Sex Marks the Spot as Packers' Ryan Pickett Takes Stand Against Internet Porn
DALLAS -- Debbie Did Dallas. Ryan Pickett is taking a pass.
What Super Bowl would be complete without a player using it as a moral platform? Last year, it was Tim Tebow and his pro-life commercial. This year it's Pickett.
Green Bay's defensive tackle not only wants to stop the Steelers this Sunday. He wants to stop pornography.
Like Tebow, this has triggered a chorus of people screaming "Butt Out!" To which I say, why so sensitive?
NFL players have campaigned against smoking, drunk driving, homelessness and numerous other causes over the years. Pickett isn't telling people not to engage in their chosen activity. Just be aware there are consequences.
As for the appropriateness, if it's okay to use the Super Bowl to promote Fritos, Budweiser and Go Daddy, why not throw in a plug for happy marriages?
Why not? Because according to the critics, the Super Bowl is supposed to be a holiday from such histrionics. Especially Super Bowl XLV.
This is Dallas, as in Debbie Does. The 1978 porn film is considered a classic of the genre. Who could forget the moving story of a small-town girl who wants to become a faux-Cowboys cheerleader and pursues that dream by any means necessary?
Dallas was home to Nate Newton, who famously said he and other Cowboys were "running a few whores" through the party house they rented.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to about 60 strip clubs. One owner said the city needs to import 10,000 strippers to handle this week's demand.
Even if Ben Roethlisberger falls off the choir boy wagon, that was a preposterously publicity-seeking number. But it played nicely into Big D's reputation.
Now look who's plopping down in the Super Bowl's lap. It's the 337-pound Pickett, preaching the gospel of the XXXChurch, an organization designed to help people struggling with porn.
It has designated Super Bowl day "National Porn Sunday." Churches across America will discuss porn and its influences. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Cowboys QB Jon Kitna also work with the group.
"I would love to be with you today," Pickett says in a video that will be shown in churches, "but fortunately I'm a little busy."
Yeah, the critics say. He should be busy worrying about the Steelers and keep his big fat concerns out of my bedroom. Or as Hines Ward said when asked if he and some teammates went to strip club Monday night:
"It's none of your business where I went."
True enough. We all have the right to pay a $20 cover, buy $12 beers and pay a hottie named Destiny $30 to iron our pants to the strains of "Pour Some Sugar on Me." But if there's nothing wrong with it, why do people get so worried somebody will spot them?
As for ordering a little porn in the privacy of your home, who wants NFL players peering in the window dressed like a bunch of Church Ladies?
"I'd tell those guys to butt out," Yahoo! Sports editorialized, "but they might blow a gasket over the terminology."
Or they might not.
"It's not to push one way or the other. You have a choice," Pickett said. "We're just giving people the other side of porn. It can lead to this and this and this."
This, like the Society of Divorce Lawyers saying Internet porn is the fastest-growing cause of business. Two out of three divorced couples now say porn was a significant factor in the breakup.
This, like the trafficking of underage prostitutes. Phoenix police broke up child prostitution ring geared toward the 2008 Super Bowl. The next year in Tampa, two men were busted for advertising a "Super Bowl Special" featuring a 14-year-old girl.
Police have put up a billboard near Cowboys Stadium this year. It shows four mug shots and reads "Dear John, You Never Know. This Could Be You."
It won't be Pickett.
"We truly believe in guarding your eyes and guarding your marriage," he said. "When you start talking to guys it's like 'Wow, I didn't know it was that serious.' A lot of families break up."
And a lot don't. Many couples say watching a porno flick makes for a nice romantic evening and even strengthens a marriage. If you can enjoy a lap dance and leave it at that, be my guest.
All Pickett is saying is that Debbie Doing Dallas often means Debbie Does Divorce, and sometimes a lot worse.
If people don't want to hear that, it says a lot more about them than Pickett.