Metro Cowboy to Play Metro Athlete

namath 250 Metro Cowboy to Play Metro AthleteHollywood has appar­ently taken note of the global pub­li­city sur­round­ing über-metrosexual English foot­baller David Beckham’s arrival in Tinseltown and decided to dust off America’s own, dis­carded met­ro­sexual sports­man pro­to­type, 1960s flam­boy­ant, fur-coat wear­ing NFL quar­ter­back Joe Namath and give it the big-screen treatment.

Jake Gyllenhaal is to play Namath — pop­ularly dubbed ‘Broadway Joe’ — in a Hollywood biopic of the Hall of Fame sports­man who was the first American foot­baller to become a multi-media phenemonon and Madison Avenue model.

In other words, the actor who played a met­ro­sexual cow­boy will be play­ing the first met­ro­sexual ath­lete. It sounds per­fect cast­ing — in a post­mod­ern way. Gyllenhaal’s inab­il­ity to con­vince as a cow­boy, or a Marine, or a blue-collar NFL quar­ter­back is just more grist to the mill of the inau­thenti­city of mod­ern masculinity.

Jake’s pretty, bottom-boy looks also under­score some­thing else: how Namath really wouldn’t cut it today as an object of desire. He just isn’t attract­ive or seduct­ive or tarty enough. He looks like what he was: a reas­on­ably nice-looking 1960s quar­ter­back in a fur coat — or pantyhose.

Joe Namath’s most fam­ous ad was this eyebrow-raiser from 1974 for Beautymist pantyhose:

Apparently Namath regret­ted the ad for nylons which brought out many of his male fans in rash, des­pite its rather heavy-handed ‘I’M NOT A FAG AND THIS IS A JOKE’ mes­sage. It may have been one of the reas­ons why America, with the pos­sible excep­tion of Dennis Rodham, failed to pro­duce another ‘Broadway Joe’. That and the fact that America is some­times a more con­form­ist coun­try than Switzerland.

If this ad were to be reprised by David Beckham today you would notice the fol­low­ing differences:

  • He would look much bet­ter in pantyhose
  • He wouldn’t say ‘I don’t wear panty­hose’. And if he did, no one would believe him.
  • He wouldn’t be wear­ing any­thing else
  • He wouldn’t laugh. Fashion, as his titanium-cheekboned wife has taught him, is a very ser­i­ous busi­ness.
  • He wouldn’t be selling them to women.