Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No Country For Old Pubes

Last Tuesday morning I got an idea.

I caught some NFL highlights and a particular image stuck with me. Scores flew across the bottom of the screen over a shot of Tom Brady trotting into the tunnel after a win. Some hopeful fans reached out for high fives and one fan really captivated me. This guy’s face was deformed with adoration. Gaze transfixed, mouth agape, spittle flecks airborne. Torso flung over the railing at an angle that told me falling twelve feet on top of Tom Brady would be worth it just to touch Tom Brady. He loved Tom Brady. I saw this man’s face for less than a second and I felt confident he would trade his children for one ride on a ferris wheel with Tom.

People love sports, especially sports heroes. How deep does that love run? How fanatical are fans? How crazy are we? I made the Craigslist ad below to find some answers.

click on ad to enlarge

I also included this photo.

the parcel

I posted the ad around 11am. By 4pm it got picked up by MSN, FOX, Deadspin, City PagesBusiness Insider and a couple dozen blogs and fan sites. If you google ‘favre pubes’ or ‘game worn pubes’ you can find a lot of interesting discussion about this. Some people are really disgusted while others just really want the pubes. When I woke up on Wednesday I had e-mails from the KFAN morning show offering me the full $200 and wanting to talk on the air. By Wednesday afternoon Craigslist had taken my ad down, though I’d already received inquiries from about twenty interested buyers. Some of them wanted to haggle while others were ready to meet up ASAP with the full $200. None of the e-mails became as wild as my exchange with Bruce, but I will share my favorite excerpts. Yes, these are completely authentic quotes from very real e-mails.

“I’m a serious buyer.”

“Hello, I am a serious buyer.”

“First off, I'm a serious buyer.”

“I'm not a crazy person or anything.”

“Listen im not crazy or anything I just want the pubes.”

“Look I’m not a weirdo I just think this is awesome and I gotta have it.”

“I am extremely interested in Brett Favres pubes.”

“Can you call me ASAP my name is Mark and I'm a HUGE Vikes fan.”


“I really would love to have this treasure, so I would be willing to make a trade for them.”

“I live in Bloomington and wil lpay the $200 aksing. Can meet tonight or tomorrow.”

“200 cash I’m in Edina I can meet you anywhere in half an hour.”

“50 bucks. I’ll meet you anywhere. Right now. Let’s do it.”

“I think it would be cool to add to my Vikes collection.”

“Do these come with a certificate of authenticity?”

“Do you have a DNA test?”

“Do you have a better pictuer?

“Are you really Jenn Sterger?”

“Are you Brett Favre?”

“Are they grey?”

“I am wondering if you or your brother knows anyone who still works in the equipments rooms of an NFL or NCAA football team who could get their hands on game-used compression shorts or jockstraps. I'd be willing to pay big money for such items. Discretion guaranteed (for everyone's sake).”

At best, I’ve put forth an amusing prank that spotlights our advanced mania for sports heroes and internet commerce. At worst, I came close to selling some hair from a dark patch on my dog’s tail for $200 to some idiot. Either way I learned something—don’t know what it is, but I learned something. The goal was never to swindle anyone so I didn’t sell the goods, but now that I’ve come clean I am lowering the price to a cool $20. A friend pointed out to me that someone has probably brought this to Favre’s attention by now. I can’t picture Brett using the internet, so I imagine him on his riding mower when a svelte assistant in Wrangler cut off jean shorts walks across his lawn and shows him the story on an iPad. I picture Brett shaking his head, lighting a cigarette, and riding off into a lake.

"I don't know what to make of that. I sure don't." 
-Sheriff Ed Tom Bell