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Erin Andrews and the sex obsessed

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Without checking elsewhere, how many of you know who Erin Andrews is and why her story is all over the blogosphere and has spilled into the mainstream media?

Give up? Keep reading.

Andrews is an ESPN sideline reporter not known for anything besides the fact that straight men think she's uber-hot. Blogs that cater to straight sports fans know she's a traffic generator, and on any blog, page views are king. Deadspin, a site I enjoy and visit almost daily, has run 102 posts on her in three years and by my rough count has easily amassed more than 2 million total page views. A gratuitous screen capture of her in 2007 eating a foot-long sandwich (titled "Assorted Cold Cut Poon." How classy!) got 158,000; one post with a photo of her in a tight sweater got 171,000.

Deadspin is far from the only blog to drool over her, with often nothing more than a shot of her ass or tits and a sentence or two. Even corporate-owned sites have gotten in on the act; Sports Illustrated devoted an entire photo gallery to Andrews at the ESPYs. A Google blog search of "Erin Andrews" yields 2.1 million results, most of the posts with the sophistication level of jokes in a junior high cafeteria. She's famous because she's hot and guys want to screw her.

Now these same blogs are doing a little soul searching after video appeared that showed Andrews naked in her hotel room. The video was shot by some creep through a peephole. TMZ (who else?) has six videos and they "raise the suspicion that the person who shot them may have been familiar with her work schedule and may have been traveling with her." ESPN is investigating.

The same blogs that promoted all Andrews all the time have suddenly sobered up and realized some things cross the line. I could find none that were linking to the video, most claiming they didn't want to invade their privacy or avoid legal action (Deadspin threatened to ban any commenter who posted links). The hypocrisy is pretty rich -- "Cold Cut Poon" is acceptable, posting a link to a video all of a sudden is an invasion of privacy. (As a side note, I would advise not searching for these naked videos since spammers and hackers have figured out a way to attached malware and viruses to copies).

I know the vast majority of Outsports readers would yawn if Andrews came into their room naked, then would tell her to put a robe on. But I have to admit this incident (and reading how much Andrews has been mentioned on websites the past few years) crystallized something for me the more I thought about it -- I am sick of the straight people (and some gays) who harp that it's just gay men who are sex-obsessed.

This charge has been leveled at Outsports by those who object to us running photo galleries that often feature shirtless jocks. These same people seem to think straight guys prefer women in petticoats or burkas (ever hear of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue?). We make no apologies for our galleries, which are of athletes at their competitions, not beautiful sideline reporters who should be a sideshow but are instead the main attraction on some sites.

The obsession with Andrews has been about nothing other than sex. Sports Media Watch did a terrific analysis of the Andrews affair, reaching this conclusion:

Certainly, there are very few -- one would hope none -- in the sports media who support the blatant infringement of Andrews' right to privacy. But when someone is valued solely for their looks -- and becomes a prominent figure solely for their looks -- is it really surprising when members of the fringe of society go over the line?

I hope this incident at least gets everyone to admit that it's men -- gay, straight or bi -- who are focused on sex, and that no one has the high moral ground. As I've often said, it's a guy thing, not a gay thing. In the case of at least one Erin Andrews fan, unfortunately, it's a sick and twisted obsession.