Somebody wake Dan Jenkins from his afternoon nap and fetch his slippers because there's a wayward PGA penis on the loose. Proud sportswriters, please test that 2011 resolution to ignore this type of tawdry checkbook journalism.
By now, most of you in the mainstream media are inured to the ethical compromises that Deadspin and other information outlets of ill repute make. You hold yourselves at a safe remove and then report not necessarily on our stories themselves but on the "distractions" they cause. It's a nice arrangement, and I'm not complaining, and I'm certainly not advocating that you adopt our methods. But if you so choose, what follows is a little primer on how to root around in the muck.
Below is a back-and-forth with a shadowy email figure who calls himself "Norton Newport," followed by a checklist to determine the item's newsworthiness:
So what do we know:
* The dong-sender is American
* He was married at the time
* This happened a few years ago
* He's somewhat vain since this person suggests he sent a picture of his whole naked body instead of just a cock
* It's worth more than $242 to this person, less than that to us
* He's probably not extremely well known except to those who follow the PGA tour
So here are the list of American Ryder Cup captains since 1993:
1993 Tom Watson
1995 Lanny Wadkins
1997 Tom Kite
1999 Ben Crenshaw
2002 Curtis Strange
2004 Hal Sutton
2006 Tom Lehman
2008 Paul Azinger
2010 Corey Pavin
As hilarious and odd it would be to find out that this particular dong-slinger was Tom Watson, let's err on the side of "no fucking way." And Tom Kite's probably not the culprit, either, unless his Lasik eye surgery enabled him to finally see that, shit, for a middle-aged guy without both his giant glasses and a stitch of clothing, he looks pretty damn good. Maybe your instinct at this point is to dismiss the story, but consider these potential newspegs before you do:
* Did anyone on this list openly criticize Tiger Woods for his extra-marital activities? (Hypocrisy!)
* Would this behavior contradict this individual's public persona? (Hypocrisy!)
* Does anyone on this list have an endorsement contract that would possibly be impacted by this behavior? (It's a business story!)
* Has this behavior had any impact on the person's golf game? (It's a sports story!)
* Would Jim Gray be happy to know this type of information? (It's a Jim Gray story!)
As we've seen firsthand, cellphone-donging among professional athletes is extremely popular and a perfect trend piece for any sportswriter looking to keep up with the Joneses and the Joneses' penises. Perhaps it's something you're not comfortable writing about at this time. So be it. At the very least, though, this information is worth knowing if, say, you're putting together a fluffy feature story on one of the players listed above, no? (On a related note: If you generally question the relevance of an athlete's private life, you should ask yourself if you — or your publication — has ever deemed an athlete's blissful domestic relations worthy of coverage. If you have, then you — or your publication — have already ceded the argument.)
For us, we will most likely pass on this particular dong. However, for those sports journalists — both established and aspiring — the contact information for "Norton Newport" is right here if you're willing to pay the price. Make the determination yourselves if it's worth it or not.
Thanks for your continued support of Deadspin. Happy 2011. I think it's gonna be a great year. For everybody.