Because I’m a single twenty-something living in a bustling Midwestern city, and also because I’m borderline obsessed with Millennials and the way we interact, I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the popular dating app Tinder. I think it’s great. It breaks dating down to its basest form (I’ve also seen this used as a criticism of Tinder, but I’m not complaining). It makes it easy to be very clear about what you’re looking for: a hookup, a relationship, a sugar daddy, someone to peg you, etc. I’ve gone on quite a few dates via Tinder and I’ve met some really great people.
But, there’s always a flip-side to something that seems this simple. I would argue that the flip-side to the convenience and ease of Tinder is dealing with fuckboys. I’ve swiped through more than my fair share of fuckboys on Tinder, and even gone out with some of them. And because of it, I’m starting to notice the amount of fuckboys that exist offline, in the real world, without the mask of Tinder to hide behind.
There are a few UrbanDictionary definitions for fuckboy, and I don’t love any of them, nor do I totally agree with them. We’re not going to argue about the archaic meanings and cultural appropriation of the term fuckboy. You know what it means just by the way you feel when someone uses the term to describe someone else.
In general, a fuckboy is immature, manipulative, and self-centered. When combined with a certain amount of athletic prowess, these traits often manifest themselves in the professional athletes we admire.
I would argue that the founding father of professional-athlete fuckboys is Wilt Chamberlain. He became the highest paid player upon his entrance into the NBA, the first to make more than $100,000 a year. He was known for staying out late and missing morning shoot-arounds (a habit which he eventually corrected). When he became a Laker, he built a million-dollar Bel-Air mansion that has been described as a mini-Playboy Mansion – complete with all the debauchery the title implies. One story from Los Angeles Times columnist, David Shaw, states that Chamberlain was at dinner with Shaw and his wife, acting “rude and sexist toward his own date, as he usually was”. The story goes on to say Chamberlain left the table to get the phone number of a woman that caught his eye at another table. Classic fuckboy fodder.
Here’s the thing about fuckboys – when you’re talented, you can get away with it. Chamberlain was a superstar; he remains the only player to score 100 points in a game. Everything we know about the modern celebrity athlete originated with him. He made people want to come out to a game just to witness his size, his swagger, and his stardom, at a time when the NBA was basically a minor league. He may have saved the NBA from going out of business. For that, fans and front offices alike were able to overlook his insatiable appetite for the good life like claims of bedding 20,000 women in his lifetime.
So for your entertainment pleasure, here are some of my favorite modern day fuckboys:
You had to know I was going to start with good ol’ Johnny Football, Texas’s favorite fuckboy. He hails from oil money, which gave him his “I’m-untouchable” attitude and a swarm of lawyers to back him up. At Texas A&M, Manziel was a record-breaking, Heisman trophy-winning quarterback, but he made sure we paid attention to his antics both on and off the field. He dipped out halfway through Manning Passing Academy after oversleeping (read: hungover). It was suspected that he accepted payments for signing autographs. He checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction. He threw a water bottle at a heckler during a charity golf tournament. Recently, an image surfaced of him rolling up a dollar bill in a club bathroom (for safekeeping, probably). And please, please, let’s never forget the Scooby-Doo costume. Manziel’s NFL struggles and injuries (and current domestic dispute with a very drunk girlfriend) smell like fuckboy retribution to me.
Can we overlook this? Yes, if you’re looking for entertainment. No, if you’re looking for a solid NFL quarterback.
Only a fuckboy would deflate game balls in order to win.
Can we overlook this? Yes because Super Bowl wins.
Ventura was our ace in Kansas City during the incredible 2014 postseason run. He was ice cold, seemingly unfazed by the pressure of being a rookie starting pitcher on an underdog team that the city hung 29 years’ worth of hopes of on. Expectations were deservedly high for him for 2015. Not two weeks into the 2015 season, with $23 million over five years burning a hole in his pocket, the fuckboy-ery started to become apparent. He got ejected from a game against the Oakland A’s for intentionally hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch. The very next day, Ventura got mouthy with White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and incited a bench-clearing brawl. He was again ejected along with five other players and was eventually suspended seven games. Ventura was pitching so poorly that he got sent to the minor leagues in the middle of the summer – only to be called back the very next day when his replacement got injured. That’s some fuckboy magic right there.
Can we overlook this? Yes, if he pitches ONE GAME this postseason like he did in 2014.
DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins
In 2012, the dawn of Cousins’ NBA career with the Sacramento Kings, Boogie was sent home from a game from then-head coach Paul Westphal, and publicly demanded to be traded (then later denied it). A few days later, Westphal was fired from the Kings, reportedly because of his rocky relationship with the team’s new star. In November of that same year, he was suspended two games for confronting a member of the media in a hostile manner. In December, he was suspended again for unprofessional behavior. In 2012, he posted impressive offensive numbers while he led the NBA with 16 technical foul infractions. Since then, Boogie has continued to dominate on the court and seems to have cleaned his act up-a bit-off of it (with the exception of one suspension in February 2014 for punching an opposing player in the stomach). A true coming-of-age story for fuckboys everywhere.
Can we overlook this? No one cares, the Kings suck.
It’s a tale as old as time. Boy becomes youngest golfer to win the Masters. Boy becomes youngest golfer to win a Career Grand Slam (winning all four professional major championships in his career). Boy gets Nike sponsorship. Boy makes golf cool. Boy meets Swedish model. Boy marries Swedish model. Boy runs his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree and Swedish model chases after him and breaks the back window of the SUV with a golf club. Over the next few days, dozens of women claim to have affairs with boy. Boy is disgraced and loses several sponsorships. Boy admits infidelity and takes an indefinite break from golf. Boy returns, but now he looks tired, old and has all sorts of problems (back, girl, and golf problems).