“You Don’t Love My Children The Way I Love Your Children,” or A Close Read of Professional Sports Wives Magazine
Lord knows what kind of dodgy real or virtual magazine rack David Williams was browsing when he discovered Professional Sports Wives Magazine, but he has unearthed something authentically strange — what appears to be a trade publication of sorts for the wives of, yes, professional athletes. Liberally padded with ads for law firms with imposing logos, financial planners and private aviation concerns, PSWM is kind of the old-media answer to the questions posed by VH1’s Basketball Wives. The latter is probably your best value when it comes to actually watching Michael Olowokandi’s girlfriend get in a Pinot Grigio-powered argument at a South Florida bistro, but PSWM has more credibility: they’ve been doing this thing for (an astonishing 27) years, and they’ve been doing it in print. Below, David W. and I examine the most recent issue of the original (and still best) source for wifing pro-tips from the (wives of) the pros:
David Williams: Can we talk about Professional Sports Wives Magazine?
David Roth: Holy shit. Yeah, I guess so. Still kind of absorbing the cover. Denise Austin, still doing her thing. (Her thing is aerobics)
DR: “Ask A Veteran Wife” is the name of my next novel. Man, I want to write features for these guys.
DW: I want to DO INTERVIEWS.
DR: Play your cards right and you can start a magazine called “Pro Sport Wife Husband.”
DW: they just haven’t met the right, intelligent, nerdy guy yet
DR: You’re competing with the Frank Franciscos and Brian Cardinals of the world for these ladies’ attention, man, so good luck.
DR: This magazine started in 1984! Did NOT expect that at all.
DW: so this is the house organ, so to speak, of the PSWAH association. The wives are virtually UNIONIZED themselves. The hell with the NFL Player’s Union, I’m thinking we’re in Lysistrata territory here. It’s pronounced “piss-wah,” I imagine.
DW: I quote: “Complete quality resources and information are at your finger tips to assist with common challenges in marriage, family, childcare, personal development, and consumer science. Who better knows ‘your world’ and understand your challenges, than your peers.” [sic sic sic + lack of ? = sic]
DR: So, a lot of the content is sadly not online.
DW: The lack of Brooklyn Decker coverage, advice, or even a little how-to is striking. A procedural, if you will. Brooklyn Decker’s Aquarium Cleaning Tips
DW: YOU NEED WATER. Lots of it. They are missing a HUGE crossover audience.
DR: If I were the editor, I would commission a cyberstalking column from Jackie Christie.
DW: Certainly. It would be timely and relevant to their interests.
DR: Like pro tips on it.
DW: How about that comedian who is the new host? of a web show? His countenance is…
DR: Yeah, his faces in that banner ad make me nervous. It’s like Kenan Thompson playing Martin Lawrence doing a Ludacris imitation. Love that skeptical comedian look on his face. Total “Are you really trying to tell me women don’t be shopping?” face.
DW: More or less nervous-making than the official accountant? He looks like he’d do the Wilpon’s books.
DR: So, before we shit on Akintunde The Comedian, we should recognize game — dude was 2006 Comedian of the Year, per the Urban Gospel Alliance.
DR: Don’t know who one beats out, there.
DW: You have to understand, the Urban Gospel Alliance has never been the same since the schism that resulted in the Rural Gospel Alliance.
DR: I remember reading about the Jefferson City, Missouri Statement. Prop comic against prop comic. Many were lost to gentle observational jokes about “kids today.”
DW: Why can’t we all just get along?
DR: So, checking the mag preview now. Makes a page-turning sound when you click the right-arrow.
DW: THE FUTURE. This is the future that Our President promised that we’d win.
DR: The future of grammar. The future of syntax.
DW: It here is. The future is at your finger. Tips.
DW: How much do you think these full page placements are costing the vulture-like financial professionals? I turn the first page and: criminal attorneys. Criminal and personal injury. They have represented many high-profile clients, including athletes.
DR: Okay, let’s play Headline or Niche Pornography: “Trina Harris: Versatile In Many Holes From A To Z.”
DW: I’m going with niche porn. That I might glance at.
DW: OH NO THERE IS MUSIC (in the Flash Player version of the magazine).
DR: It’s okay, it goes away. Page forward. Also, the Trina Harris piece is an unbylined feature and not at all about pornography. She’s married to NFL cornerback Walt Harris, who should probably beat someone up for the “versatile in many holes” headline.
DW: The masthead sports as contributing writers two PhD’s and a Dr. I didn’t know diploma mills conferred higher degrees. I was expecting something about art collecting from perhaps Hilton Kramer or Clement Greenburg. Granted, they are both dead but still.
DW: “Agent vs Lawyer: who do you really need?” IT IS FOR THE WIVES
DR: Oh neat, a piece from Paul Byrd’s wife about his retirement. Her name is spelled Kym Byrd, naturally.
DW: How has she dealt with reduced social status after Paul’s retirement? Do you become a pariah at that point? A sin-eater for the tribe of wives of still-active players?
DR: “One of my favorite quotes is from Horatio on the show CSI: Miami, ‘Trust and then verify.'” — Kym Byrd
DW: Uh, Kim, that’s actually about the START I treaty.
DR: It is, and another stiff, possibly neurologically impaired actor said it first.
DR: Oh hey, the poor Haitian dude that got eliminated from Top Chef really fast a few years ago is in here with some braising tips.
DW: We may have found the fulcrum upon which Western Culture rests. Apres them, le deluge.
DR: Or it’s just VH1’s Basketball Wives in print form.
DR: Could be both.