The economics of an athlete's groin photo

Gregory Shamus

Today we're reminded of a lot of things about Brett Favre that we'd just as soon forget as he inches his way back into the national spotlight. This is a man who set every NFL passing record during his time in the league, and also set the market price for the perceived value of pictures of nude male athletes.

Recently I became unlucky enough to count myself as a member of the elite fraternity of people who have received emails from someone who is trying to sell a picture of a nude male athlete. Now before you go accusing me of an A1 humble-brag let me tell you, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. These guys play hardball.

You may have once been a red-blooded, eight-year old American who found a Danny Tartabull rookie card. Most of us were, but none of us knew that all of our friends also had Danny Tartabull rookie cards because they put them in every goddamn Topps box set. That's why they were worth one penny, but we thought they were worth hundreds of dollars. I'm not saying that every picture of an athlete's penis is worth one cent, in fact a rookie year Danny Tartabull dick Polaroid would probably be worth several times more. What I am saying is there is a dick picture bubble and it's already burst, but no one told the sellers.

If you are currently in possession of a picture of an athletes penis, first of all, please go let your dog out of the car. Second, you probably start with an email like this seeking online penis purchasers:

Dick Picture-Haver- Hey great site haha. Anyways I've got a picture of Sav Rocca's dick already have several offers what could you give me for it?

Website- Can you please tell me more about the picture?

Dick Picture-Haver- It's a picture of Sav Rocca's dick. You can tell it's him because this bartender use to sleep with him and there's an Australian or New Zealand flag or whatever on the wall in the bckgrnd haha. Let me know what you can pay I've got a couple offers already but I like your website so I'm willing to go a little cheaper for you all let me know asap.

As reputable as they may seem, there is no worse negotiator than Anonymous Dick Picture Salesperson. In their eyes, they have all the leverage, they are the ones who knock. There is also perhaps no more easily offended profession than Anonymous Dick Picture Salesperson. They will honestly get their feelings hurt if you offer them less than five figures for a picture of a man's penis who plays a sport on television.

I like to think that on more than one occasion, Tony Kornheiser sat down on his plush brown leather office chair, delicately put on his shaded bifocals, and used a letter opener to slice into a sealed manilla envelope sent from an anonymous source only to find a series of pictures of Wes Unseld's crotch. "What a scoop!" He'd say, and then slit his wrists. Then Deadspin had to go and give ten grand for the Favre pictures and now everyone thinks they have what it takes to make it in the industry.

Anonymous Dick Picture Salesperson probably hasn't considered the law of supply and demand. If there's one thing that ChatRoulette has taught us, it's that the market is saturated. The fact that it is attached to a famous person certainly makes it more marketable, but we're talking about millions of fish in the dick picture sea here.

As far a demand goes, I think many athlete crotchshot salespeople are underestimating the real market. Given that most sports-related websites out there do well in the 18-35 y/o male demographics, they are surprisingly not really clamoring for more pictures of dicks. If you take the pictures to TMZ they will likely only be interested in the biggest stars, not the special teams player your friend sexted after meeting them at a bachelorette party.

Given these unimpeachable economic realities, negotiating the true value of a dick picture can tricky. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

1. Is there anything unusual about the dick or the picture?

If it's a very small or very large penis, the photo is worth more. If it's small it's worth even more because people like to laugh at things.

Also, if there's something like Crocs, an English Bulldog or a collection of Trolls in their original boxes in the background the value of the picture goes up obviously.

2. Is the face included?

Most people have gotten smart and only send pictures of the lower half of their bodies. Half-body pictures make for headlines like "Is this [player's] dick?" and no one really wants to click on that since it implies you have a keen interest in helping to determine whether or not the dick in question actually belongs to that player, with every pageview implying yet another person who believes they could confirm or deny the verdict.

3. Is the picture newsworthy for anything besides just a picture of a dick?

If the subject of the picture has appeared in numerous anti-dick picture PSAs and after-school specials, the price of the photo goes up. If it can be used to say, demonstrate a pattern of sexual harassment among coworkers, congrats it's worth more money.

If you hit the Holy Trinity of all three of these categories you got lucky. For example a full-body shot of Tebow with a tiny penis splayed out in Hernandez's flophouse with the murder weapon on the ground might get you $10k from TMZ but would more likely get subpoenaed by the Massachusetts State Police where you'd need to appear on TruTV and defend how it's definitely a picture of Tebow's dick under a brutal cross-examination. However, your mint condition Eli Manning, from the neck down, average penis, hamster cage in the background, with the water-dish almost dry is only $20. Somewhere in the middle, your original print Andy Reid, full body, ceiling mounted angle, flaccid, with Andy laying spread-eagle on a Hooter's towel could net you up to $200.

I hope this has helped bring some reality to the conversation. So before you go around collecting dick pictures, think about the risk/reward here. Maybe there's another pursuit that interests you that could net a little bit more cash, like whittling. Or at least hire yourself a reputable penis picture salesperson who will get you top-dollar for your prized possessions, but please, be realistic.

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