Since my very first day at this very fine publication, I have assumed the role of staff Laird Hamilton guy. I’m our point person when it comes to Laird. I keep tabs on his highness and share them during meetings. (Last weekend, he did dinner at Chateau Marmont. Ordered the seabass. No dessert.) And I muse on him regularly. So it’s only fair that I share my thoughts on his nude appearance in ESPN’s annual Body Issue.
My thoughts: it’s bullshit.
It’s bullshit because I feel like ESPN would have already featured Laird in the Body Issue. It’s bullshit because they were gaining momentum after featuring Stephanie Gilmore and Coco Ho. It’s bullshit because we’re all looking at a photograph of a 51-year-old man SUPing naked with his wife. I find it to be a personal insult to Lairdists world over. A true disgrace.
What are you even trying to accomplish here, ESPN? Are you trying to showcase the unguarded anatomical being of some of the world finest athletes? Well, you’re doing a bad job at that because Laird is old and that’s not even a definitive photo of the man’s physique anyway. Are you trying to make people horny? Well, you’re doing a bad job at that because I’ve been to youporn and let me tell you, if you search the wrong thing on there you’ll end up in a very uncomfortable place… Are you trying to frazzle a somewhat portly Online Editor? Then job well done.
I demand you re-shoot it. Order a cease and desist on every site that has posted this photo. It’s the internet, people forget about shit in like three minutes. So make it go away. Then re-release it, this time with unapologetic hog a la that one scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Blast the whole entire world in the face with a Laird Hamilton full-frontal. It’ll be banned in Syria. Worshiped in Japan (a penis parade down the streets of Tokyo!). Contemplated by Latvia and praised, albeit begrudgingly, in the U.S. of A. You can even model it after that time he got naked and rescued a guy at Jaws. People love reenactments — any of you bozos ever seen Locked Up Abroad?
And that, ESPN, is how you feature Laird Hamilton in a Body Issue. Thank me later. —Brendan Buckley