Artsy Arses Are Getting Rarer
Davies, Hunter, New Statesman (1996)
I was at the Emirates Stadium being driven mad by the flashing adverts round the side of the pitch- God, they do annoy me, constantly changing every few seconds. They're now as bad at Spurs. I don't know how the players cope. Watching at home, you don't realise it, as most camera angles are taken slightly from above. In the flesh, you can't avoid them, shattering your eyeline.
So, at first, I didn't understand what this bloke in front of me was shouting at. "Look at the arse on that!" he said. How demeaning, how sexist--we don't use that sort of language at White Hart Lane.
Naturally, I turned to look where he was pointing, and it wasn't at a female fan, but a player slowly dragging himself to his feet, namely Kevin Davies of Bolton, whom Arsenal fans had been roundly booing all afternoon. Since Robbie Savage dropped divisions, fewer players get automatically booed.
And the bloke was right--Davies does have a big bum, the better, of course, to shield the ball and hold defenders off and, in his case, to use as an offensive weapon. You often hear commentators talk about an "educated left foot", but you never hear them refer to a "cultured bum" or an "artistic arse". Kenny Dalglish had one. So did Maradona.
They are rarer these days because footballers are bred taller but thinner. It is not, of course, a matter of being fat, for Kevin Davies is not fat, just broad around the beam.
Those who genuinely tend to fat get pilloried mercilessly, like Benni McCarthy of West Ham, or find themselves not getting picked, like Andy Reid, currently at Sunderland. …