For years I’ve had to go along with the idea that the Tom Bradys and Cam Newtons of the world are the dudes who rank as “hottest athletes.” And it’s not like they offend my eyes. They just don’t ignite my loins. There’s something squarely Ken-doll about them, with their waxy musculature and hedged hair. They’re too factory-made, as if instead of penises they have shiny plastic codpieces.
But this year, an alternative breed of athletes emerged: athletes who look like hobbits. And I mean that as a compliment. I’m talking about tennis champ Andy Murray (above, left) and golfer Rory McIlroy, possessors of a raw hobbit magnetism, with their ruffled I’ve-just-been-scampering-through-the-forest hair and laissez-furry appendages. (Sure, Murray is six three, but he looks like a hot Baggins who got stretched out on a medieval torture rack.) I like imagining the deep blush that would rise in McIlroy’s squirrel cheeks were I to take hold of his putter and whisper in his ear the Elvish words of seduction: Hanuvalmet i meleth úfiron (roughly, “Let us do the immortal love act”). I envision the jealousy in Murray’s eyes ("My precious!" he screams, casting his racket into the depths of Mount Doom) when news of my night with Rory reaches him via Ringwraiths. Tom Brady? I can only picture that guy in front of a mirror fussing with his hair.