Follow the bouncing bikini

Unlike Reese's peanut butter cups, it's not always the case that two great things go great together. For example, people usually like sex and people usually like dogs, but who wants to see them combined?

There's appears to be a lot of fretting from women's basketball circles about the new Bikini Basketball League and its claim that it will compete directly with the WNBA, and the usual internet louts and lunkheads egging it on. I have quite literally zero worry about this league, and no one else should either. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi can sleep soundly at night, unconcerned that someone named "Champagne" is going to to take their place on the Olympic team or even fill the VIP room at the Emperor's Club, much less fill (or even half-fill) an NBA sized arena.

But aren't you even worried a little? you might ask. No. This is a league that quite literally has no audience. If you want to see hot babes in bikinis or less there are tons of places one can go in real life and the internet, and those babes would be a lot hotter than anyone in this league. If you want to see real female athletes play basketball at the highest level, there are tons of places one can go in real life and the internet, and those players would take any of the players in this league - which will be composed of at best DII or DIII players or Jenny McCarthy's sister - to school.

The only people who would be interested in such a thing would be those who have always wanted both, and I can't imagine such a narrow demographic. At least the Lingerie Football League has the "women fighting each other" fetishists who will watch it, what's going to be the draw for this new league? Bruised up women in weaves trying to execute the pick and roll? No census taker could find that demographic, and unless the founders of this league can weave straw into gold, there have to be about a million other ways to make easier money.

Sexy sports leagues fall peril to two problems. There are very few smoking hot sports babes for the same reason that there are very few smoking hot *anything*, male or female. So a league will always be pulled into one of two directions:

a) Get sexier. In which case, why have the pretense of a sport at all? Sport is inherently unsexy. Blood, bruises, sweat, dirt, fractures and muscle tears are the order of the day.
b) Get sportier. If team owners see any benefit in winning, then they're going to want the best players possible. And like everything else in life, the best players are not necessarily sexy. In which case a sexy sports league transforms itself by increments into an ordinary sports league.

There are those who believe that the bikinis alone will be enough to rake in the cash, a chimera of a belief that persists out of wish fulfillment. To that, I have a three word answer: "professional beach volleyball". There have been two leagues that have started and folded, if I recall correctly, and if women who were great athletes, generally great looking, and who had a legitimate reason for wearing bikinis couldn't keep such a league going, then bikinis + sport isn't the magic bullet. The louts and lunkheads might love ass shots of women's beach volleyball players and paste them all over the internet but that doesn't translate into any interest in the sport, or at least none that anyone could make pay.

Women won't watch it.
Men won't watch it. (See above on beach volleyball.)
No one will take their kids to see it.
Who's left? Nobody.

Let's put it this way. I'm as worried about Bikini Basketball as I was about that "whites only" basketball league that some yahoo proposed. Maybe they should try an all-jockstrap league for those guys who couldn't make it in basketball any other way. I wouldn't watch it - but I'm sure you'd have a better chance of finding a demographic for it.

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