by Carrie Adams
Let me start this post with a loud and exasperated sigh. It is well-known by Spartan Race blog readers that I have a deep and abiding aversion for male endurance runners who rock shorty shorts. It’s been well documented.
Today, the controversy deepened when an ultra runner buddy of mine told me that not only does Australia have an affinity for shorty shorts but they have their own nickname! The are known as “stubbies” and are quite popular with the Aussie Rules players.
His comment to me, “I won’t tell you where I rank on your shorty scale.”
So, it’s become clear that the shorties are global and in an ironic and shocking twist, the Spartan culture itself may very well be to blame.
Exhibit A: The Spartan culture represented the finest trained armies of their time. Their men were soldiers of honor, their women strong and proud. However, the Spartan men wore the epitome of shorty shorts… don’t let the fantastic abs in the photo distract you. Those are shorty shorts Leonidas and his boys are sporting.
The reality is that shorty shorts or “stubbies” have adorned the bodies of some of the fastest and toughest dudes the planet has ever seen.
Where does this leave us?
I have decided after much internal struggle and loathing, to institute a Spartan Race “Shawty’s Shorties Hall of Fame.” I’ll never abandon my core values, but I will openly acknowledge those who have rocked the shorties with pride and performance and grant them a place in my coveted Hall of Fame.
I officially kick off the campaign with three inductees. An honor that I’ll only bestow on the best and brightest. Those who exemplify the height of athletics despite the wardrobe selection.
Spartan Nation, meet the first ever inductees into “Shawty Shorties.”
Inductee One: Steve Prefontaine.
One of the greatest middle distance and long distance runners of all time. At one point in time, Prefontaine broke seven American records in distances that spanned 2,000 – 10,000 meters. His tragic death left a gaping hole in sport and what could have been possible. He was an incredible athlete who elevated running to the status of an art form and has since inspired runners and other endurance athletes with his performance, his drive, his discipline, his passion, and… his clothing selection. Many a middle and distance runner has mimicked his shorties and why not? You can’t argue with his speed.
Two basketball players whose rivalry on the court was not represented proportionally by the length of their shorts. Their epic 13 year rivalry was the stuff of legends… who doesn’t remember the 1987 Game 4 of the NBA Finals at Boston Garden? Bird lands three with 29 seconds left to put the Celtics ahead only for Magic to score a mean little hook shot with two seconds to go! An inbound pass to Bird with two seconds left…he misses as the buzzer sounds… I, an admitted Celtics fan, was unable to watch the final seconds tick off, not out of fear for the outcome but in an effort to preserve my youthful, six-year-old eyes. I don’t think it’s an accident that later that same year I was found to be near-sighted and needed glasses. But the skills are undeniable, shorts’ length aside.
So, I have put aside my aversion for shorty shorts… in rare exceptions in honor of the Spartan culture and the athletes who have proven the power of the shorties. If you rock the shorties, let these premier inductees be your guides.
So my invitation to you, Spartan Nation, is this: If you have a nominee worthy of joining the ranks of Shawty’s Shorties I want to hear about it and see the photographic evidence. Send me, Shawty, your emails: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let the flood gates open. Shorties, you are free…(Guys, you know I mean “free” figuratively, right?)