Queer Eye Update from SI
The Red Sox already had will and grace; they needed pedicures, facials and a good back waxing. How Queer Eye set the world champs straight
By Lisa Altobelli, Sports Illustrated -- 04.06.05: With Queer Eye for the Straight Guy cameras rolling in City of Palms Park last month, the show's fashion savant Carson Kressley asked, "Are we Soxy?" Kressley and the rest of the show's "Fab Five" were at the Red Sox' spring home in Fort Myers, Fla., to groom another fivesome -- Boston's Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek -- for an episode to air June 7 on Bravo. "We thought we could make them look like the champions they are," said David Metzler, the show's executive producer and a Red Sox fan from Duxbury, Mass. Before any makeovers, the scruffy Sox played a little ball against the Queer Eye group in what grooming guru Kyan Douglas called an "exhibitionist game." There was as much butt patting as baseball, though when Douglas got a hit off Wakefield, he was called "Out!" by Kressley. "I was so safe," Douglas protested. "I just meant you're openly gay," explained Kressley.
Red Sox President Larry Lucchino and general manager Theo Epstein watched the impromptu game from a luxury box while Queer Eye design doctor Thom Filicia transformed the press box into a spa. The players then spent the evening shuffling from treatment to treatment in flip-flops and fluffy, white robes. When Millar donned a plastic head wrap for some deep hair conditioning, Mirabelli said, "Aunt Jemima, I love your syrup." Damon sat with highlighting foils in his hair, and Varitek soaked his feet in a tub of rose petals. "Why, he's just a kitten in the spa," said Kressley of the 6'2", 230-pound catcher. "Nothing like he was during that bench clearer against the You Know Whos last July." During back waxing, Varitek gamely took the pain, but Millar was more demonstrative, biting down on a wooden application stick and then his pillow. After all the primping, the players were fitted with designer duds and, two days later, showed themselves off for the cameras and fans who had lingered after a game against the Cardinals. Damon moonwalked to home plate in a blazer and shades, and all in all Queer Eye felt they'd scored a success, even though Kressley had been denied his request to rename the club the Pink Sox. Said Epstein, "Red worked last year."