Newsbreak: Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal regrets posing topless for New York Magazine. Look, I didn't actually know who Rafael Nadal was before he posed topless for New York Magazine except that he is an Olympic athlete and now he has broken the record for shortest length of time between the appearance of said photo on newsstands and the supposed expression of dismay that said photo would ever appear on newsstands. "He is fine with being a sex symbol," a "source" tells MSNBC gossip Courtney Hazlett. "but New York took it a bit further than he was comfortable with."* Oh Jesus Christ.Okay, so yesterday we reported how Nadal's nonsubtle Adonisy photoshoot was actually a calculated effort on the part of his corporate overlord Nike to make him more marketable as a pitchman of clothes that are not made of space-aged lightweight wick-friendly flubber or whatever people are supposed to be "working out" in these days.** But Nike has had a lot of problems this Olympics. Namely: it does not sponsor Michael Phelps, it does not sponsor Shawn Johnson, and it does not sponsor Nastia Liukin. You are going to have to trust me when I say this FREAKS THEM THE FUCK OUT. One former Nike executive we know even blames the $19 billion athletaspirationalism peddler's relevance insecurity for its inexplicable Orwellian internet manhunt of the anonymous troll who suggested it forced underperforming runner Liu Xiang to drop out of the games:
It's like they didn't have the right athletes this time and there is always so much pent-up angst there (I would know right?) so they had to something to call attention to themselves.
They just need some attention! Negative attention works too!!*** So anyway, back to Nadal. It worked for Miley Cyrus, right? I mean, she milked the inane "scandal" of posing for those "scandalous"**** Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair photos all the way through a ludicrous milkfest culminating in a dramatic July 21 "revisitation" (seriously!) of her "decision" and "what she had learned" on Good Morning America. Whatevs! Bottom line: like Miley Cyrus, Rafael Nadal just looked totally freaking hot in a non-trashy way, which is something no one ever regrets, even, I suspect, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, who says she regretted (and probably should regret!) posing in that glamorous Vanity Fair shoot back in the yellowcake era, but you know she actually looks at those pictures and thinks to herself, "Damn." And if she had corporate sponsors they would no doubt be thinking the same. [MSNBC]
*The item goes on to assert that there will be "a trickle-down effect to the Nadal cover that he probably never anticipated: Other celebrity athletes are rethinking their commitments to appearing prominently in magazines outside of their niche" and cites some Roger Federer diva behavior as an example. This is bullshit. **This makes sense as, also yesterday, some publicist sent us a picture of Maria Sharapova wearing a Cole Haan dress to some party. Sharapova of course is, like Nadal, a beautiful tennis player who is paid gazillions of dollars by Nike, and Nike owns Cole Haan. ***Um, case in point: this story. ****Dear anyone who thought those photos were inappropriate: allow me to introduce you to this thing called MySpace.