other sideline eye candy (and I’m n ot saying Andrews does not take her job seriously), constant cuts to breasts hanging out top-wearing women in the stands during sporting events, etc. etc, etc.

Leave a Reply