How ESPN Is Redefining Masculinity: ‘Commentators Drool Over Other Men’s Abs, Thighs, and Guns’

Oh, those ties. Try and hold yourselves back, friends. Just try.

Apparently ESPN is redefining manhood. The company has such a hold on dudes, according to the Times, that sometimes they prefer consuming its media to having sex, making it an alleged form of recessionary birth control. An integral part of this captivation is ESPN fashion, and — much like the model- and body image-obsessed fashion buffs — the figures wearing that fashion.

Perhaps because of that, ESPN has an unmistakable obsession with the male body, clothed and unclothed. “The proper man dresses properly” is the prevailing message of the parade of handmade suits, wide-knotted ties and multi-carat bling. Every one of the dozen men I spoke to at ESPN headquarters here described in detail his wardrobe philosophy, from Armani sweaters to high-collared shirts to the ultimate sports accessory, “the ring.”

Michelle Beadle, who co-hosts Sports Nation, says, "When athletes come in to do interviews, it’s like a fashion show." While women like her who work at the channel may be in the minority, they may not be in the minority when it comes to the "infatuation" with what's going on underneath athletes' clothes.

Dominating the Man Cave [NYT]