Sports Illustrated Finally Explains Wanton Danica Tattoo RemovalS

In a shining example of investigative journalism, CNBC's Darren Rovell attached himself, chimplike, to Sports Illustrated's haunches until the magazine finally explained why they Photoshopped away Danica Patrick's SI swimsuit issue ass tattoo.

The photo above left shows how Danica appeared in 2008's SI swimsuit edition, with her U.S./NASCAR flag flying proudly. This year's edition however; no Old Glory. What gives, asked a horny and puzzled nation? SI first said nothing, and then admitted they removed it, but offered no explanation for the act. But today they cracked.

"The Swimsuit Issue emphasizes natural beauty," the SI spokesman told CNBC. "The freckles are left on and, in this case, the tattoos came off."

And tonight, America sleeps the sleep of full disclosure.

In case you're wondering where our leader was today, I'm told that he was moving. If you helped him lug his many boxes of cleaning products and romance novels, he's very grateful, and hopes that he can return the favor sometime. But he's not driving you to the airport!

Thank you for your continued support of Deadspin, and for not suing us too often. See you tomorrow when our Camp Northstar lunch special will be "some kind of beef."

Sports Illustrated Responds To Taking Off Danica's Tattoo [CNBC]
Danica Patrick Tattoo Update [Gunaxin]