It’s hard to miss those giant headlines


Why are ads for little blue-pill substitutes gouging out large sections of my sports page?

I read the sports page every day. I’m old school, so I’m talking the ink-and-paper version. I believe there are a lot of women out there like me, those who find pleasure in perusing the box scores and checking up on favorite players.

That’s why the plethora of ads promoting those little blue-pill substitutes for men are starting to bug me. Back when I first took up the sports page, I’m guessing women interested in that section of the paper were few and far between. But with the advent of Title IX – that lovely law that proclaimed girls should have the same extra-curricular rights as boys and which subsequently led to an avalanche of women having their college educations paid for via sports scholarships – more women than ever before find the sports news interesting.

It’s hard to miss the giant headlines we face while reading about our local teams:  “New Pill Triggers All-Day Arousal in Men,” screams one headline, which makes me wonder if that particular condition might prove to be painful, because I’ve heard that other declaration so often: “Seek immediate medical help if you experience an erection lasting more than four hours.”

The ad does it’s best to look like actual news. And it takes up half an entire page, so somebody is paying big bucks to get the message out. For reasons I can’t quite explain, I felt the need to pop on my reporter’s cap and take a look.

First, I noted the “article” was written by Ryan Steele of the Mens Health News Syndicate. A few clicks of the mouse and … how strange … neither Mr. Steele nor his syndicate can be found on the Internet. Surely, there must be some mistake. Then, I wondered … Man of Steel? An in-your-face product endorsement?

I did discover that the company behind the advertised supplement is called Innovus Pharma Laboratories and they do exist, or so says a glossy website, upon which I found their board of directors, who seem like a fine group of folks, though their collective bios are rather cumbersome to read – perhaps by design – and statements like “serves on the Board of Directors at several privately held pharmaceutical companies,” gets my Spidey senses tingling.

The article talks about a “key sex molecule” defined as both “critical” and a “miracle”, but leaves one guessing as to what it actually is.  Then there’s this: “And since it’s natural there are no unwanted side effects.” Note that anthrax, lead, asbestos, and arsenic are all natural substances.

Readers are encouraged to “take advantage of this limited offer” and call the “special TOLL-FREE hotline”, because “If you miss out on our current product inventory you will have to wait until more becomes available.” Whew!

Here’s the thing. The product in question, called Vesele, is basically two amino acids you can buy over the counter. If you want to give them a try, go ahead and fork over about thirty bucks at your local Walgreens. Or you can shell out over double that to the people sponsoring the ad. Even better, contact your local health care professional, instead.

My question now is why is this stuff advertised in the sports pages? A similarly-long article, touting an arthritis drug that claims it will give me “immediate relief that lasts for hours” and which is also written by an unknown reporter for a non-existent media source, and, surprise, marketed by Innovus Pharma Laboratories, is in the news section. When I consider the myriad sports-related misadventures I’ve stumbled through over the years, requiring the vast majority of my parts to undergo X-rays, perhaps it should be the other way around. Unless, of course, one considers sex a sport. Um … I think I’ll save that for another day.

In the meantime, you know what I’d like to see more of in the sports pages? Sports.



Anne Montgomery’s novel, The Scent of Rain, tells the story of two Arizona teenagers whose fates become intertwined. Rose flees into the mountains to escape from her abusive polygamous community where her only future is marriage to a man older than her father. Adan, whose only wish is to be reunited with his mother, is on the run from the cruelties of the foster care system. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?  The Scent of Rain is available at and wherever books are sold.

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