Sad Girls On ESPN
December 8, 2011 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Sad Girls On ESPN
A single-serving tumblog (because the world needs more of those) that follows the odd trend of ESPN and other sports networks showing pictures of sad-looking girls as filler whenever the home team is losing. It's not high art or anything, but it's fun. I do the caption writing and theme designing, the sad girls are either my captures or from elsewhere on the internet. My brother daniel striped tiger also occasionally contributes on captions.
Role: Writer, Designer, Screencapper
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew (16 comments total)

I like the concept.I think I'd like it even more without the captions. Some of them feel a lot more mean than funny ("designated fat friend?" Seriously?) and it kind of kills my enjoyment of the idea itself.
posted by Shepherd at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2011

Yeah, and the fact that they're nearly all SEC games and there's some blatant anti-Southern shit going on doesn't help. "DID ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR RACIST FRIENDS DIE OR SOMETHING?" Seriously? Dr. Honeydew, just because someone is from the south doesn't mean they're racist. And saying so just makes you look stupid, and not funny. I'm afraid your Tumblr is mostly adding up to LOL SOUTHERN WOMEN, and let me tell you, as a Southern woman, we are not amused.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:54 AM on December 8, 2011

Upon discussion, I'm here to tell you that you really should call this a joint project between me and the brother. I hadn't realized how much stuff he was putting in the post queue. Sourcin' captions and stuff. He does a lot.

Shepherd, that's an interesting thought, certainly about the tone of the captions (I don't think i'm going to get rid of them for now, although that might be an ego thing. I'm gonna consider it). I was also considering moving them to the alt-text of the photos, XKCD/Three Word Comics/etc. style, so they're there, but not there there.

That said, we are still working on figuring out this thing's 'voice,' so to speak. I don't think mean is ever the tone we were going for. Not trying to make fun of these girls. Might have to re-evaluate the backlog a little bit. This thing is young yet.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:59 AM on December 8, 2011

Agree with the above. Idea's good, captions are vaguely offensive (anti-southern bias, patronizing/misogynistic terms of endearment) which could maybe be overlooked if they were, you know, funny.
posted by toomuchpete at 10:01 AM on December 8, 2011

Yeah they're nearly all SEC games because I am from the south, and those are the games I was watching. My mother, aunt, cousins, and grandmother are from Alabama. Cool your jets, please, and maybe don't try and speak for every southern woman.

And, like I said, the goal was never mean. A little patronizing, sure, but not overtly mean. Trying to find that line means crossing it occasionally. It's why i'm showing it to other people to see what their thoughts are, and I appreciate constructive thoughts (even if they tell me it has problems), but not hyperbole.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:20 AM on December 8, 2011

They don't really look much sadder than the guys around them. So, I suppose what's interesting about the trend is what ESPN is doing, not the girls. But these posts all seem to be making fun of the girls for simply being on camera and reacting the same way everyone else is. None of them address the entity that's making the trend happen.
posted by ignignokt at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2011

It’s okay, Jackie. I’d be bummed too if my son was a thief and my husband was a crook. Let’s go buy you an ice cream and get you all cheered up.

Yes, we have to buy it.

Not sure if Cam Newton and his father are actually convicted thieves, but to the uninformed, this seems like some racist shit. Combined with the misogynistic tone you guys use when captioning the photos, this tumblr has a really offensive vibe. You have to think about presenting this to a worldwide audience. Where I'm from, addressing women as 'babe' and 'sugarplum' is bad. Talking about their giant boobs is much worse.
posted by Think_Long at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

yea, all the captions are really talking down to the women. Are they not supposed to get as involved in sports as the menfolk are? It's an interesting observation that espn likes to use these shots, but you're really not helping it with the whole "don't you worry your pretty little head cupcake" thing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:05 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

like I said, the goal was never mean. A little patronizing, sure, but not overtly mean

Well showing someone being upset about something and then making fun of them is kind of inherently mean. The fact that some of the caption jokes are only about insulting the person in the image, and almost all of them at least call the person an insulting name, does not really help things. Just posting the images themselves would not necessarily have a mean tone but with the captions that's what it seems like to me.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:10 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Upon reflection/discussion, you guys are right about the tone. This is not my normal kind of humor, and apparently one i'm not too good at, cause I get too mean and too juvenile. You don't win 'em all.

We went to a different kind of caption that we hope a)pokes fun at the picture more than the person, b)isn't as mean and c)tries to emphasize that this is a weird thing that ESPN does, not just an excuse to shit on folks.

So yeah.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:31 PM on December 9, 2011

It's better.
posted by Think_Long at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2011

Yeah, agreed, it's a concept I love but the original execution of the captions was a huge turnoff for me. The new caption approach is much more on an absurdist commenting-on-the-media-phenomenon wavelength that feels like funny sports-media criticism that I can get behind, rather than just taking easy shots at strangers on the television. Glad you reworked it.
posted by cortex at 11:36 PM on December 10, 2011

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

I think one of the major problems that we were having is that while my brother and I do make kind-of-mean jokes in person, we do not have the luxury of you knowing us and understanding that we're not mean people, generally, and that every time we make jokes like this it's much more to exploit a funny turn of phrase or a goofy idea than to shit on others for our own amusement. Not to mention that in real life a joke like this crops up once every week or two, not at 10am and 4pm daily. Tone is an incredibly hard thing to get right on the internet, and I think we got it wrong this time.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 10:49 AM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

hey nice work on the new captions, and good on you guys for taking the criticism gracefully, I totally respect that.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:02 AM on December 12, 2011

Didn't vote for it before, voting for it now.
posted by box at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2011

I didn't see it before the change, but I really like the captions. “THE SAD GIRL CERBERUS” in particular is fucking genius.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:25 PM on January 5, 2012

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