My 7 Year-Old Conscience

Many of my friends know that I have a long-standing subscription to Sports Illustrated magazine. For many years, I’ve looked for to the NHL and NBA preview issues in particular, while I could use a little less NASCAR coverage and stories about baseball.

Even more people know that Sports Illustrated publishes an annual Swimsuit Issue. The issue serves as a lightning rod for controversy…so much so that subscribers now have the option to opt out of receiving the magazine.

I admittedly haven’t gotten around to opting out of the magazine (it’s funny how I seem to forget to make that phone call every year) and sure enough, this year’s edition arrived last week while I was away in Montreal.

To my lovely wife Gail’s credit, she actually didn’t throw it away, rather placing it discreetly in a pile of bills and newspapers for my review. After all, she is a good steward of resources.

By coincidence or not, the boys happened to be with me as I rummaged through my pile of catch-up items, and thus were present when I pulled out the Sports Illustrated issue in question.

“Eww….gross!” was one of the boy’s reactions as he glared at the cover.

“Cool…she’s in her underwear!” was the other boy’s reaction as he stared at the cover.

I was caught off-guard by both reactions for different reasons. As 99% of you have likely already guessed, Sean’s comment was the former, and Jake’s was the latter.

My 7 year-old conscience continued: “You should just throw that whole magazine away so you’re not distracted.”

(As an aside, the title of this blog refers to the fact that Sean is 7 years old, and not that I’ve had a conscience for only 7 of my 34 years of existence. But I digress).

As Jake tried to wrestle the magazine away from me to leaf through its contents, Sean hit me with one more zinger that to this day I still don’t have a good answer for:

“What does it have to do with sports anyway?”