The One E-mail That Wasn't Insulting

We all know about the SI Cover jinx. Is there any documentation for "Life of Reilly Jinx"? Your column on Norval (Turner) was awesome -- until we lost. You didn't happen to write an article about how Nate Kaeding is the greatest kicker in NFL history, did you?

-- Brady Phelps (San Diego, Calif.)

No, but I did write an entire column saying 2009 would be Mischa Barton's big comeback year.

Is there a Rick Reilly Scholarship available to freelance writers? If so, shoot me some info please.

-- Billy Bruce (Pedro, Ohio)

Yes. But first we have to buy you a plane ticket to the big Freelance Writer Scholarship Dinner. Just send me your credit card information. It's a $1000 deposit, plus a 15 percent service fee. Then you can come and get your cap and gown and your free full-ride scholarship! (Tuition, books, room and board not included.)

The only thing I ask of Warner is that if he does decide to leave the game, please, for the love of God, take Matt Leinart with him!

-- Kevin George (Chandler, Ariz.)

Just a reminder. Do you remember who finished second to Leinart in the 2004 Heisman Trophy voting? Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson.

Great column. [Warner] is one of the more fascinating and thoughtful characters in professional sports. In 500 words you captured his humanity; a feat that ranks right up there with hitting on a post pattern. Nicely done.

-- Paul Kidwell (Boston)

Thanks, but ... 500 words? It was about 800. It's ALWAYS about 800. For 22 years, I wrote an 800-word column and there's no changing me now. It's like a dog with an electric fence. Even if the fence has been torn down and hauled away years ago, the dog never leaves the yard.

What a great story about Matt Costello. Though I live in Detroit, I grew up in Baltimore and went to Loyola as well. I had tears in my eyes from the beginning. In the midst of millionaire athletes with guns, the most famous athlete in the world living a deceitful lie, baseball players cheating the game, you have the reality of this young man who only wants a chance to live and maybe throw a ball again.

-- Brian Effinger (Detroit)

I have identified as transgendered for as long as I can remember but still ended up as a college football player. I am too afraid to come out because, for me, I know it will cause me to lose my job, family, any chance at a relationship, friends and safety. I believe that ignorance about it makes a large contribution to our high suicide rate, which I have also strongly considered. Any mention of our struggles in a national spotlight can only help ease the way for more women like your friend and myself. I merely want to thank you for staying her friend through her difficult times and being understanding of our plight in general.

-- Marissa T (Rochester, N.Y.)

Good luck. I wish you the best whatever you choose.

As an Aints fan since the day I was born, I have 21 years experience dealing with horrible Saints quarterbacks. This poem has made sitting through countless interceptions and fumbles worth it. Thank you for making the terrible, terrible history of our quarterbacks not so terrible anymore. Go Saints and God Bless Drew Brees.

-- Michael Morris (Hammond, La.)

Next up: I'm doing all your nose guards.

Re: the Saints QB poem ... here is my husband's last stanza for you:

Brees has done
What others couldn't do
That gunslinger QB
From good Ol' Purdue

-- Julie Stephen (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Nice, but his first line has three beats, his second and third have six and his last has five. Does he have no rhythm in other departments of life?

What every Rick Reilly reader
and every poet laureat (sic) knows
is that Richard should keep his day job,
abandon poetry and stick to prose.

But it was a noble effort, Rick ... like the way intentional grounding longs to be a pass.

-- Ramon Presson (Franklin, Tenn.)

First, never criticize somebody else's poem when you can't even get the meter right. Your poem goes: 8, 9, 9, 10.

Second, it's ironic that a laureate such as yourself can't spell "laureate."

Third, only my mom was allowed to call me Richard.

The best way for us Colts fans to make it known how angry we are at Polian, Irsay and Caldwell for robbing this city, the players and the fans of a shot at a perfect season is to boycott all souvenir and concession stand purchases at the playoff games. We can just tell them, "IT WAS NEVER A GOAL OF MY FAMILY TO SPEND $150 ON JERSEYS AND PAY $20 FOR A POPCORN AND TWO COKES."

-- Brent Scott (Elwood, Ind.)

OK, that's funny. And a very good idea. It's always an idea dumber than Spam Lite to introduce the feel of losing into a team that hasn't lost yet. Why, exactly, would you want to remind your team that, yes, we can suck? Would you do that in battle? "Men, it's time we lose one of these, just to get it out of the way." No. Beyond that, there are very few chances in the world of sports to become immortal, even fewer chances for an entire team to do it. Very few records stand for 20 and 30 years. To this day, we remember the 1972 Miami Dolphins, not because they won the Super Bowl (dozens of teams have done that), but because they were perfect. The Colts' going 19-0 would have been the kind of perfection that would've even surpassed that. To me, it was the dumbest decision in the NFL this year.

You recommend NCAA athletes who want to get a personal message across to have it tattooed, especially as it regards to Tim Tebow and his proselytizing. There's a very big problem with that: "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:28) ... Leviticus strictly prohibits tattoos. Period.

-- Justin (Marietta, Ga.)

So every athlete that has a religious symbol tattoo (75 percent of them) is violating Biblical law? Who knew?

Frankly, Mr. Reilly, I became a bit perturbed while watching the Taco Bell lineup in the (insert any name here) Bowl Game. I realized that the Overstock.com first down marker had misjudged the actual first down which was brought to me by 7-Eleven. Even the sacred Heisman Trophy has a name attached. On top of that, the college football championship game had a sponsor. And who was it? A company that has assisted in this nation's problem -- Citi credit cards. When will penalties gain sponsorship? But then, who wants their name associated with such a violent offense? What about touchdowns, field goals or maybe even the attempts for such scores? I realize money must be spent, earned and maybe even laundered, but this is outrageous to say the least. Thanks for allowing me this time to rant. Of course it is not on company time. Our office doesn't have the money to sponsor it.

-- Larry Mitchell (Carlsbad, N.M.)

Thank you for visiting the FedEx Mailbag.

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