Best Calendar (2002)

Life as a Sport

Man, the battle for the title was a tough one. It came down to the wire between the Roxy calendar, which had its lucky den of calendar girls going full-monty this year, and the Barberdolls.com calendar, which had its ladies in exhibitionist Aguilera-esque outfits, coming up with new and inventive uses for barbershop equipment. But Life as a Sport suddenly piqued our interest. For starters, it featured not scantily clad or nekkid women but chiseled, occasionally bare-chested men. But this calendar wasn't conceived as an item for the ladies -- and a few dudes -- to stare at. Accompanied by the poetry of Joseph Washington, who came up with the calendar's concept, the photos are portraits of men using everyday sporting activities as a method of striving through life's rough terrains -- sports as therapy. Many of the stark black-and-white photos, captured by Harry Guary, are reminiscent of the pics Howard Bingham shot of Muhammad Ali. Life as a Sport may not have girls in Helmut Newton poses or flashin' booty like they're in Players Magazine, but it does give you something deeper to think about.