When your town hosts the Super Bowl, the week leading up to it is a big deal. Not only is there an influx of visitors, but as an added bonus, you get at least a dozen Playboy bunnies, to boot.
The Playboy Super Bowl Party has been a tradition that started in 2000 in Atlanta, the site of Super Bowl XXXIV. Each year since then (with the exception of the economic crisis-affected year of 2009), the publication – hoping not to be outdone by the likes of Sports Illustrated and Maxim – has booked a trendy venue in the city where the big game is played, throwing anything-goes raves at as little as $1,000 a head.
One of the regulars at these parties is Darren Rovell. He’s attended nearly every single one of these bashes – and he’s not afraid to let you know, either.
So Rovell, CNBC’s roving sports business reporter, who also hosts the weekly “Game On” program on NBC Sports Network, attended the 12th* annual Playboy Super Bowl Party on Friday night in Indianapolis at something called Bud Light Hotel. (You wonder if the front desk clerks at Bud Light Hotel are designated… but I digress.)
How satisfied was Playboy partygoer Rovell? “Dead serious,” he tweeted after 11 PM local time, “best thing at [this] Playboy party are these Bananas Foster puffs.” Rovell’s culinary compliment was accompanied by a photo of the puffs that he praised.
The day after, Rovell tweeted these thoughts: “[The] quality of Playboy Playmates last night was not what it used to be… Playboy not having gorgeous Playmates at its Super Bowl party does effect a brand that is already faltering #reality… In 1975, Playboy printed 7 million copies a month. Today, it’s down to 1.5 million.”
Actually, many magazines and newspapers have seen their circulations hemorrhage in recent years. That Internet’s a real bitch, isn’t it, Darren?
Rovell’s Hefner-phobic behavior had got the attention of several of his 175,000 followers – that’s another thing he’s not afraid to let you know, by the way… more on that later – including Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch. These two went at it about a few weeks ago in a Twitter argument over tennis.
“I imagine these women are saying the same thing about the quality of CNBC’s sports business reporters,” tweeted Deitsch to Rovell, referring to the Playmates he had blasted. Rovell replied: “if you’re saying I got hired at CNBC for my looks, I’m flattered.”
Deitsch proceeded to scold Rovell: “Even with our many disagreements, I guess I’m surprised that as working journalist for a respected place, [you’re] channeling your inner Bob Guccione. It’s not about the photo; it’s about being better than base evaluations.” (Disclosure: Guccione was the founder and publisher of Penthouse magazine, rival of Playboy.)
“People spend thousands on these parties, Rich. It’s a business. There was a lot of disappointment last night. I cover that.”
“Just so we’re clear: The ‘disappointment’ from those you spoke with was that the Playmates aren’t attractive women?”
“Yes, many were disappointed with the looks of the bunnies.”
Really, Darren? Did they tell you that the Bananas Foster puffs were hotter than the Playmates, too?
And if it’s the quality of the Playmates that he’s up in arms about, then why did he feel the need to cite Playboy’s plummeting circulation numbers? You can’t blame the Playmates for low magazine sales – it’s possible some subscribers are part of their “cyber club” and choose to no longer receive the print version.
What on Earth could be fueling Darren Rovell’s newfound distaste for Playboy?
I bet Jaime Edmondson knows. The bombshell from Bartow, Florida dropped a bombshell of her own – and then some.
“What really sparked the rude comment that [Darren] made (because I was there) is that when he asked to take a photo with me on the red carpet, the closest person to us was on the phone and advised they were unavailable because they were in the middle of handling an issue at VIP check in and to see if someone else could take it… He then said to me in a snotty fit, “Oh, not even for my 175,000 Twitter followers,” and stormed away.”
Wow. I’m willing to bet this happened right before he found solace in some Bananas Foster puffs.
So, the truth comes out. And who knew it would come out of Miss January 2010?
Let’s recap: Darren Rovell, who has “been at 11 out of 12 Playboy Super Bowl parties,” admitted to experiencing “a lot of disappointment” at the most recent one.
I think we know where that “disappointment” now stems from, don’t we?
Get ready for your close-up, “little bitter man.”