Somewhere out there is a picture of Peyton Manning, oiled up and shirtless with the rest of his college football team. Such “beefcake photos” are all the rage on college campuses, normally taken in addition to the more well-known (and not topless) team photo. The tradition dates back decades, but in recent years the photos have found their way online, prompting reactions from “hilarious” to “hot.” The Wall Street Journal has a few examples.
Players do as many push-ups as possible to make their muscles pop, strip down, oil up (“It helps with muscle definition,” Manning explains), and pose with a variety of props from sledgehammers to a $120,000 Lamborghini. Though coaches tout the tradition as a motivational tool, some administrators are wary. "It's not that we're against it," says one athletic director, but "we don't want that necessarily out there."