Tyreke Evans's famous "I have an elephantine reproductive organ dance" notwithstanding, Ailene Voisin of The Bee seems to have a corner on discomforting description of the body parts of athletes. And please don't take this as neandrathal harrumphing or prepubescent giggles. Plenty of female sportswriters -- Jackie MacMullan, Kate Fagan, Ramona Shelburne, ex-Warriors beat writer Janny Hu of the San Francisco Chronicle, to name a few -- manage to cover the sport in depth, in detail, eloquently without resorting to stuff like this report on Voisin's meeting with then-draft prospect Ricky Rubio, age 18:
The body. Having only watched Rubio on television, most closely during last summer's Olympics, I was surprised by his physique. Dressed in a black T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, he appeared taller than his listed height - close to 6-foot-5. He also had better definition, particularly in his upper arms. He wasn't the skinny young thing he looks like on the tube.
I mean, come on.
But that's not the winner of this year's award. The winner is somehow less graphic, but more ... awkward. Discomforting. Weird. And it's after the jump ...
Back in July, after Spencer Hawes angered the franchise by skipping Vegas Summer League for some family event (family? psh!), he visited Sacramento to show that he indeed had spent his summer working out. Ailene, take it away ...
Spencer Hawes plopped onto the couch in the lobby of the Kings' practice facility, his 7-foot frame dominating the decor. A bag of ice encased his right knee. His gray T-shirt was soaked with sweat. His arms draped the back of the furniture, a cell phone clutched in his right hand. [...]
According to new coach Paul Westphal, all is forgiven and forgotten. And his initial impression of his young center? Both the body of work and the body were impressive. Underneath that sweaty T-shirt, Hawes' shoulders appear broader and thicker.
I think I figured out what makes it so creepy, too. It's not the references in and of themselves -- any writer could describe a player as "broader and thicker," those are perfectly useful and normal adjectives. It's "underneath that sweaty T-shirt" that wigs me out. Not just any sweaty T-shirt, but that sweaty T-shirt, the one he wore that time Ailene saw him dominating that decor on that couch.
Maybe I'm just giving in to my Puritan roots. But it reads like Danielle Steele to me.