January 16, 2004

How to make women's football more popular.: Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA has a cunning plan. Hotpants.

posted by salmacis to soccer at 03:58 AM - 22 comments

Heh. I was going to post that. What a complete muppet Blatter is. He really should learn to save his mouth for shovelling vol au vents in at those infamous FIFA junkets.

posted by squealy at 04:28 AM on January 16

These comments are so stupid I googled to figure out how this tool managed to become president of FIFA. What a surprise to find out it may have involved bribes.

posted by rcade at 06:55 AM on January 16

Sadly, he's right. It would make women's soccer more popular, even if it's the totally wrong thing to do. I mean... the most remembered women's soccer moment in this country isn't either of the World Cup championships, it's Brandi Chastain showing off her... um... abs after the championship.

posted by tieguy at 07:38 AM on January 16

What an execrable pig. Shades of the All-American Girls' Baseball League and those stupid skirts. I hope the women of FIFA tell him to eat shit and bark at the moon.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:45 AM on January 16

I can't believe the head of FIFA doesn't know whether or not the women's game uses a different weighted ball. That's just incredible. You can't compare us with volleyball players I'd like to here the volleyballer response to this. And for the record, sport is not above sex appeal. Anyone stop to consider if the uniforms for men's pro sports have been altered to appeal to feminine appetites? Anyone realize that during hockey games at MSG, the 'diamond song' from DeBeers commercials is played? There really isn't much wrong with attempting to make your pro sport more appealing to the opposite sex. Hot pants. Subliminal messages. Whatever.

posted by garfield at 10:23 AM on January 16

Anyone stop to consider if the uniforms for men's pro sports have been altered to appeal to feminine appetites? Can you cite a single example where the uniforms in a men's pro sport were changed to sex them up?

posted by rcade at 10:27 AM on January 16

Um, I'm guessing sport uniforms follow fashion trends with some regularity, i.e. NBA shorts. If there is no correlation between male fashion and appealing to women, I stand corrected. And perhaps league brass didn't stop and say, "Eureka, lets try and make the players sexy!" "Brilliant!", but to say sex appeal had zero influence on uniforms is silly. rcade, I know what your saying, how this is an overt and deliberate alteration for the purpose of 'sexing up' a sport. Would it be better if the league simply changed the uniforms under the guise of 'fashion'? I'm not saying this guy is right, wrong, or whatever. but to deny 'sex' is a part of pro sports is stupid.

posted by garfield at 10:39 AM on January 16

my high school still had short shorts for the first couple years i was there. luckily i was a goalie and didn't have to wear them. they just looked too damn uncomfortable. and who the hell would want to slide tackle in hot pants? i dunno, maybe Sepp finds it sexy to see women picking wedgies for 90 minutes. i won't deny that 'sex' is a part of pro sports, but hot pants aren't the way to go. maybe the sex appeal would be better marketed in off-field ventures.

posted by goddam at 10:47 AM on January 16

I think that's a fantastic idea. But I'm also strangely drawn to the idea of 90 full minutes of pure unadulterated wedgie picking.

posted by garfield at 10:56 AM on January 16

...but to say sex appeal had zero influence on uniforms is silly. Sex appeal has zero influence on men's uniforms in pro baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. No one is choosing the dimensions of these garments on the basis of how much skin will be hanging out, which is what Sapp Blather is recommending for women's soccer.

posted by rcade at 11:32 AM on January 16

what, no pics?

posted by forksclovetofu at 11:33 AM on January 16

I'll give you hockey, and that's it. Baseball: the elasticity of the uniforms vary from era to era, which directly correlates with fashion trends, i.e. sex appeal. Football: If men in spandex cut-offs isn't an obvious enough example for you, I don't know what is. Basketball: Shorts became shorter why? case closed.

posted by garfield at 11:44 AM on January 16

Football kits, at least with the teams in England, are picked due to how well they'll sell - most of the teams in England rejected the skin tight lycra tops - worn by Italy, among others - because they feared they wouldn't be able to sell them, cos typical British blokes would be too damn fat to wear them. So they stick with nice big baggy tops, so even fat bastards like me might buy them. Wales have a skin tight kit, actually - and a red faced, sweating John Hartson, gut bursting through the tshirt, barely able to breathe - thats sex appeal.

posted by dng at 11:57 AM on January 16

You're confusing fashion trends and sex appeal. What I'm talking about isn't cosmetic fashion stuff like using teal and black in a jersey because those colors sell well. I'm referring to what Sapp wants -- physical changes to the size and fit of uniforms to show off more skin. I challenge anyone to find a single example where a men's team has changed uniforms with the goal of showing more skin. The style, fabric, and dimensions of men's uniforms aren't chosen for sex appeal -- they've been dictated by athletes based on comfort, on-field performance and tradition. Few male athletes would put up with uniform changes brought about solely to show more skin, with the exception of Terrell Owens. Baseball uniforms have gotten tighter and more elastic for the same reason that no athlete today would compete in thick, baggy clothing -- they would slow you down. It's about speed and comfort. When have basketball shorts gotten shorter? They were tidy-whity small prior to the '80s and are now long enough to reach the knees and beyond. As for football, what part of a uniform would you describe as a spandex cut-off? The jerseys on many players are ridiculously tight to give an opponent less to grab a hold of. The pants are the same style and size today as they were 50 years ago.

posted by rcade at 12:35 PM on January 16

I'm not confusing them rcade. I'm not talking about colors either. And I'm also not talking about 'showing more skin' as this is not a direct correlation to sex appeal....Maybe for us men, but not so much for women. Any women who appreciate a nice uniform, please stand up. The style, fabric, and dimensions of men's uniforms aren't chosen for sex appeal -- they've been dictated by athletes based on comfort, on-field performance and tradition I agree with most of what you say, but to remove the element of sex appeal is naive. Sex appeal is inextricable from fashion trends, be it traditional or the new chic. Why do guys play sports in the first place: impress women. Guys want to look good while impressing the ladies, ergo sex appeal is an element of male sports uniforms. This is also a cyclical process: men like what the women like, who like what the men like, and so on. Shorts weren't always 70s short. Were they?

posted by garfield at 01:07 PM on January 16

garfield: Shorts weren't always 70s short. Were they? Well, back in the old days, when the precursor to basketball was played by the Incans (or was it the Aztecs?), they didn't wear any shorts at all. It really didn't matter because the team that lost was sacrificed. Not having any shorts avoided them soiling their clothes. (I made that last part up. But it sure made for good reading, didn't it?)

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:36 PM on January 16

Didn't they play with a recently decapitated skull? Ah, those were the days: hunting, gathering, sacrificing.

posted by garfield at 04:50 PM on January 16

Sex appeal has zero influence on men's uniforms in pro baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. All of those sports also have no trouble finding an audience, at least compared to womens soccer. If they were fighting for their lives for attention I'm sure you'd see those sports searching for advantages in all sorts of ways they resist today. You don't think MLB would change their uniforms if it meant a huge increase in female ratings? They just know it wouldn't, and would probably also push their main audience...men, away. ----------- Sure the guy comes off as sexist, but his idea that sexxing up the uniforms would appeal to a wider audience couldn't be more true. There's the pc world, and then there's the real world. The problem I see is that I doubt sexier uniforms would be anything more than a short term gimmick, and wouldn't equal long term ratings. No matter how sexy the uniforms, other entertainment 'choices' will be more appealing to those looking for that type of thing. I already think female soccer players are the sexiest athletes, and I hardly ever watch it.

posted by justgary at 07:18 PM on January 16

I think they should make Beckham play in a thong.... (Also, swimmers are without doubt the sexiest female athletes, playing their sport in the sexiest possible uniform - unless, obviously, they swam naked, aerodynamics be damned - and its still no more popular than mens swimming)

posted by dng at 08:20 PM on January 16

i dunno, maybe Sepp finds it sexy to see women picking wedgies for 90 minutes. If there's one thing I've learned thanks to the Internet, it's that there is likely some subset of the male population that does.

posted by yerfatma at 09:30 AM on January 17

Wiggum: Look at all them hot pants. Lenny: Hey, who likes short shorts? Crowd: [chanting] We like short shorts!

posted by pivo at 10:45 PM on January 17

Sex appeal has zero influence on men's uniforms in pro baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Wrong. Much of the tight-pantsed crowd in the late 60s and early 70s in baseball tailored their uniforms like paint for the fashion and sex appeal. This despite the fact that everyone knows a baggy kit helps at the plate (gives you a much better chance to be hit by a pitch). For reference, check "Ball Four" by Jim Bouton, where he discusses it. As for Blattner, he's an idiot ... but it's also probably true. You wouldn't get more sports fans watching because of hotpants, but you'd get more curious guys tuning in.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:56 PM on January 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.