Commentary

This Sporting Life: Greetings, Dear!

Originally Published: September 25, 2009
By Jeff MacGregor | Page 2

Number of spam e-mails sent for every one that receives a response: 12,414,000
-- Harper's Magazine

To: You
Subject: Congratulations, winner!

Luckiest,

In the Texas Sweepstakes just held you are the biggest winner! Biggest of all! I write today in respect of this fact and to let you be having our once-this-lifetime chance!

First let me say that I am RawlingsWallah JerruhJones, King of Dallas prefecture, Texas. And that I have in my treasury funds of 1.3 billion US$ for claiming by you. These funds are taking the form at the moment of a large and glorious stadium for the play of American football. Brand-new.

Due to recent upheavals and unhappinesses, however, including taxpayer revolt and long years underachievement of the footballing team housed therein, I have taken the decision to unburden my portfolios of any monies associated with footballism.

These monies are now yours through lottery.

To satisfy escrow law and claim your 1.3 billion US$ -- plus football team and QB thrown in free gratis -- remit only 29 US$ standing room fee for handling, and I will ship all to you by swiftest post.

Completely,

Sir JerruhJones, Mr./Esq., MBE, MGD, PBR, DFW, Dr Ppr

To: You
Subject: Prison PenPals Official Notification

You are chosen by North American government to help ease suffering and sleeplessness of federal prisoners. Respond to this e-mail and receive lists of penitentiary addresses and inmate names. Also postcards numbering 12, (and stamps also 12), for correspondence. All free but for handling charges of £179, direct via jetmail Curaçao.

Lying awake nights, unshowered and frightened, Plaxico is so em-Burressed. Won't you write a sweet card and ease his nerves?

To: You
Subject: Not At All Russian Mail Order Brides! Not!

Dearest,

There comes news today of your great loneliness and I have an answer. We are sending to you electronic transfer of investment dollars (US$) in excess of 200 millions or more to bolster lackluster NBA in your area and to shore up residential and retail development as well.

Global TriState Nets Metro Ventures LLC Offshore is this new enterprise, and you alone shall be its most excellent beneficiary!

Because a night out with regional basketballers is the healthy way to meet new young tall people in your area and to be making entertainments with them.

So doing this all-legal investment with his money is Mikhail Prokhorov -- who is famous Samaritan and do-gooder only, not kleptocrat, and a super-legitimate uncriminal billionaire at home in Russia, and has no ties to anyone or anything provable in court of law (much less carrying a gun or club or blade or high-voltage clamp of any kind), or even in any way the least questionable.

Still, do not question him.

Upon exchange of your credit card and social security informations, you will be offered one dozen seat licenses for lifetime use in Brooklyn or maybe elsewhere. These are for basketball. Or for Coney Island seaside time-share. Buy them.

If you are knowing what is good for you and your dear ones, and without recourse to notification of Interpol or local authorities, buy them.

Buy them.

Now all your Bobby Simmons are belong to us.

ДО СВИДАИИЯ

Cheers,

John "Ivan" Doe

To: You
Subject: My Need of Quick Travel

Please,

I am called Henin in Belgium. Friends use first name Justine and I need your help.

I seek fastest return possible to United States and other world capitals so to reclaim former fame and standing and stature and enhance lifetime prize money of US$ 19,461,375. My best tennis friend Kim has experienced same of late, and proves to me the desirability of this immediate return. Can you help?

This is honest. All correspondence kept private and confidential. Will travel BusinessFirst only.

Left too soon,

J. H.

To: You
Subject: Opportunity Knocking

Reader,

Can you hear it? Knocking? Opportunity?

Good. Now is the time to become a referee of the National Basketball Association. Sudden reversals in our business plan mean a good chance for advancement and dreams come true! If your eyes are sharp enough to read a e i o u, contact D. Stern immediately by text message. Earn cash now! (Over 18 only. Must provide own transport and gray T-shirt. Valid OTR license a plus.)

Our lockout is your luck-out!

To: You
Subject: Double Jackpot!

You have been elected President Deluxe of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey enterprise! Also Coach and General Manager!

To claim "prize," rush US $300 million (326 million CAD) processing fee by postal check or money order -- or equivalent weight in recyclable aluminum, copper, glass or plastic -- to Gary Bettman, c/o NHL Sales and Liquidations, Bangalore, Upstairs SW3.

(Organization must be packed and out of Phoenix by sundown Friday.)

To: You
Subject: Ask Not What Tim Tebow Can Do For You

Greetings proud American computer owner!

You have heard no doubt on the radiophone cables or the Twitter blogs that many this year are at risk of Swine Flu disease. Deadly! Among these is admirable young person and handsome football operator Tim Tebow of Florida, USA.

Our program offers you the chance to help save him.

Won't you save Tim Tebow?

By clicking the link below, downloading and opening all attached .exe files and filling in the fields "Name," "SSN," "Credit Cards" and "Checking Account Number" you agree to reciprocate to us 129€ in annual return (and perpetuity). Once done, we will then exchange with you a nonlethal dose of H1N1 virus. (This we shall do through the tubes connected to your PC computer.)

By such safe inoculation, you will prevent the further spread of Swine Flu -- perhaps even to Florida, USA and Mr. Tim Tebow!

How can you do less?

To: You
Subject: Madness! Global Collapse! New World Order!

The world no longer makes sense! Save yourself!

Mysteries of the earth now revealed!

What are the five secret signs? What are the ancient symbols? What do Iran, Iraq, Gadhafi, Obama, O'Hair, Ole Miss, Glenn Beck, Bruce Pearl, Bode Miller, Pete Carroll, MacKenzie Phillips, Tom DeLay, Michael Moore and Michael Vick have in common?

To find out, send immediate cashier's check notarized for $100 USD made payable to "Habitat for Jeff MacGregor: The Flat-screen Project."

We await your word.

Jeff MacGregor is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. Please continue to submit your answers to his question: "What Are Sports For?" You can e-mail him at jeff_macgregor@hotmail.com.