The postal service are huge sports fans

Illustration by Jason Schneider

Neither snow, nor rain, nor incomplete address! On June 8, Team Fandom embarked on a grand experiment. We mailed letters to 27 sports celebs, including Derek Jeter, Tim Tebow, Bill Belichick and Les Miles—but none of the envelopes actually had a street address, just a city, state and ZIP. And just for fun, some letters didn’t even include a full name (example: “LeBron, Miami, FL”). We waited for proof of receipt ... skeptically.

Faster than you can get a retweet from a fake Kobe account, our doubts were lifted. The experiment worked in stunningly quick fashion in Alabama, where our note to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban was the first to arrive, three days after going into the mail system. “This is Alabama,” a football office employee wrote us, dutifully responding to the plea we enclosed asking for confirmation that the letter was got. “Everyone knows Coach Saban. I actually hardly ever get mail for him that has a full address.”

Turns out, Mr. Postperson wasn’t done doling out the special deliveries. Tom Brady, Coach K, Bob Stoops, Mack Brown and Larry Bird carry Santa-level status with the USPS as well, as we received notice that they got their letters too. Eight weeks after starting, we had only eight “return to sender” replies, with another 13 notes still MIA.

Now on to our next mission -- seeing where the mailman would go with a letter to “the Astros MVP.” That should keep him guessing.

Here's how we addressed our letters...

Nick Saban

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Bob Stoops

Norman, OK 73019

Tom Brady

Foxborough, MA 02035

Larry Bird

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Mack Brown

Austin, TX 78713

Coach K

Durham, NC 27708