‘He’s hot. Really, really hot’

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Jim Palmer’s got nothing on David Beckham.

Palmer, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, jumped into Jockeys as his career was winding down in the 1980s, a campaign gay men of a certain age might recall.

But the ads, provocative for their time, hold nothing on soccer stud David Beckham’s newest campaign for Armani that debuted last week in San Francisco. Think six-story shirtless and pants-less Beckham in his underwear with a bulge that seemed to cast a shadow over onlookers on the street below.

The briefs created a buzz last week, to be sure. Even self-admitted heterosexual reporters were taken in by all that is Becks. Peter Hartlaub, a pop culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote an amusing 1,000-word column about his experience at the unveiling, which included an interview as brief as Becks’ new underwear. (How the pop culture critic for the Chron isn’t gay is another post entirely.)

Beckham arrives Posh-less, and is quickly ushered into a white tent with the approximate dimensions and party vibe of Brad Pitt’s quarters when he played Achilles in the movie “Troy” – easily the most metrosexual movie of the 21st century. The tent is packed like Muni during rush hour, so I don’t see the man until he’s right in front of me.

Beckham is, for lack of a better word, man-tastic. He leans on a stool, wearing a crisp white shirt and silver tie, having just taken off his cream suit jacket. His hair is cut short and simple, ceding attention to his long stubble, which covers his face except for two Band-Aid-size vertical stripes shaved clean on either side of his goatee. (Note to self: Try that one at home. See if wife goes crazy with passion.)

A squealing teen summed up the experience for Hartlaub: “He’s hot. Really, really hot.” Yeah, we know.

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