5 questions about this weird NBC graphic from last night

It’s easy for us fans to forget just how much goes into being a professional athlete. On the outside, it looks like one of the easiest jobs you could possibly have. All you do is sleep, workout, eat, play video games, creep on every woman you encounter, go car shopping, see movies and get tattoos of poignant sayings you read online. Oh, and show up for game day to run around on a field or court for three hours. But then you forget about all the ancillary stuff that goes into it. Obviously, none of it’s quite as terrible as dealing with micro-managing asshole bosses or busting your hump in a factory all day. But there are some humdrum elements of being an athlete: Going to autograph signings, running a charity to launder money maintain a positive public image, giving interviews, learning how to bullshit your way through those interviews and quite possibly the worst of them all – having your picture taken. Whether it’s for an advertisement, a magazine/newspaper story, a public appearance or just some fan on the street, athletes are constantly (and exhaustingly) having to put on a happy face for the photographer. So when a friend sent me this graphic from yesterday’s Cowboys/Giants game that showed pictures of Tony Romo and Matt Ryan, it immediately begged a number of questions. Namely….

1.) WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?

Because it sure as hell isn’t Matt Ryan. Did Chris Redman bribe the graphics person at NBC to superimpose his head onto Ryan’s body to try and remind everyone that he’s still available? There’s just no way that’s Matt Ryan. The person shown here doesn’t look NEARLY enough like a horse.

2.) SERIOUSLY, WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?

Not only is this person not Matt Ryan, but they’re also high. Is this what Matt Ryan looks like stoned? Does getting stoned make you look like a haggard version of Andy Dalton? If you know who this person is, email me and you’ll be rewarded with me mentioning your name on Twitter to all seven of my followers. #Incentive

3.) WHY DOES ROMO LOOK LIKE TONY HOBO?

I’m guessing this was Romo’s direction from the photographer:

“Okay Tony, tomorrow’s your photo shoot for NBC. We’re trying to differentiate our imagery from other networks, so instead of being clean cut, try to look like you’ve been sleeping under a freeway overpass for a week and a half.”

4.) WHO TOOK THESE PICTURES?

I know that NFL players are pretty much free to emote any facial expression they want and that most go for the, ‘mugshot’ pose these days. But Jesus. You don’t have to be Ansel Adams to realize these photos make what are two normally photogenic guys look like something parents put on their refrigerator when their kindergartner does a shitty drawing in class.

5.) WHAT’S WORSE, THESE OR THOSE CREEPY VIDEOS?

You know the ones I’m talking about. NBC started using them so instead of an awful still image, you have video of a player staring at you like someone who tries to maintain eye contact for WAY TOO LONG. “Should I blink? How about now? Fine, I’ll blink. Fuck! I blinked. Now where should I look? I’ll just continue staring. Don’t blink, don’t blink, don’t blink.”

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