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This story certainly turned out to be a disappointment for everyone involved, as we actually thought it would go over well. Obviously, we delivered a big miscue in the players' eyes, and I certainly apologize for that. It was not our intent to piss off the subjects of our cover spread.
What the text was trying to accomplish here was to convey the flavor of the event, reflecting the imagery in the photos. Was it exaggerated and over the top? Yes. And we thought this was in the same spirit as how the derby often projects itself to audiences at games. When you have players with character names like Lady Pain, Killer Bo Peep, or Madame Mayhem—and with the team name of "Hard Knox" itself—it does not exactly conjure a warm and fuzzy public image. Throw in some face paint, wild outfits, and (yes) shouted threats, and you have aggressive, physical entertainment that's also somewhat tongue in cheek.
The intro that Charles wrote attempted to play off that, written in a style not unlike a carnival barker trying to lure in ticket buyers. I think this comes across on the printed page better than it does online, but it obviously flopped with the players, which is a downer for all of us.
This was not intended to be a reported story looking into the entire derby lifestyle (which Metro Pulse has done in the past), but rather just a screenshot of the spectacle. This resulted in a narrow view of the sport, and I can understand now why this has upset so many players.
I assure you that future stories will provide a much more balanced view.
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