JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Click—oh, nooooooooooo! (a book contest)

tom-hanksjeff-pearlman

Just sent an e-mail to the wrong person. Hate when that happens.

In the grand scheme, not that huge of a deal. I’m going to be in Chicago next weekend doing some research, so I decided to get a credential to the Bears game and write my SI.com column off of it. However, I sent the e-mail that was supposed to go to B.J. Schecter, my awesome SI.com editor, to the Bears’ media relations director. Again, a 1 or 2 on the 1-to-10 scale of blunders. But still sorta cruddy.

Along those lines, let’s have a book giveaway. A free autographed copy of Boys Will Be Boys to the person who has the most humiliating I-can’t-believe-I-sent-that-e-mail! story. E-mail them to me at anngold22@gmail.com, or post it in the comments section below this entry.

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Along those lines, I just thought of a truly humiliating story that I’ll share. Back when I was a young punk fact checker at Sports Illustrated in the mid-1990s, I rubbed a couple of co-workers wrongly—and vice versa. They weren’t bad guys, in hindsight, and neither was I. But we were all ambitious, anxious, probably a tad ornery.

Anyhow, I was single at the time, and some way or another I was trying an early version of online dating. I believe I was exchanging e-mails with a woman over AOL, and she wrote, “So what do you look like?” I didn’t really know how to answer, so I told her a former girlfriend used to say I reminded her of Tom Hanks. (neither compliment nor insult). When we were done chatting, I printed the dialogue out. But instead of landing in my office printer, the paper made it to the hallway printer.

I forgot about the whole thing until, a few hours later, the three guys walked by my office. They were all smiling. Snidely.

“Hey, Tom,” one said.

F***, I wanted to jump out the window.