Flattland - "Men's Health"

Concerned .NET humorist Trav Flatt brings a potential male health risk to the attention of our devoted readers, and proposes that overlooking the Cardinals might be unhealthy for the rest of the NFL in 2004.

Stop the presses! Figuratively speaking, of course. We electronic media persons don’t actually use presses. I suppose one could argue that we ‘press’ the keyboard multiple times, rendering the phrase valid, but that is not my point.

The actual point is that I was here all ready to deliver a well-researched and highly thoughtful article on the (Note to Editor: Insert important contemporary sports-related topic here), when I received an e-mail from Alarmed Reader “Les” regarding the ever-important issue of Men’s Health and various unexpected threats thereto.

Now, the original e-mail contained… Well, absolutely nothing. The commentary included piqued my interest, so I requested another attempt that the referenced item be sent. Upon receipt, I perused the apparent news item and thought to myself, “Hey! No wonder I’ve managed to stay in relatively decent shape despite having taken on the general activity level of a garden slug!” The article claimed that a study by, appropriately, “Researchers” has determined that, to put it scientifically, gawking at a woman’s non-arm upper torso appendages is beneficial to a male’s health. “Ten minutes of staring is equivalent to a 30-minute aerobic workout,” so claims the news item.

Many thoughts raced through this journalist’s mind:

“How does one get away with staring for ten interrupted minutes without getting maced? Can you break it up into little two-second glances?”

“Is this a body-specific phenomenon? If no; what about guys who are more, for example, ‘Leg Men’? What about my fixation on midriffs?”

“I would buy sports paraphernalia for the ‘Bosque Farms Breast Gawkers’.”

“This sounds vaguely familiar.”

It was that final thought which compelled me to engage in a little-exercised Journalistic Technique known as “Fact Checking”. I am sad to report that similar variants of this ‘News Item’ have surfaced in 1997, 1998, and 2000. Additionally, none of the sources cited in any of the alleged ‘News Items’ can be confirmed.

Not only is this a hoax, it is an exceptionally dangerous hoax. The actual fact of the matter is that staring at breasts reduces a male’s lifespan in terms of the number of times said male’s wife hits him in the head with a blunt instrument (Such as, say, a piano). Single males should not think themselves exempt from gawk-related risks, considering that ten minutes of staring can, does, and has resulted in severe and directly-expressed disapproval in terms of large, aggressive, gorilla-like boyfriends.

Now I know that this is all of absolutely no concern to the majority of us Sports Guys, whose wives are probably reading over their shoulders, like, RIGHT NOW. In fact, I know most of you are like me and not even aware other women HAD breasts. We’re far too busy with more wholesome activities, such as working, fixing things, thinking of ways to Improve our Relationships, and most certainly not drinking a good deal of beer or gaping at cheerleaders!

Okay, she’s moved on (whew!).

Drifting purposefully back to the topic of Football: This morning I picked up my copy of USA Today’s Sports Weekly and saw on the cover, for absolutely no comprehensibly valid reason, Josh McCown. The week in the subject of “Sports Humor” was neatly summed up in the cover phrase, “New coach Dennis Green has the Cardinals thinking playoffs.”

I expect next week’s headline to read, “New coach Dennis Green indicted on charges of administering illegal substance to Cardinal players.”

No, more seriously, there’s something to it. The Cards are pregnant with potential, and have acquired one hell of a coach. There’s a decent chance that Billy “Bowtie” Bidwell can find some way to screw it up in order to carry on the family tradition of encouraging the Cardinals to suck, but I’m thinking any team that goes into a Cards game looking beyond them on the schedule could find themselves bitten sharply in the glutes this season.

Our own Seahawks are starting to be touted as one of those Panther-esque Dark Horse Unexpected Contender teams. Of course, I can’t really call a team that so many sportswriters are calling ‘Surprise’ contenders actually inducing any actual surprise when they do contend. I mean, think about it. As the season progresses, assuming the wins pile up, how many of these writers are going to let us forget about their predictions long enough for “Unexpected” to come anywhere close to describing the situation?

No. The Arizona Cardinals definitely better fit the description of a “Surprise” team. Considering that their success would have to come at our direct expense, though, I really hope like hell that they don’t surprise anybody. Better keep an eye on these uppity puppies… Just in case.

Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, and gawk-related health tips to trav@spinn.net

Trav Flatt

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