We Never Met A Meme We Didn’t Like
When the Ryan Kesler nude pic story first splashed last week, our Vancouver bureau chief’s reporting dominated the first news cycles and he was responsible for the biggest traffic day in PuckBuddys history. A week later, @GayCanuck, still owns the story. Kesler’s rippling muscles is the picture that launched a thousand parodies. -Craig
“Ryan Kesler’s nude photo for ESPN Magazine may have been a 24-hour curiosity in his home country, but here in Canada it has become national news. There on the CBC National evening news two days ago was anchor Peter Mansbridge reporting on Ryan Kesler’s rippling, nude, athletic body while the photo was broadcast on television screens across the country. Nearly every national Canadian newspaper — as well as every newspaper in British Columbia — had something to say about Kesler’s muscular, toned ass.
That spawned thousands of blog articles, most by straight men clinging to the hope that within 24 hours they would no longer have to write about or look at that photograph ever, ever, EVER again.
Instead, a whole Nude Kesler meme has sprung to life among Canucks fans, bloggers and sports writers.
Naturally, this meme has taken the form of Photoshopping Kesler’s nude body onto other photos. Some of them are downright funny, others are slightly disturbing.
Of the funnier ones I found, it’s a toss-up between the laughing Sedins and the image that shows Ryan superimposed on a screen shot of a hockey game on TV that just happens to be displaying “Too Much Man” below the score.
In what looks like the opening scene from a Bel Ami movie, another image shows Luongo, in full goalie gear, hosing down Nude Kesler in someone’s swanky back yard with the caption “Shower! Shower! Shower!”
And in the Creepy category is the image of Gary Bettman with two Nude Keslers hanging from him like baby monkeys.
No Canucks hockey meme would be complete without a riot photo. In one of the more creative mashups, Ryan has been inserted into the foreground of that iconic image of the lovers pushed to the ground during the Vancouver hockey riot.
And then there’s the Blingee image I discovered on Tumblr which looks to have been created by a Bieber-loving tween. Covered in “I ♥ You” graphics, it depicts Nude Kesler with … Nude Chara! It’s quite unsettling while being oddly alluring at the same time.
Even Lululemon got in on the act, releasing it’s own spoof of Nude Kesler using their Amabassador, Jenn Thiel, as the naked model.
How are Ryan’s teammates handling all this attention to his butt-nakedness? By teasing him, of course! During a recent open practice at Rogers Arena, Kevin Bieksa went up to the open microphone and announced to everyone in attendance: “I hope you enjoyed the practice as much as you enjoyed Kesler’s nudes.” Indeed!
What started as a “Kesler photo-bomb” — where Ryan pops into view, shirtless and mugging for the camera, during post-game interviews with teammates — has now morphed into a full-fledged Nude Kesler movement that doesn’t appear to be slowing down. No, it’s only just begun.
Where will Nude Kesler appear next? With Halloween around the corner, perhaps the Canucks Store will sell Nude Kesler costumes, which would include only a large, foam block of granite.
I’m certain the Green Men will use Nude Kesler against opponents in the penalty box to great effect.
And for Don Cherry, I’ve gone to the trouble of designing a new jacket for him that’s covered in little nude Keslers that he can wear for HNIK: Homo Nucks Into Kesler.
-We insist that you follow our man in Van on twitter: @GayCanuck