Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NBA Tattoo Cap: It Was Supposed to Be Satire, Silly!

UPDATE: click through for a more detailed version of this story.

Thanks to my old friend Matt Watson for forwarding this curious Phoenix New Times article about tattoos and the NBA. The article is very long, and I'll be honest, I skimmed parts of it, so forgive me if I'm totally tripping here... but most of the article appears to be serious. There is a lot of information about the history of tattoos and about real tattoos that NBA players have -- and that stuff all appears to be factual.

But then there are a few obviously false items, and they seem to be presented as fact. For instance:
Anybody with tons of tattoos is subject to criticism, and NBA players are no exception. In February 2008, the NBA announced it would push for a "tattoo cap" on players when its collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the 2011 season. "We feel it is important that our players not scare the bejesus out of affluent demographic groups with gangsta-style tattoos," NBA Commissioner David Stern told The proposed cap, as strange as it sounds, would require teams to limit their roster as a whole to 61 percent tattoo coverage of the "upper arms and necks." So if a team has a couple of players covered in tats, conceivably two or three players with flesh as pure as a baby's butt would be needed to offset.
Besides the fact that a tattoo cap is (hilariously) ludicrous, there is the matter of David Stern using the word "bejesus"... The attribution of the quote is given to FoxSports, but the quote actually appears only in this clearly satirical blog post by GerbilSportsNetwork on Fox's community site. There are some other curious quotes in the article, like the "thug" comment from mild-mannered Alando Tucker (actually, I don't know anything about Alando Tucker, maybe he would say some ish like that)... and a quote from Amare Stoudemire attributed to the always-reliable (??).

Am I tripping? Am I so dense that I don't see that this whole article is really clever satire? Or is Ian Thomsen ghostwriting at New Times? Or was this article really poorly reported, lazily fact-checked, and not edited at all? I'm honestly confused, please help.

UPDATE: Thanks for the links, Jason. Apparently author Niki D'Andrea is an old internet favorite (exhibits 1, 2, 3)...

Photo courtesy of Ian Thomsen and his BS correction at the bottom of his article, yes I'm still bitter about that!