One of the best things about covering a major soccer competition is the lovely correspondence you receive from fans that are just as passionate about the game as you are.
The communications are often complimentary, at times critical. They are often enlightening if at times critical. They are colourful.
It is a joy to be contacted by these well-spoken, respectful individuals.
“Hey Meathead, (That’s me.)
“Ur quick to shoot down Italy every chance u get or ur praise them in 1 sentence and crucify them for 2 paragraphs!
“The reality is ur a jealous sports writer who knows diddly squat about soccer.
“Ur a joke… how u predicted the pork chops or pork n cheese to finish 3rd, almost dropped my plate of lasagna when I read that!
“Oh and today in ur top 5 moments u seemed to forget, as always…. To mention that the ballerina, ronaldo… who self proclaimed to better than messi…. Hahahahahaahah…excuse me for a second…. Didnt do jack (expletive deleted) against Germany…. U should have seen all the pork chops on dundas st. crying!
“Oh that made my day!!!
“4 world cups and counting! (Fortunately this guy has five fingers I think or he might not have figured that out.)
“Dont worry my skinny (hahahahahah) little biased sports writer, in 2 years when the chops get thrown out of the world cup u can cheer on Brazil…. Hahahahahahha
“How pathetic u porkchops are!”
Ok, it wasn’t my brother in law who wrote it. But I am Italian. I was born in Italy.
That was a full email. Here are some excerpts from others.
“Dear Mr. Dalla Costa,
“What planet are you from? Really! Do you come from the Planet Suck?”
“I like to think I’m a reasonable person. I’m not the kind of guy that usually writes to writers especially since most of them don’t know anything. I’m like to discuss things in a reasonable fashion, respecting someone’s else opinion. But the point you made about soccer having changed to the point where you wouldn’t take your daughter, is idiotic. How can you say that? It’s a stupid point. Kids can go downtown and see people drunk. They can see fights. They can see people call each other racist names. They don’t have to go to a soccer game for that. So what difference does it make?”
“Hey dumbass, do they pay you to write that crap? I would do it for free and be better at it. All they’d have to do is pay my bills and feed me. Dumbass.”
Finally I got a nice one.
“Dear exalted friend,
“I just wanted to let you know that I am a solicitor for the estate of Esquire Edith Givens. In searching her papers, you come up as the only distant relative even though you may not remember the dear Madame. But she left you more than 15 million pounds.
“All that is needed is banking information including account numbers. Please contact me at . . . . “
Now, isn’t that nice.