AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.

Like most anyone who follows sports, yesterday's Los Angeles Times piece from columnist Mike Penner about his impending de-penising was a little jarring, to say the least. This had to be a tough column to write. It's essentially writing an obituary for yourself and a brutal, honest confessional hurled out to a readership (not a small one either) and, sadly, asking them to accept you. Sports fans, no less. I know they're LA sports fans, but still, you don't see that many transgendered people at Laker games. Maybe, like, four at the most.

Anyway, as some of you may know, I've got a fill-in gig over at the cuddly little blogstop called Eat the Press for the week. So, as any good substitute blogger pretending to know something about "media news," I did a post about Mr. Penner's announcement. This particular post made the HuffPo proper and subsequently was assessed commenting status. Here are two of the most passionate:

AJ, this is a pathetic piece of writing. You display that you know nothing about what it's like to be transgendered/transsexual, and your callous one-offs do nothing but reinforce tired stereotypes. Extra minus points for the incredibly offensive picture accompanying this piece of drivel. Trans people display more courage than you will ever know, and it's sickening that I even have to take you to task for this. I expect better from HuffPo writers. Big thumbs down!


It is A.J. Daulerio who pasted that photo on to the LA Times story. It is disingenuous at best, and yellow journalism at its worst. Where AJ's words are carefully chosen to supply the double entendre, the picture removes all doubt that he is making fun of someone who is struggling with a very difficult problem. Let's hope Mr. Daulerio's children never have to suffer the degradation he delivers in his sophomoric column. Does he giggle and point at "retards" and "freaks" too? Nature can be very unfair to its children. We don't need cruel, insensitive people like A.J. Daulerio to make their lives even more unbearable. Grow up, Mr Perfect, before someone kicks your ass until your tits bleed.


Granted, I didn't expect a "Ladies..." or a "No, no, yes, no" kind of response, but holy Colbert-on-a-cross, Huffpolice. Here's the thing: Mr. Penner's column was probably one of the gutsiest things I've ever read. Best part about it is, he obviously doesn't care at all what anybody thinks anymore, let alone, me. But in my mind, dude's got balls that could crumble buildings with one heaving swing (for a few weeks, at least) and if I ever have a thimble of the amount of courage and self-awareness that heshe has, I'd consider myself a pretty fucking awesome human being.


For now, it's back to the puppy-kicking grind.

So this week, I'm updating my Group Hug diary, saying 12 Hail Marys and placing odds on the next mind-blowing confession offered up by a sports writer in print.


Come on, Rus, let's go find yer sister, after this jump...

Mike Lupica Admits to Premature Ejaculation: 2/1

Mike Lupica: paisan, Whitlock tormentor and pump-pump chumper. Entirely possible, but would he admit it? The New York Daily News sports columnist has become progressively more and more cranky over the years and shows all the outward signs of a man who couldn't satisfy a woman if the life of his children depended on it. Think of all of the high-profile players he bashes, his constant need to be negative and, obviously, the moderate dwarfism. Would anybody be surprised if Lupica couldn't ride in a car with a heated seat without exploding all over himself? But this type of confession coming from a man who prides himself on being a hard-edged columnist, a man's man and always right, this type of confession would be completely implausible. However it's totally, 100 percent true. Ask Filip Bondy.


Jemele Hill 'Fesses She's White: 4/1

Hey girl! Congrats on your award! I'm sorry, but Jemele Hill is just too good to be true. She's not only one of the most successful "black" sportswriters, but also a LADY black person sportswriter. (And she's good, too.) I don't buy it. So, don't let the braids and the whole Da Brat-thing fool you. At night after work, Jemele plops down on her IKEA couch, throws on her Five for Fighting records and sifts through the J. Crew catalog. Only after she's taken off the industrial-strength spray tan she's got on, of course. Do you know how badly that stuff stains carpets? Ask Filip Bondy again.


Tom Sorensen Confesses He Likes to Attend Mandingo Parties: EVEN

This Charlotte Observer columnist has all the impressions of a nice suburban Carolina family man, however, look behind that Mariucci-smile and you'll see an American Beauty-like palor. Tom needs some action — something not Carolina-bland or two-car garage lifeless. And "Tom Talks" just ain't gonna cut it. That's why, pretty soon, we'll see a very open, honest and completely horrifying blog post about how he, Tom Sorensen, has become addicted to Mandingo Parties. Sometimes one just isn't enough...


Sheldon Ocker Confesses He's a Frotteurist: 1/4

If you're in the Akron area, stay away from the spike brush hair of Sheldon Ocker. For, in an upcoming column, the lifelong Beacon Journal sportswriter will admit that he compulsively seeks out large groups of people so he can seductively rub up against them — without warning. He'll admit to stuffing himself into crowded elevators, taking two rush hour bus trips, and attending standing room only concerts just so he can get himself some of that sweet, sweet stranger rub. Ocker will admit he's a menace, but he just can't help himself. Once again, STAY AWAY from Sheldon Ocker. You too, Bondy.