I think the comparison is fairly apt. Here’s why:
- I’m guessing the audience for celebrity gossip is 80% female, and the audience for sports news is 80% male.
- Both topics are pretty trivial, yet they have vast amounts of media attention.
- Both topics fetishize the tiniest details of their subjects: “Paris Hilton goes for coffee!” “Derek Jeter has a hangnail!”
- They both seem to feature the noble and the ignoble. Lindsay Lohan gets drunk and runs into things, yet Angelina Jolie is adopting most of sub-Saharan Africa. Michael Vick is running dog fighting rings in his basement, yet, I don’t know, Steve Montador is in Africa for Right to Play.
- Both topics feature individuals who make absurd amounts of money.
That’s why David and Victoria Beckham are so enormously famous–they’re a perfect storm of celebrity and sports (and, I should add, encouragement to middle-school dropouts everywhere). I wish it helped that one of them was actually good at something, but, as we know, talent isn’t a prerequisite for fame.
What do you think?