It’s good to be William Gay.
When the season began, Will.i.am was the Pittsburgh Steelers much-maligned nickelback. An injury to starter Bryant McFadden combined with some unexpectedly excellent play earned him a permanent spot in the starting line-up. A couple weeks ago, Gay was the whipping boy on local talk shows for surrendering the game-winning touchdown to the Baltimore Ravens (even though it was loudmouth Ryan Clark who was supposed to provide help over the top and bailed on his assignment). Last week, Gay redeemed himself by almost single-handedly wrecking the Cincinnati Bengals with an interception and a pass deflection which resulted in another pick.
Willie isn’t just ballin’ on the field, he’s rolling large in his personal life as well. Last month, ESPN The Magazine came out with their annual Body Issue. For those who avoid anything stamped with the Four Letter, the Body Issue is their silly attempt to one-up Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. Instead of Brazillian models in skimpy swimwear, ESPN decided to go with a bunch of athletes in softcore jock porn.
Actually, that’s not completely fair. If I were 12 and growing up in the pre-internet era, it’d be salacious but in today’s world the pictures are pretty tame. The females cover up their good bits with hand bras or strategically placed props. The male athletes (yes, they shoot men, too) do their best Austin Powers impersonation. All they really show is the occasional ass, and it’s usually the guys doing the mooning. The story around Pittsburgh is they asked Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to be the hockey representative but he turned them down. Sorry, ladies.
I don’t think I could take another half-naked Pittsburgh athlete. I’m still recovering from last year’s issue where they featured CASEY HAMPTON? Click on this link, if you dare.
On a far less frightening note, one athlete who did pose in this year’s Body Issue was sprinter Natasha Hastings. Natasha is the current girlfriend of William Gay. In fact, she told a reporter she got his blessing before accepting ESPN’s offer. Anyway, if you want to take a look at Natasha’s ESPN Body Issue photos, click on the rest of this post. Once again, they’re nothing too explicit but you may want to be careful if you’re at work.
Natasha won an Olympic Gold Medal with the Women’s 4×400m relay team in the 2008 Summer Olympics. In her column for the Huffington Post, she talked about her decision to pose nude and why she thought it was a good idea. Honestly, I wish people would just say, “I work out for 65 hours a week and I look damn good. Feast your eyes on my hotness.” instead of the usual prattle about artsy this or inspirational that.