Monday, September 17, 2007

The Power of the Internet: On Truth and Rumors

This week has been an interesting one to say the least. I’ve been bombarded with phone calls, texts, and emails from friends asking me if “what the Internet said was true?” So I guess it’s time for me to sit down and put some rumors to rest.

Earlier this week, I was awakened to find the first of many emails that would read: “Is this true?... I’m sorry girl.” Unaware of what they were referring to, I opened the link. There in bold print was the title: “JENN STERGER FIRED FROM SI.” The commentary that followed was probably some of the most inaccurate and albeit brutal statements that I have read about myself on the web to date.

I won’t give this site anymore free pub than it has already received, nor will I resort to their level of bashing they chose to wield upon me. I will, however, state the facts from the fiction.

**** has learned that Jenn Sterger has been fired by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED."

As it stands now, my contract is still in effect with Sports Illustrated. It was a one year deal to provide them with content (in the form of both articles and video) for the division. The fact is I have not received the Donald Trump Treatment. Currently, I do not have any future assignments slated with them. I am still in good standing, still speak to the editors I worked with there, and will hopefully have an opportunity to do more work with them in the future. Until then, I am permitted to do freelance work for other media outlets at my own discretion.

"The silicon-implanted canary, who was discovered by a downblouse-rousing ABC football cameraman, was an esteemed columnist on (alongside Rick Reilly and Frank Deford) for over a year."

Do your homework man… it was a garnet bikini top. It’s not like I pulled a Girls Gone Wild or anything.

"But you'll be happy to know she's landed on her feet …. She’s joined the staff of something called NFL GRIDIRON GAB."

This is true. Over the past few months, I have done a small amount of free-lance writing for other sites as favors for friends and acquaintances in the sports industry. I’m experimenting with different styles of writing and blogging. I’ve found working with new groups of people has offered me good constructive criticism and a chance to improve at something I really enjoy doing. NFL Gridiron Gab has allowed me to talk candidly about my fantasy football obsession and focus more attention on pro sports. While my work is mainly with pro sports on this site, I make no disputes that I am partial, and always will be, to college sports, until someone proves me otherwise.

Another site I have had some fun on is run by a friend of a friend, I guess you could say. These are the kinda guys I like to sit around the bar with and cheer/curse at my various sports teams. They figured, ‘Why not have me write like that?’.. My favorite “sparring” partner, Max Seltzer and I have teamed up with to do this season’s college picks, while simultaneously taking jabs at one another. Basically, it’s not over until the season is, or until one of us cries.

There are plenty of other things in the works that I am super excited to be a part of, so… I’ll be sure and keep you posted in the future.

"Well, she's no longer with SI and has never surfaced in any other sports magazines - but she has provided plenty of bathroom entertainment thanks to her nudie pics in Playboy."

Again. BUZZER. Granted the majority of my work and photos are on the net, (after all.. isn’t that how this whole crazy thing started anyway?) but I’ve also been in print numerous times, whether it’s just a casual mention in my alma mater’s season preview or a throw-back picture from seasons past. I’ve done interviews, written articles, and posed for various photo shoots. Try Maxim’s Hot 100, Athlon, Florida Football Magazine, and Lindy’s. I've been a guest on Maxim’s Sirius radio channel on the Rich and Covino show a couple of times, including live with their show celebrating the Maxim Top 100 party in NYC. I have also done a ton of national and regional radio and podcasts including: Dan LeBatard, Dan Sileo, Mike Irvin, Dave Kaplan, The Sports Pulse with Grant Thompson, on Sirius Radio, JMV the Drive, NFL Gridiron Gab, and many ESPN affiliates across the country. And in almost all of these interviews, I talk sports, I give my opinions and, most importantly, after they speak to me and figure out “Hey, she knows what she’s talking about!” I get asked back….every time…

As for the infamous Playboy pics or lack thereof… so what?... Was it good for you?.. Glad you enjoyed it!! But Buddy, that was the May 2006 magazine Top Ten Party schools feature that was shot 6 months before the actual photo ran. It was one shot. One boob. Get over it. My Playboy experience was awesome. The company is a great one to work with, and it has definitely opened doors for a lot of people other than me. To say I have no credibility based on the fact I chose to pose for one photo in a reputable men’s magazine is absolutely ridiculous. As for future dealings with them?.. It’s certainly not on the top of my list of priorities at the moment, but you never know. As for the hater references to me getting involved in porn?.. Thanks, but no thanks. I can think of other things I would prefer to do with my career than have orgasms for a living. Of course, to each their own.

"Sterger has also been furiously auditioning in L.A. over the past year for any and all reality shows that will consider her. And we're happy to report that although she hasn't landed any of those coveted roles, she does appear as a tramp (go figure!) in an anonymous online trailer for a film about a fake, male cross-dresser."

This statement made me laugh the hardest. Reality TV???... Is this a JOKE?... Last time I checked I didn’t meet the usual requirements for being cast on a reality TV show:

1) You must be classified as morbidly obese, and be willing to admit you are a fat @$$ on National Television.

2) You must have attended rehab at least twice. Three times qualifies you for an All-Stars special of whatever the theme is.

3) You must be single, desperate, willing to get drunk, and cry about the fact that the man of your dreams (whom you just met three days ago) has yet to give you a shrubbery, backstage pass, or a gold clock to get you to the next round.

4) Be capable of living on an island and live in make shift tents with teams of backstabbing manipulative @#!$’s that all want to douse your torch, kick your @$$ off the island, and take your money.

5) Be one of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, have your lives taped, and find out what happens when people… get super drunk, cheat on their significant others, and talk about how people just don’t “get” you.

As of right now, I weigh about 110 pounds. If that is what anyone considers obese, then damn, society’s standards are steep. I have never attended rehab, nor do I have the habits to be forced to do so. While I may be single, I am certainly not desperate. Aside from Trista and Ryan, not too many people have had success finding their soul mate on National television. Though… I will admit their attempts at doing so are pretty entertaining.

--Damn, I guess this really puts a damper my plans on being the future Ex Miss Flav. Can I at least keep the clock???..—

As for living on an island. Yeah, right. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against getting a little dirty every now and then. Physically… I am in pretty decent shape, but by no means am I Xena Warrior Princess. But, hunting my own food?.. No Air conditioning?.. No deodorant?.. Where do you people draw the line??..

I’ve been living in the real world my entire life, and if people can’t be real in “real life” then what makes you think they will be any less fake on television. Backstabbing, bitching, and bar fights?.. No thanks, I went to college. I stayed all four years (and then some). Diploma please!

So, as you can see I’m not really a candidate for reality television. Really, I’m flattered you considered me but I’ll have to decline the offer to make an @$$ out of myself on National television. Now, Dancing with the Stars?.. Another story, because this white girl could use some rhythm!

It’s these feelings I have for reality TV that made his statement hilarious. In my opinion, the funniest “fact” he presented was that I was “furiously auditioning” in LA these past few months, as if I nothing better to do then to fly out and stand in line for various auditions. Truth is, yes, I have flown out to LA 3-4 times over the past year, but in every case it was the result of legitimate business offers for interviews that came to me either through Facebook, my email accounts on my website, or from my agent at UTA. Anyone who knows business knows the importance of creating the social and business networks needed to start out with any career. Each offer was checked out in advance for legitimacy before I set up appointments. So I’d fly out for a week and meet with different people while I was out there. FYI, I also did the same in NYC, but no one seems to care about those meetings.

The movie trailer they speak of is for an independent film "Devo Brown" by Poison Apple Pictures. They’ve won a lot of awards and acclaim for their first film ‘The Bonnie Situation’, and now they are in the process of funding their new project. I’ve become good friends with many of the people involved with the project, and shooting the trailer was a nice diversion from work and school. The film isn’t about a cross dresser, it’s about a guy pretending to be gay so he fits into the fashion industry. Think Zoolander meets Chuck & Larry. It’s an off the wall, over the top comedy like most independent films that come out of Jersey (since the birth of Kevin Smith). Basically, I just wanted to do something different for once, and working with the kids at Poison Apple was a great experience.

And for the record, I don’t play a “tramp,” I am credited as Man Eating Bitch #1. Get it straight.

That’s what I love most about the internet. People can twist what you say, do, write... all to fit their needs and little private agendas. Bias much?.. Kinda like when videos of me, answering an FSU class’s questions (at the invitation of the instructor) about the representation of female bodies on the internet, were posted on sites as if I was a dumb bimbo giving a random lecture on boobs. It was never meant to be shown as just that. I never expected it was going to be posted anywhere. It was just me… and a class of freshman students talking about life in college, how being on the internet changed that, and the pitfalls to what I was experiencing by sharing my life online. Nothing was off limits, and why should it be?.. I have nothing to hide.

WHAT?.. My boobs are fake?.. And the earth is no longer flat?.. Thanks Captain Obvious. You can go shave your back now.

Anyone that has met me in person knows I am as brutally honest as it gets. I don’t pull any punches, and sometimes border along the line of being politically incorrect. I can’t help it. It’s a witty, sarcastic sense of humor that’s developed from being treated like one of the guys. The problem is.. I rarely write what I would love to say. Why?... For fear of offending anyone.

I’ve always been a people pleaser, it’s my nature. And above all else, I hate drama and confrontation. For someone that got to where she is today almost solely on the power of cyberspace, I rarely read anything about myself online. A lot of it is usually split half and half between haters and admirers, but regardless I’d just assume not read it. If it’s too defamatory or completely false, someone usually brings it to my attention anyway. If people disagree with what I write, or how I present myself… they usually don’t hesitate to write about it. And THEIR opinions MATTER. That’s the thing about opinions though. They’re kinda like buttholes. Everyone’s got one.. and they all stink.

I’ve come to the realization over the past two years that not everyone is going to like me or what I do, and I’m okay with that. I can’t get pissed because someone isn’t a fan, or get upset that they are obstructing my development because they don’t approve of what I do. That would be a little self-serving don’t you think? Instead I respect their opinion, while at the same time ask them to keep an open mind. They may not like the way I dress. Or the way I write. Or perhaps they are upset that I have been given the opportunities I have. And that is fine. All I am asking from people is to keep an open mind. Society today is pretty divided when it comes to plastic surgery and physical appearances. I dress the way I do.. because I can. I work out, I stay in shape.. I take care of myself. What’s wrong with being proud of that?.. I write the way I do because I write the way I speak. It’s conversational. I’m not a literary genius, nor do I claim to be. It’s not like I’m trying to write Shakespeare!!!.. It’s usually something to just distract you from your chaotic workday, give you a point of view you may not have considered, or just make someone laugh. I’m not asking haters to “like” or approve of what I do, but I am asking for tolerance. Life doesn’t have to be full of drama, and meaningless bashing… so why bother?..

Thank you to all the family, friends, and fans that have stood by me these past two years and for those of you who continue to have my back going into the future. It’s people like you that keep my head up and smile bright even when the haters try to pull me down. Whether I’m decked out in my hat and boots, or laid back in my pajamas watching football with my festively plump feline… I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Only a little older, a little stronger, and a little wiser.

Because as we say in the Locker Room…

“Those that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind” –Dr. Seuss.