|Who wants to date Anna?|
From the Page 2 mailbag
You begged. You pleaded. You waxed poetic. You wrote Top 10 lists. You went to bat for your friends. You even turned against your own country.
When Page 2 opened up the mailbag, offering its readers the chance to "Win a Date with Anna," we were beseiged with more than 7,500 responses. We read through them all, and you had us laughing, crying ... and, uh, shaking our heads.
So, without further ado, it's time to announce the lucky readers who have won a copy of Anna Kournikova's 2003 Swimsuit Calendar. All 25 of the following letter-writers will soon be receiving the calendar in the mail.
And now, we want to identify the single person most worthy of a date with the tennis temptress. Check out the top five letters as chosen by Page 2's editors, and then vote in our poll to crown the most creative response. Who knows, maybe Anna will grant our champion a night to remember.
The Top Five Candidates:
Nikolai Volkov would kill Hulk Hogan in a steel-cage match. Gregory Hines couldn't hold Baryshnikov's jock. In the '80s, I lobbied the video game industry for a national ban on "Russian Attack." Yakov Smirnoff is the greatest comedic genius of all-time. When I was 8, I dressed as Gorbachev for Halloween.
If I can change (and start dating popular tennis stars), and you can change (and date an attorney from Baltimore), everybody can change! I love you Anna.
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch break, making them more efficient in heat-retention. I play bluegrass cello. I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst and a ruthless bookie. I don't perspire. I once read "Paradise Lost," "Moby Dick" and "David Copperfield" in one day. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. I breed prize-winning clams.
On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet. I have performed open-heart surgery. And I have spoken to Elvis. But I have not yet dated Anna Kournikova.
"OK, I'm Steve. I'm a late bloomer with a tremendous amount of upside. I'm not getting a lot of action right now, but I'm gaining confidence everyday, and it's only a matter of time. I'm living in the South with an inordinate amount of attractive women, so the laws of averages are with me. If I can keep working hard and doing what I'm doing, the sky is the limit for me."
Steve dreams of sporting the Doug Christie jersey someday as he currently totes the A.C. Green jersey (not the Lakers but the Mavs). In a Page 2 version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, don't let Steve fall victim to a future episode of "Star Dates" with Kerri Strug.
I don't like tennis. I'm going to be unemployed come February. I drink like a fish. I'm not a Russian hockey player. I'm not a Latin heartthrob. I have a girlfriend. I'm a die-hard Seahawks fan. My hobbies include gambling, strip clubs, and watching SportsCenter. Twice. In my eight years of driving, I have been pulled over at least 15 times and ticketed nine times. I have a small beer gut. I subscribe to Maxim, Playboy, and ESPN The Magazine, and take every word in them as gospel. Porn? Nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed "Saved By the Bell: The College Years." I live in the city and drive an SUV. I don't make the bed. I can't survive without caffeine in my system at all times. I've stayed overnight in Tijuana. I visit Vegas more times a year then I visit any of my aunts or uncles, and they all live within 30 minutes of me. My "size" is average. Why should Anna pick me? Because I don't see any of these things as being bad.
I am a single elementary school teacher and coach tennis in high school. I am in my 20s. Maybe I could say this best in a Christmas poem:
were hoping to write a reason that was of most worth.
So even I wrote a letter, why Anna should care,
In hopes after reading it she'd soon be here.
As I went to sleep, that night in my bed,
I had visions of Anna and I dancing 'round in my head.
I pictured Anna in her kerchief and I in my cap,
That's all she was wearing as she sat on my lap.
If this dream could come true I'd promise not to bite,
and she would enjoy herself all through the night!
The Other 20 Winners:
A sampling of me:
I've never been hunted by the Russian Mob. In a darkly lit room, I bear a strong resemblance to Enrique Eglesias (mole sold separately). However, at 6-foot-4, I bet I match up well to Enrique's "assets." Despite my deep dark longings for a night of passion with Serena Williams, the blonde athletic chick thing does it for me, too. My one-bedroom condo is sure to give Anna that cozy, lived-in feeling. I've been known to watch women's tennis without being aroused by each and every grunt. In the face of my Arabic last name, I'm actually quite passive. Finally, I speak three languages, four if you include the mindless babble I would emit if ever I were lucky enough to be within 100 yards of Anna. In summary, date me, Anna, and learn the true meaning of 40-Love.
Never having played hockey, I will never take a swing at Anna (she may, however, rough me up as much as she likes). Not being a Latin pop star, I will not have to split my time between her and filming homoerotic Doritos commercials. Also being unemployed and somewhat less-than-active due to an unfortunate weight problem, I should have no trouble working around her hectic schedule should our date blossom into a long-term and meaningful relationship -- as I'm certain it will. I know I've said that about the last dozen or so dates I picked up on the Internet, but I really feel a special kinship with Ms. Kournikova. I can't describe it, but it's intense and it's real and sometimes when I look at her pictures I get a feeling like God is slapping me in the back of my head and screaming "Well, what are you waiting for?" What indeed, Page 2. What indeed.
To an Athlete's Career, Dying Young
Oh what a promising career you once had,
Now all the guys chant, "Whoa, look at that chest!"
Isn't it amazing with that great groundstroke
Who would have guessed that the girl who dates hockey stars
Just when you think that your career is about drowned,
In only one evening you would have so much fun,
You see, most guys just don't get it ... In this situation, you have to revert to reverse-psychology tactics.
Nothing gets a fashion model/tennis starlet more riled up than someone who seems disinterested. You have your, "type-flight professional Page 2 columnists," tell the Kournikova that no one replied to the ad you put on Page 2. Next, tell her to call back if she has any questions (this is the point where you give her my phone number because I thought of the idea). The Kournikova will be calling night and day I tell you! Pretty soon she will be the one wanting a date.
Reverse-psychology: second only to beer when it comes to boosting your game.
I have all of my teeth, and I do not have the weird thing on my face. I am reasonably attractive, somewhat humorous and have a decent butt.
Now for the most important reason: I am 38, separated and have four children.
This could be seen as a disadvantage but, on the contrary. I could show Anna how scary a long-term relationship can be. This action would probably keep her single for at least another 10 years or so. That would enable all males to think that they still have a chance with her. Isn't that what we all really want? Isn't that what the contest is about? To have 5 million guys thinking, "Hey, it could be me." It would really be a duty to all mankind. As an ex-Marine I am prepared to do my duty. I am ready to date Anna. After all, "It could be me."
Christmas time, the season for giving. For several years now, a date with Anna has been at the top of my list of holiday wishes. This year's list:
And as odd as it might seem to the 5-year-old in line behind me, it's even more awkward for me, a 27-year-old, to have to sit on Santa's lap year in and year out asking for one magical evening with the princess of professional tennis. I have been especially good this year. I cut down on swearing at referees. I waited until the Cubs' 124th game before using the phrase "next year." I even watched a WNBA game in its entirety. But I fear it will all be for naught, as Jolly Ol' Saint Nick won't come through. So I turn to you, ESPN, for help in making this Christmas one to remember. Choose me, Anna, for all the kids out there that still believe in Christmas miracles!
My perfect date with Anna would be to go shopping at the local mall, grab a light dinner and get home in time to turn on SportsCenter to laugh at the New York Rangers highlights while eating Doritos.
Anna, you need someone down to earth,
The name of this contest should not be "Why should Anna go on a date with you?" Instead, a more apt title would read "Why wouldn't Anna want to go on a date with Chip Cutter?" Agreed, it wouldn't make for much of a contest, but the top 10 reasons are as follows:
10. Does not wear a knit skullcap (unless Anna wants him to).
Please understand that this date isn't just for me, but for everybody who came out of their respective college and started a career with no light at the end of the tunnel. Well guys, Anna is the light.
It's Christmas Eve. I should probably be out at some party. Instead I'm alone, watching "It's A Wonderful Life," and sitting here writing this. George Bailey is just about to jump off the bridge. If I ever considered jumping off a bridge (not that I would), I'd want my guardian angel to be Anna (instead of that old Clarence guy -- he's not quite as inspiring.) Nothing in this world or of the heavens could convince me more that life is worth living than seeing the beautiful Anna standing before me ?
I posed this question to my beautiful wife.
"Dear, why should Anna Kournikova, the only woman, next to you, who makes my knees buckle, the only fantasy I've ever truly wished for outside of the wonderful 14 years we've spent together, why should she go out on a date with me?"
My wife looked up at me from the magazine she was reading and said in a very pronounced tone ... "Because I said you can." She then went right back to the magazine. Wow, I already am the luckiest!
"Sexy Man Beast." A phrase commonly thrown around when I enter a room. Granted, a resounding "Him? God NO!" follows but only chumps care what the masses think. Anna should go on a date with me for a glimpse at what life would be like if she were desperate, blind, or resembled a Muppet -- much like my dates of past.
On my date of desperation, the tennis Titaness of titillation would swoon. ... Anna kindles a literary beauty in me, these words flow like diamonds from a hairy fountain of love whenever she is near. Gazing into her eyes as she constantly checked the clock, I'd woo her further with a wink and a display of my young manpowers, possibly by belching the love theme to Titanic or explaining why underwear shouldn't be worn.
Lastly, I would tell Anna, "If nothing else this date was worth ? it was the highlight of my life."
Top 10 Reasons Anna Kournikova should go out with Dave Kowalewski ... (with all due respect to Dave Letterman). From the home office in Baltimore, Md.:
10. He was once Mr. Villa Julie College.
While many might be content to merely look at pictures of Anna, I wear one. My endless devotion is manifested in the form of a T-shirt bearing her beautiful image on the back. By virtue of wearing this shirt constantly, Anna is perpetually kept close to my heart, both literally and symbolically. This shirt has been embraced as the official shirt of my tennis team and has served as an endless repository of inspiration and motivation.
Even some of my closest friends mock me for my love, and say that my dreams of meeting Anna will never be realized. I have taken an absurd amount of mockery at the hands of these so-called friends and teammates, and going on a date with Anna would allow me to simultaneously achieve my dream while proving my friends wrong. My unrequited love for Ms. Kournikova is unparalleled, and there is no better basis than this on which to choose a winner.
Quite simply, Anna should go out with me for the sake of the entire planet. It is no secret that global warming is a severe problem that affects all life on earth. Scientists are completely aware of this problem, but they have no idea what to do about it. But alas! If Anna were to agree to go out with me, hell would surely freeze over effectively counteracting the ramifications of global warming and the planet would be saved!
A few years back, I awoke to a cold and blistery morning on my college campus. I was going to Texas Christian University and preparing for the long drive back to Denver for Thanksgiving. As I turned on my radio after taking a shower, a news alert sounded. "An ice storm moved in leaving cars stranded from Amarillo to Fort Worth." I dropped my razor knowing immediately that I would be stranded in an empty fraternity house with no way to get home. I quickly dressed and turned on the TV. Oh no! The ice storm knocked out all of the cable dishes so television was no option.
I quietly heated up my Hungry Man turkey dinner and sat down in a quiet, empty room when suddenly -- I saw gleaming out of the corner of my eye, the Anna Kornikova tennis video laying in our Fraternity Chapter Room. Some poor sole unknowingly left it and undoubtly spent hours searching for it before leaving for home. I laughed at the thought of his plight.
Carefully I knelt down, picked up the sacred cassette and loaded it into the VCR. All of a sudden, like a bolt of lightening, I see Anna appear out of nowhere, playing the game she invented -- tennis (yes, she invented tennis for many men across the country).
It was then I realized how thankful I was on this joyous holiday, alone in my fraternity house. She was my savior....
I'm willing to indemnify ESPN from any liability for my actions when I'm in the presence of Ms. Kournikova. ... I feel that it's a travesty that personal appearance isn't somehow factored into tennis rankings. ... For the record, I didn't actually sleep with the prostitute that tried to pick me up when I visited Russia as a high school senior. ... I'm willing to let The Sports Guy sit near me and tell me what to say (a la Cyrano De Bergerac). ...
Off the tennis court, when camera aren't flashing and fans aren't scuffling over a towel which you had victoriously flung aside, who is this person ... this "Anna"? Is it possible that there are more to you than just a perfect athletic physique or that exquisite angelic exterior which glamorizes magazine covers all over large cities and even in small unknown villages of poor countries? And is there a personal "you" who longs for sanctuary with a trusted soul? A mate with whom you feel safe and comfortable enough to indulge and share your innermost secrets? And an acquaintanceship -- that glorious feeling of "this is the right one" -- which has eluded you 'til right this very moment?
Much like a delicate pair of beauteous and rare butterflies who are destined to meet at the mercy of helter-skelter winds ... as if propelled by destiny. Yet, drawn together by chance for an almost sacred once-in-a-lifetime encounter that will last for the rest of their pulchritudinous lives.
Precious occasions such as these stay with us forever. And looking back on such a perfect moment, years from now, knowing that it started it all.
Have a happy New Year, dear Butterfly.
Dr. Hardus Odendaal
Why pick me do you ask? I ask, instead -- why not? Opposites attract as most anyone knows. I postulate then, is there a stronger attraction than Anna and I? The facts speak for themselves.
Anna is ludicrously rich. I'll be in debt when I die. Anna is athletic. I tire watching darts from my barstool. Anna is attractive. Children scream in terror at my approach. Anna is Russian. I am ... un-Russian. Anna is famous. My family forgets who I am. Anna has never won a singles tournament. I won the ring toss at the State Fair. Anna attracts people. I attract flies. A Google search on "Anna Kournikova" returns 410,000 matches. A Google search on me returns "You're about as inconsequential as they come."
This could continue, I argue, ad infinitum. But the point has already been made. If ever there has been a more glaring pair of two "star-crossed" lovers, I challenge anyone to prove it. Like apples and oranges, oil and water, yin and yang, Anna and I belong together like two peas in a pod.