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6 Things: Fan mail

Thursday, 16.01.2014 / 12:40 PM / Features
By Derek Jory
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6 Things: Fan mail
My mom had a typewriter when I was young, so I spent a lot of my free time typing fan mail to celebrities and athletes.
My mom had a typewriter when I was young, so I spent a lot of my free time typing fan mail to celebrities and athletes.

I didn’t have a lot of friends, let’s just get that out of the way right now.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me and in realizing I could connect with people through it, I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote some more and I’m proud to say I got a lot of signed photos back, from the likes of Oprah, Drew Barrymore, John Travolta, Kevin Bacon, Jim Carrey and Clint Eastwood.

Now I see why I didn’t have a lot of friends.

Fan mail, as I found out this week, is still alive and well; we live in a digital era, but a lot of Canucks fans still take the time to put pen to paper and send letters to their favourite players.

Here are 6 Things you should know about fan mail.

TEAM EFFORT

Not all fan mail gets answered, it’s just the reality of the situation. The players try their best to answer as many letters as possible, but with two Santa Claus-sized sacks arriving weekly, volume exceeds free time. Speaking of jolly old Saint Nicholas, he has a team of elves help him make the toys needed to reward all the nice kids for being good, and the Canucks have a team of people who help sort through all the mail that comes in. We call them interns. I vote we change that to mail elves, anyone opposed? No? Perfect. Mail elves it is.

SPELING MATERS

Letters for Mark Santorelli, Roberto Luuongo, Ryan Kelser and Eddy Lack are the norm. Not sure who any of those players are, but Mike Santorelli, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler and Eddie Lack may not open or answer letters that aren’t actually made out to them. Maybe they aren’t as picky as me, but if fan mail ever arrives for Derek Joy instead of Derek Jory I’m not opening it – just kidding I’ll tear it open and likely frame it fan mail rules someone send me a letter!!! Sorry about that. Focus on spelling within the letter too. Pavol from Austria, the Canucks have no idea what "autograms" are, they only do autographs.

DRAWINGS ARE GOOOOD

Big shout out to 10-year-old Michael from Saskatchewan, who wrote in to Ryan Kesler. Not only was he sweet – “I appreciate the way you play, the way you pass, the way you score and the way you are awesome even though you already are” – he didn’t request anything, was simply writing in to wish Kesler and the Canucks a Merry Christmas AND he included a drawing he did of Kesler scoring into an empty net. Kesler can also stop searching for his No. 1 fan, Michael revealed himself. Solid letter from top to bottom. Nice work.

BE DIFFERENT

From the stack of opened letters I grabbed from the big bin of letters, two immediately rose to the top of the pile: a chevron patterned square letter for David Booth, which included a CD of Christian rock, and a turquoise rectangle letter for Chris Tanev, which turned out to be an invite to grad. The rest of the letters were in regular white envelopes with regular stamps and regular writing. Like a resume or ice cream cone, standing out a bit is worth it; you get an interview and you get eaten. If you’re sending a letter in, add metaphorical sprinkles. Or real sprinkles. Mmmm sprinkles.

ENVELOPE + TAPE = GRRRRR

Fact: the only people who put tape on the back of envelopes are people who have never opened taped envelopes. Remember that time all the glue on the back of all the envelopes all over the world suddenly was no longer sticky and only the taped envelopes survived and arrived safely at their destinations? NO? Me neither. Just lick the envelope and move on to hunting down a mailbox – which I didn’t know still existed. Trying to open taped letters can lead to opening a world of frustration. Why do that to your favourite player?

ASK NICELY

I read 10 letters from fans who requested autographs from players and seven fans said please, the other three did not. While the player is likely to sign either way, an autograph done with a smile stands the test of time better than a frowny signature. I made that up, but just remember you catch more flies with honey than with not saying please. Also, props to those who included self-addressed, stamped envelopes, making it easy to get the autographed cards back. Smooth. Chris Higgins appreciates it.