Legs of steel

Let’s be perfectly clear. Men don’t buy Playboy “just” to read the articles, and I don’t go to soccer matches “just” to follow the game. There are beautiful bodies in Playboy, and there are beautiful bodies at soccer matches…and at soccer matches, at least, the beautiful bodies you see are entirely real.

Pre-game stretches

J and I usually arrive at New England Revolution matches early enough to watch on-field warm-ups. Arriving early means we have a chance to walk around Gillette Stadium before its concourses are thronged with soccer fans, and arriving early means we can get settled into our seats without missing any of the pre-game action. In our case, “pre-game action” includes people-watching, taking lots of quirky pictures, and speculating which players will start and which will be benched (a relevant point given how injury-prone the Revs have been this season). And in my case, “pre-game action” includes watching with an admiring eye while two teams of lithe and muscular guys stretch, sprint, and otherwise strut their soon-to-be-sweaty bodies around the field. Given all the ogling a red-blooded girl can do at any given soccer match, it’s important to warm up your eye-muscles beforehand.

Extreme flexibility

J and I have an unspoken understanding. He is allowed to watch and “appreciate” the shapely cheerleaders, dancers, and fan-girls associated with the teams we watch. (The New England Revolution, for instance, don’t have cheerleaders, but they have a team of girl-next-door cuties called the Revs Girls who work the crowds in tank tops, shorts, and knee-high socks: a family-friendly brand of sexiness that entertains male fans while not offending the soccer moms in attendance.) I, in exchange, am allowed to watch and “appreciate” the athletic hunks of man-flesh sporting about on the field. What’s good for the gander, after all, is good for the goose…and both genders of fowl occasionally enjoy taking a good “gander.”

Extreme stretch

“I might be married,” my mom typically says whenever I catch her “appreciating” a shapely specimen of man-flesh, “but I ain’t blind.” Or as they say in retail, “You can look, but you can’t touch.” Soccer is known as the beautiful game because of the balletic elegance of a well-played pass, successful shot-on-goal, or miracle save. But soccer is a beautiful game, too, because of the beautiful bodies that make those passes, shots, and saves: soccer’s precise combination of running, stopping, and dribbling makes for players whose legs are both roped with muscles and flexible, like weight-lifting yogis. Although basketball is my favorite game to watch, soccer players offer my favorite kind of eye-candy. Compact, wiry, and flexible, players like Emmanuel Osei with his proclivity for doing the splits in short-shorts definitely give all those soccer moms something to sigh and swoon over.

Today’s pictures come from the Revolution’s July 19th win over Chivas USA and August 1st tie with Toronto FC. Tonight’s match pits the Revs against the LA Galaxy, featuring superstar soccer-stud David Beckham. Ladies, be prepared to sigh and swoon.