Jeez, The Stir seems to be the home to quite a few football haters. Women only like it because men do? Moms are raising their kids to hate football just because they don't really understand the game? Be still my football-shaped heart.
As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I've never once used football to meet a man (I actually quite enjoy watching games with my parents), will dress my child in black and gold if I ever opt to have one, and feel terribly for those who miss out on the excitement, craziness, trash talking, yelling, drinking, heart break, and newfound friendships that come along with every single NFL season.
To the haters, especially the women haters, there's also one other thing that you can't deny: Football players are hot. Really, really hot.
As Week 1 of the 2010 NFL season comes to an end, here's a roundup of the 10 sexiest players around the league. You'll find a reason to cheer on Sundays, trust me.
As a Steelers fan, I don't care much for this team, but as a woman, I can't help but love Miles Austin. Currently dating Kim Kardashian, this wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys is certainly one to watch on football weekends. That smile, those eyes, that skin tone ... he's a bonafide stud.
Reggie Bush, the star running back for the New Orleans Saints, recently returned his Heisman Trophy, the first player ever to do so. But he won a Super Bowl last year and dated Kim Kardashian before the dude pictured above him got her. All of us can see why she liked him -- no one can deny that Reggie is a whole lot of sexy. Just look at his "I'm the man" swagger and smirk. His guns are lovely too.
Mark Sanchez, quarterback for the New York Jets, is just so much fun to look at. It's hard playing any professional sport in a city like New York, but this guy seems to handle the pressure (and the fame) pretty well. He's a third-generation Mexican American and a big fan of musical theater -- he was a presenter at the 2010 Tony Awards. Manly football player who loves attending a matinee? This guy is perfect.
Wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald is always smiling. He may not be the typical, smoldering, sexy type, but how can you resist those pearly whites? And he keeps his hair long to honor his mom. On top of that, he's a genuine, spiritual person and openly grateful for the opportunities his athleticism have given him. Can't get much sexier than that.
He may be used to losing, but that doesn't make Trent Edwards, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, any less sexy. An Armenian-American (think Kim K. will go after him next?) who went to Stanford, he's suffered from quite a few concussions during his NFL career, which may or may not have affected his play, but luckily hasn't affected his good looks.
Here's the second player from the New York Jets to make the list, but just look at him, how could I not include him? Ah, Jason Taylor ... many of you most likely remember him from his sultry routines on Dancing With the Stars. But he's also gone to the Pro Bowl six times and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. Is there anything this guy can't do? Man, his dance partner was one lucky girl.
Not sure why so many quarterbacks in the league are so good-looking -- David Carr is one of them. He's played for the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants before becoming QB for the San Francisco 49ers. A first-round draft pick, he's been kind of a bust, but still good-looking enough to make our very sexy NFL player list. So take heart, Carr, I know you'll soak in this prestigious honor, as a Lombardi Trophy may not be in your immediate future.
I know, I know, long crazy hair on men can be a major turn-off, and you can't see his face in this photo, but as a Steelers fan, I just love this one. Troy Polamalu, their star Samoan safety, has an amazing body, is one of the most athletic, versatile players I've ever seen, has adulating love for his wife (damnit all), says a prayer before and after every play, has $1 million hair, is quiet, humble, and unassuming, and grows flowers and plays the piano as hobbies.
An inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Willis is one of the best defensive players in the league. He's not a big talker and doesn't make many headlines, but his statistics and Pro Bowl-worthy play speak for themselves. He's the kind of guy who looks scary and plays scary but will probably enjoy a nice cup of tea while reading Kafka and taking care of your puppy while you're away for the weekend.
Woe is me as a Steelers fan for having to add New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to this list, but it just wouldn't be complete without him. Ah, the smoldering eyes. The butt chin. The fact he's a dad. And that he's a winner and a gazillionaire. Just be sure not to mention the car crash.
I know I'm missing a lot -- Chad Ochocinco, Tony Gonzalez, Wes Welker, Tony Romo, etc. etc. -- who would you add to the list?
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