Dikembe Mutombo’s Request for Sex: How Did He Phrase It and Where Was It Uttered? An ROTI Investigation
September 15, 2011 12 Comments
In the 80s and 90s, possibly even earlier, there was an annual event at Georgetown University called the Block Party. Students paid a nominal sum, passed through a cursory ID check into a barricaded-off block of 37th Street, and proceeded to drink all the beer they could handle and more.
As GU blog Vox Populi recounts, Block Party was a “one-day outdoor carnival of drinking that masqueraded as a charity barbecue. Much to the chagrin of Georgetown administrators, students would drink openly and sloppily right outside the front gates.” Afterwards, students retired to New South Cafeteria to stuff their faces. And every year, a massive food fight broke out. It was awesome.
But at the 1991 block party, after the feasting had begun but before the food fight started, Georgetown’s seven-foot star center Dikembe Mutombo unwound his prodigiously long limbs, raised his frame to tower over the rest of the student body, and bellowed in a beer-sauced, Zairean voice, “Who wants to sex Dikembe?” As the rest of the University looked on in pure awe, two comely volunteers quickly identified themselves, and Dikembe Mutombo left New South with a woman on each arm.
This is how the tale was passed down to me in 1998. But is this really what happened?
As Mutombo went on to an extremely successful career in the NBA after his time at Georgetown, legendary for his blocked shots, great personality, finger-wagging attitude and prodigious exploits in the Gold Club, more and more heard this tale and passed it along.
Time and retelling have shaped this tale in strange ways, but the basics are always the same — Dikembe Mutombo, towering over the crowd, demands to know who will sex him. Today, however, the prevailing version of this story has been meaningfully altered from the version I first heard over a decade ago.
I was reminded of the Dikembe Mutombo sex request legend by a recent tweet from the hilarious FakeGrantland account, which parodies Bill Simmons’ website and its sometimes-awkward blend of junk culture and erudition:
Indeed, most versions of this story currently found in print, as well as the version frequently told by Bill Simmons, have the player asking “Who wants to sex Mutombo?” not “Who wants to sex Dikembe?”
For example, a 2006 article in Deadspin asserted:
Possibly the greatest contribution to the game by Dikembe Mutombo may be the phrase, “Who wants to sex Mutombo?” To quote The Mighty MJD, “Dikembe walked into a Georgetown bar one night [in the early ’90s], the entire place stopped to look at him, and in response, Mutombo just yelled out, “WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO?!”
Online media, including a now-defunct website of the same name, have clearly asserted that the legendary phrase should go down in history as “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”
Other evidence, however,sides with the earlier, “sex Dikembe” legend. Therefore, further investigation is warranted.
An archived discussion on the venerable Georgetown Hoyas basketball discussion board, Hoya Talk, contains a number of variations of the “Dikembe” version of the story:
Re: Mutombo Website
Post by goldhoya on Apr 19, 2005, 2:28pm
Ok, this has been bugging me for a while, since The Sports Guy insists on using this quote at least once a week. I need the expert opinion of those who were around in the early ’90s to resolve my question.
The way the story got passed down at The Hoya, we always believed the quote was “Who Will Sex Dikembe Tonight?” and it was uttered while Dikembe sat on a stool at The Pub.
Re: Mutombo Website
Post by austinhoya03 on Apr 19, 2005, 9:53pm
I always heard the famous line (which was passed down to me as “Who Will Sex Dikembe tonight” as well) was uttered at the Tombs and on more than one occasion.
Re: Mutombo Website
Post by frankblack on Apr 21, 2005, 6:12pm
I heard the story at a party my sophomore year in 1994 and the person indicated that it was in Village A. So it must be true. I remember it as: “Who wants to sex Dikembe?”
Re: Mutombo Website
Post by fhillsnyhoya on Apr 20, 2005, 1:10pm
I also remember it as “Who will sex Dikembe tonight”. While I originally thought it happened at the Tombs, some of you have me convinced it might have been at the Pub.
Re: Mutombo Website
Post by wsrrules on Apr 20, 2005, 2:24pm
Georgetown’s own Urban Legend with a million variations. Outstanding.
My freshman year (98), the story was passed down to me by someone who claimed it was “Who wants to sex Dikembe,” but not at the Pub or Tombs… but New South cafeteria. haha.
Comments from Georgetown alums on another discussion board corroborate the “sex Dikembe” version of the tale.
Moreover, a comment thread on a Vox Populi article about Mutombo’s being named commencement speaker for Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences contained this telling exchange:
college senior says:
WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO?
1992 Graduate says:
To College Senior: you have it wrong; Dikembe’s signature call was not “who wants to sex Mutumbo” but “Who will sex Dikembe tonight?!” Those of us who witnessed the man with the booming voice as he walked out of New South on a Friday afternoon, wandering over to his Village A apartment, will never forget it. — C’92
So, after reviewing all the evidence, here are ROTI’s findings regarding what Dikembe Mutombo said when requesting sexual favors, where he said it, and whether this story is true at all.
WHAT DID HE ACTUALLY SAY?
Despite what Bill Simmons may tell you, there does not appear to be anybody in a position to directly relate tales from Mutombo’s undergraduate days at Georgetown who asserts that he said “Who wants to sex Mutombo?” Instead, this construction of the quote is a legend that dates to Mutombo’s NBA days, and is most feverishly peddled by known Hoya-hater Simmons and Syracuse fans. Dubious sources, to be sure.
Here’s what we know about the evolution of this rumor based on the dates it was first heard:
Early 90s, Georgetown campus: “Who will sex Dikembe tonight?”
Late 90s, Georgetown campus: “Who wants to sex Dikembe?”
Mid-aughts, The Internet: “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”
Not only is the latter version the least funny, it is also the least supported by the facts in evidence. I am somewhat attached to the version I originally heard, since I think that construction of the phrase is arguably the funniest. Nevertheless, based on the evidence that this investigation turned up, I must conclude:
He actually said “Who will sex Dikembe tonight?”
WHERE DID HE SAY “WHO WILL SEX DIKEMBE TONIGHT?”
Deadspin claims Mutombo walked into “a Georgetown bar,” everyone stopped what they were doing to look at him, and he yelled out the line basically as a joke. This is bogus on a number of levels. First of all, Georgetown undergrads would not have frozen at the mere appearance of Dikembe Mutombo, who they probably saw every time they went to eat at the cafeteria. Secondly, there is no way this line was a reaction to an awkward situation. It was a serious question…who’s going to have sex with me? Identify yourselves!
Here are the locations where the primary sources cite Dikembe asking who will sex him tonight:
- The Pub (an on-campus bar, RIP)
- The Tombs (the quintessential Georgetown bar)
- Village A (student housing complex)
- New South Cafeteria after the Block Party
There are many possibilities. Our conclusion? If you come up with a line this brilliant, and it actually works, you don’t just say it one time. You say it every damn time you can.
He said it all over campus and beyond. Therefore, the multiplicity of settings for the “sex Dikembe” anecdote is no obstacle to their collective veracity. “Who will sex Dikembe tonight?” was his catchphrase. For all we know, he says it to this day.
BUT IS THIS STORY ACTUALLY TRUE?
Of course it is! I don’t want to live in a world where this story isn’t true.