Ryan Dempster’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Debut Generally Ill-Received
February 20, 2010
(Chicago, IL) – The room was packed to the edges with photographers, industry leaders, friends, and family. Everything had been planned, down to the finest detail. It was a big day for Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster.
No, it wasn’t the arrival of a new child, or a post-no-hitter press conference. Today, Dempster was unveiling another side of him – not father or pitcher, but model. Ryan Dempster was at the launch party for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But all the planning in the world could not have prepared him for the response to come.
“I really thought people were going to love it,” Dempster said as he struggled to hold back tears. “I just wanted to share another side of myself with the world. Like when I did the comedy show last year, this was just another passion of mine. I just can’t believe people reacted so negatively.”
When Dempster’s photo set was revealed, the crowd uttered a collective gasp, and then a heaviness set in for those in attendance. Finally, some friends in the back – fellow Cubs teammates – broke the silence with a combination of laughs, boos, and ultimately, tears.
“I understand Ryan wanting to do something different, I mean, I like to play chess every now and again,” Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said after the unveiling. “But I think this may have been a mistake for him. Why the bikini, dude? Why? Let’s just say that Brooklyn Decker has very little to fear in terms of job security.”
Pitcher Ted Lilly agreed.
“We’ve all done some things we’re not proud of,” Lilly said. “I mean, I once accidentally ran over a guy a few times and didn’t leave my insurance information. But this? Don’t get me wrong, I think we were all surprised and impressed with Ryan’s physique. Dude is cut. But some things are best left in the bedroom. Or in a vault. With no key. Buried in the ground. In the desert. On another planet.”
So will the universally negative reaction to his swimsuit debut deter Dempster from modeling again?
“I think maybe I’ll step back from doing the swimsuit thing for a while,” Dempster conceded. “But modeling as a whole? No way. I’ve got a Bebe spot lined up, and I’ll be helping launch a new line of cosmetics for men for Revlon later this year. I think that’ll be the one that really gets people excited about me as a model. I really do.”