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MSNBC stands for “Manly Sports and Nubile, Buxom Cheerleaders”

June 10, 2011

People, I’m really disappointed in the commenters at’s “Off the Bench” blog. I’d expected them to lay out an absolute smorgasbord of misogyny and condescension on the story I linked the other day about the “save second base” shirts designed to Raise Awareness of Breast Cancer—but the response, even after I posted a couple of snarky comments of my own, was tepid and half-hearted at best. Look:

It will reach more men, which will equal more money for research. Feminist get a grip

I though most feminists were lesbians?? You think they’d want to Save Second Base…But, people saying this is offensive are just arguing to argue. Deep down I’m sure they know this is just a fun way to spread awareness.

Some sick [a**hole] people don’t deserve a cure; think about that one, people.

It’s a sad world when someone with the intent of donating money to a great cause, because he came up with a clever T-Shirt, gets criticized like this. Very sad world.

Men buy funny T-Shirts. It’s in our nature.

Meh. No one even summoned the creative inspiration to tell me to go make him a sandwich, so, possessed of two idle hands, I decided to poke around the rest of MSNBC’s network of sports blogs to find out where everybody was. What I discovered was shocking.

The guys were ignoring me because I was actually invisible!

It’s true, sporting sisters: Unless you’re a swimsuit model or romantically attached to A-Rod or Lamar Odom, you might as well not exist at all in the world of MSNBC sports. Their eight blogs generate dozens of posts every day, almost none of which acknowledge that women participate in sports except as cheerleaders or distractions.

That’s not entirely surprising, of course, when it comes to HardballTalk (baseball), ProFootballTalk, and CollegeFootballTalk; likewise, we wouldn’t expect ProHockeyTalk to generate many mentions of women except during Olympic years. Fair enough.

I harbored a bit more optimism for ProBasketballTalk, but I shuffled through its last 300 posts before doubting myself and double-checking to confirm that the WNBA does, indeed, still exist. There was, actually, one lone post two weeks ago about a woman—no, not about the sudden death of WNBA star (and tallest woman ever to play pro basketball) Margo Dydek at age 37, but about Kim Kardashian’s engagement to an NBA free agent a day earlier.

Okay, then—how about ProGolfTalk? I had high hopes for this one, since the LPGA is one of the few professional women’s sporting organizations that generates even a tenth of the publicity of its male counterpart. Oh–did I say a tenth? Sorry, I overshot a bit: PGT featured women in 7 of its last 100 posts (well, 8 if we count the piece on the commissioner of the LPGA tour…..who is a man).

Never fear, though: Surely we can count on seeing more gender equity when we get to the blogs on tennis, winter sports, track and field, and…..what’s that? Those blogs don’t exist? Sigh. Well, they are working with limited space and resources, and obviously it’s more important that they devote an entire blog, InsideTheIrish, to Notre Dame college football.

That brings us back around to OffTheBench, MSNBC’s repository for wacky sports or sports-adjacent stories, and our last hope for equal representation—and does it ever deliver! Why, of OTB’s last 40 posts, 15 prominently feature women or girls, including….

  • See the most depressing NFL cheerleader bikini calendar ever
  • Outrage! Pippa Middleton finishes second in ‘Rear of the Year’ contest
  • Hilarity ensues as Gilbert Arenas live-tweets his blind date
  • Ryan Giggs’ brother’s wife slept with three other Man[chester] United Players?
  • Female soccer mascot ‘Donny Dog’ fired for posing in lingerie photos
  • Booty call: Patriots’ Lockett says ‘It’s true,’ he had affair with Kim Kardashian
  • Justin Bieber, in a Texas Rangers hat, was with Selena Gomez at the Heat-Mavericks game last night
  • Wake up call: Hold it, you mean that I missed Anna Kournikova’s birthday?
  • Woman in center of Anthony Weiner scandal has brother who played for the Indians
  • Pippa Middleton runs triathlon, is bumped by sweaty goof
  • Cameron Diaz: “Sex is my favorite sport”

Yikes. Who needs an NFL cheerleader bikini calendar to be depressed? Yet I know how the folks at MSNBC would reply if called out on their sexism—we’re in the business of printing what our readers want to read; people just aren’t as interested in women’s sports as they are in men’s—and I know how useless it would be to point out that the media has a not insignificant role to play in shaping what people find interesting. So I suppose I’ll just keep blogging away, writing letters that may or may not make any difference, and leaving pointed comments where appropri……um, can you excuse me? This guy over here wants a sandwich.*

* UPDATE: When I published this post, I had just left a comment on OTB’s aforementioned “most depressing calendar” post to say “Gotta love the fact that ‘Off the Bench’ is pretty much the only one of the MSNBC sports blogs that ever mentions women…and this is how it usually goes. I’ve heard a rumor that women actually PLAY sports too, in addition to posing for calendars and having trysts with NBA stars, but you’d never know it from reading I’ll just sit back now and wait to be told to make someone a sandwich. Thanks!”—but no one had yet replied. Well, it took three hours, but “smarterthangirardi” (hint: no he’s not) finally came through:

I hope that the computer you are using is in the kitchen because 1. Why the hell would you leave the kitchen? and 2. You need to make me a sandwich.

All’s right with the world!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 5:41 pm

    I can’t believe no one called you a “feminazi”!

  2. June 11, 2011 2:21 pm

    Listen buddy…l was kidding, but if your dumb enough to think Joe Girardi has any brains your opinion doesnt matter to me.

  3. fearlessleader permalink*
    June 11, 2011 3:36 pm

    As I was saying….. 🙂


  1. MSNBC now stands for “Mr. Sportswriter: Nice, But Condescending” « A Blog of Their Own

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