Welcome to our new Wednesday feature SwimDaily's Wide World of Weird in which we poke around the bizarro corners of the internet to find the funny, odd and downright disturbing ways the Swimsuit name or personnel have been invoked.
This week: Fan fiction
This was my first time braving the rabbit hole that is the fan fiction community and, like much of the internet, it was frightening. Then you add the "SI Swimsuit" modifier, and, well, yeah. It gets more frightening.
I'll spare you the darker stories culled from a few of our more . . . creative fans; Lord knows I spared myself. Instead, I've excerpted the flights of fancy of some other artistic souls who found literary inspiration in the pages of the Swimsuit Issue. Then a book report. And then, a marginally-related gallery.
JT is a busy dude. He is a first time SI Swimsuit photographer who is just coming back from a shoot in Tahiti; he is a pro baseball player with the Red Sox with two World Series rings; and, as most pro athletes-turned-Swimsuit photogs are, he is not only a member of something called The Brotherhood which, as far as I can tell, is an organized hierarchy of guys who hunt demons, but the heir-apparent to The Brotherhood's throne.
The Sports Illustrated people had contacted him after seeing some photos he had taken of the team behind the scenes. They said it was reminiscent of Walter Iooss, who started his career taking pictures of ballplayers before being chosen by SI for swimsuit pictures. They also liked the angle of a ballplayer being a guest photographer. They made it clear it would be one shot, but that was fine with JT, especially after the Walter Iooss compliment. It was a challenge to take a posed shot, work with the model and the amazing environment for a perfect photo.
He had been with the Red Sox for five years now; Sam and Joshua were re-negotiating his contract for another two years. The sticking point was the no trade agreement. He wanted to finish his career with the Sox. JT was not going to play baseball forever. He had been very lucky to have been playing this long, especially with his other responsibilities with The Brotherhood.
Hunters were invited to every game, whether home or away. JT's seats were filled with hunters of The Brotherhood, proud to see one of their own get some recognition even if it wasnt for saving an innocent. JT was humbled by the attention. Because of the baseball schedule he was not assigned as many hunts as others, lucky to get in one or two salt and burns on the off season. He helped on research and advising as much as possible, but JT knew it wasn't enough for the next Guardian, especially one who was a legacy. He had to prove himself a lot more than the others to show that his father had made the right decision to choose his son as his heir apparent.
"JT, don't worry, two more years is nothing."[sic] His father had told him at the farm when he had visited before going off to the Sports Illustrated shoot. "Your old man isn't going anywhere, and neither is the supernatural."
The SI aspect of the story pretty much comes to a close here, at the beginning. The story, which could take so many turns (the most obvious one being a demon possessing a model while on location and JT exorcising the force using his magic World Series ring), turns into a tragedy that has little to do with swimsuit shoots, demon-slaying, or baseball. Not to mention, one has to wonder how much JT's contract will renew for, given the likelihood of injury on these hunts—tread carefully, Cherington.
Herewith, a gallery of SI's 2006 real-life shoot in Tahiti (with real-life photographer Stewart Shining):