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How Chris Cooley's Privates Hit the Internet

And how the Internet hit back! See also: the official Deadspin explanation.

So anyhow, maybe you saw how a photo of Chris Cooley's most personal parts became available for mass Internet consumption yesterday. If you're like Chris Cooley's brother Tanner--the editor of Cooley's blog, on which this photo first appeared--here's what you might have wondered:

"Dude, why did you take a naked picture of yourself and put it on the blog?"

It's one of the great questions of American sports journalism this week. That's what Tanner asked Chris when they finally got home after last night's game and took a look at the blog and all that it contained.

"It was an accident, it was an accident, I didn't mean to," was Chris's response.

A few words about what ensued will follow later; for now, here's the story of how the photo came to be, as related by Tanner.

Tanner and his wife were driving to the game from their home in Ashburn yesterday morning. Chris was in his hotel room, working on an entry about a quiz players were required to complete before the game. The quiz, in Cooley's case, concerned the Saints defense. Cooley's desk and bed were covered with stuff, so when he wanted to get a picture of this quiz as he was getting ready for the game, he put it on his lap and grabbed the camera, according to Tanner. Then he called Tanner--who was still only in Reston--to tell him the post was finished.

"I just put a post up, it's pretty good, you want to look at it?" Chris asked Tanner.

"Buddy, we're in the car, I can't look at it," Tanner replied.

"Ok, well, you'll just have to look at it later," Chris said, which is not the usual editing process.

Soon he called back again, telling Tanner that he had a video of Fred Smoot and Santana Moss that he needed Tanner to publish. So Tanner went to the hotel room, and Chris rushed off to the stadium. After he published the video, Tanner glanced at the item about the quiz, read the text and left for the game.

"But I didn't really look at the pictures closely," he told me. "Obviously."

(As for the wisdom of posting the quiz, the Cooleys said the page in question could not have revealed anything secretive about either the Saints defense or the Redskins offense.)

Once at FedEx Field, he hopped on a computer inside the Comcast SportsyNet trailer, and he saw some comments on the blog, asking things like, " 'Why is your [stuff] on the internet?' And I'm like, '[Stuff?] I don't see Chris's [stuff] anywhere,' " Tanner told me. But he said the monitor wasn't too good, and all the flesh looked like leg, and again, everyone was in a hurry.

So the team won, Cooley's 27-yard fourth-quarter catch was perhaps the biggest play, everyone celebrated, and eventually the Cooleys went home to Chris's house and logged onto the blog again.

"Oh my God," Tanner said.

"You can't see anything," Chris argued, bizarrely.

"You can see EVERYTHING," Tanner pointed out.

So the Cooleys began to panic. They took down the item, which had by now migrated to other sites. Chris's wife was obviously concerned. "I can't believe I did that, I'm so stupid," Chris said to his brother, more or less. "Why were you even naked anyway?" Tanner asked, sensibly, leading to the explanation about the mess on the bed and the table.

They made some phone calls, including to me, sitting in the FedEx press box, at which point "looking at the private parts of Chris Cooley" was pretty far down my list of evening plans. I gave Tanner the numbers of some fine folks from Deadspin, and by late last night the fine folks at Deadspin had covered up the offending image.

The Cooleys plan to post a full explanation and apology on their blog at some point soon. I asked whether they might also adopt a rule: no more taking blog photographs while naked.

"The rule is, no more posting without a full editing look by me," Tanner said. "We already thought we had this rule after Chris posted his check with his routing number and everything on it, but then this happened."

Yeah. Stuff happens.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 15, 2008; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Morning Look: Jason Taylor's Biggest Fans


By far the funniest thing about the skins yesterday. Cooley is a man of the people, this is all in good fun.

Posted by: JDP | September 15, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert hires several models to one up Cooley in 5...4...3...2...

Posted by: | September 15, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

How To Take a Successful Photograph, by Chris Cooley

1) Get naked.
2) Point and shoot.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Since we won, shouldn't Cooley be required to do this every week ... you don't mess with good luck.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I am sure there is some fan out there with the photo printed out and on his wall.
Scarry but true.

Posted by: Alex35332 | September 15, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ian | September 15, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Woooppps there it is....

Posted by: JBo | September 15, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

It's all over the web. I found it (unblocked) at the Player's Field web site.

I see Little Chris (unlike Big Chris) is camera shy.

Posted by: Chris Cooley's Rooster | September 15, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

yeah I saw the little guy

wasn't impressed

Posted by: Glen | September 15, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, I'm sorry, but this is pretty funny. Chris might be embarassed, and I feel bad for him in that respect. But judging by his reaction of, "You can't see anything," I'd say he's liable to just laugh it off. I gotta say, only Cooley could do something like this. In his defense though, Einstein was a bit scatter-brained also.

Posted by: Mike | September 15, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If this were anyone who wasn't so fan friendly or a blogger, would deadspin have been so compliant in taking down the images?

Posted by: Not That Chris | September 15, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This act of idiocy ranks right up there with the time that Heath Shuler knowingly participated in the vagina monologues.

Posted by: | September 15, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Career enhancer. Trust me.

Posted by: Sean Salisbury | September 15, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Beyond the Cooley Shorts!

(B-rated horror title)

Posted by: stumped | September 15, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

poor christy.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

That angle just isn't very flattering for little Chris, you might need to post another mushroom head pick just to set the record straight. Haha I wonder what Christy had to say about it all?!

Posted by: Oh Cooley | September 15, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

To Not That Chris,
Deadspin did cover up a photo of Santonio Holmes showing his John Holmes earlier this year.

Posted by: Deadspin defender | September 15, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal? On his blog last spring, Chris posted a couple of photos of Christy half naked...and she wasn't exactly dressed demurely when she posed for Maxim magazine. Frankly, I'm rather amused at the Cooleys' embarrassment over this.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

is cooley's nickname for his piece 'the dc lumber co'?

Posted by: thigh master | September 16, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

IMHO Cooley needs to adjust his monitor. It's probably too dark and he literally couldn't see anything there.

Posted by: Steve | September 16, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

What's the big deal.

Posted by: Xavier | September 16, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Why can't you people leave Chris Cooley alone. He made a mistake..move along. And for those looking at his "parts" as little.The guy has a big one. He was sitting down so it was not in full view. Why does everyone making it a big deal. He is a cool guy. I bet a lot of women are already salivating and thinking lustfully about him. He probably has added more fans to his side. Way to go Chris. Be proud of what you have.

Posted by: djeremael | September 16, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

hail to the foreskins.......

Posted by: dk | September 16, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

( "Why were you even naked anyway?" Tanner asked, sensibly. )

Is a well written line Steins

Posted by: ethanator1088 | September 16, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty bad. Look I've played football all through high school and college and you see guys naked all the time. You see their stuff you don't stare though. I know all my white teammates have all been shortchanged but such is life. SOrry bout that...pretty funny his little white ween.

Posted by: SORRY MY WHITE BROS. | September 16, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

sniff sniff

Posted by: Hello itsy bitsy teenie weenie republican! | September 16, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Let that have been a "brother" and see what would have happened.The press would have eaten it up! It would have been blasted all on the newspapers;everywhere. That person would have been probably fined and suspended! There are children that get on the internet everyday pulling up athletes. You don't think they don't know about what occurred and curious about all the "hype"? My question is: "Why would Chris Fooley... my bad...feel the need to take a picture of a playbook anyway and have it posted?(Was there some secrets he wanted revealed?) Oh I forgot...his other private book. Come on you people! It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. This is definitely "EXPOSURE" for Mr. Fooley.

Posted by: | September 17, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

where is perverted justice on this one???

Posted by: anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL at every black guy here immediately saying his wang is small. the brothas love that myth. as if you can even tell from that pic.

Posted by: hillary | September 21, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Skins win again. Cooley's "Magic Johnson" obviously has some good mojo and may have saved the season.

This guy is hysterical - biggest tool the Redskins have had on the roster since Riggo.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 22, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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