If you think Kevin Rudd’s standing has taken a hit this week, spare a sporting thought for the international reputation of that now-notorious New York club, Scores.

Until our Kev became its most surprising star customer, Scores has enjoyed more than a decade of sustained success as the top-ranking hang-out for millionaire athletes, jocks and sports fans.

For the visitor to New York, Scores offered the promise of rubbing shoulders with the stars of basketball, baseball and American football while, um, potentially rubbing up against the Scores’ staff.

Scores first struck it big in the early ‘90s when Sports Illustrated, the once-great American weekly magazine, featured it in an exposé of the most popular strip clubs of NBA basketball players.

In 1994, when the New York Rangers won the National (Ice) Hockey League, captain Mark “the Moose” Messier famously took the league’s venerable trophy, the Stanley Cup, for a special trip to Scores, where it reportedly “performed” with the dancers. The NHL responded by slapping a security detail on the silverware.

Last December, Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith celebrated winning the Heisman Trophy, the annual award for the best player in college football, with a trip to Scores.

Smith, a generous tipper, received the type of ringing endorsement from the dancers that Kev would love to hear from the Aussie electorate: “He’s got it,” cooed dancer Kendall of Smith. “He’s a natural leader. I can tell.” Start stuffing the garters, Kevin.

Such is the hallowed position enjoyed by Scores in American sports culture that references to it require no more than a name-drop for instant recognition.

When Portland Trailblazer Zach Randolph, a leading NBA bad boy, was traded to the New York Knicks last month, high-profile ESPN columnist Bill Simmons threw his weight behind the controversial move: “I stand by these thoughts even if Zach starts an international incident at Scores within the next nine months,” he joked.

Now, the too-cool locale of Zach, Troy and the Moose has taken a terrible social tumble. It has been fashioned into a pollies and bureaucrats boys’ club, where UN types named Hans and Cedric may meet up with Aussie oglers named Kev, Col and Wazza.

The dreams of sporting voyeurs around the world have been crushed. Shame on you, Kevin, shame on you.

Peter Fray

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