Note: Bumping this back to the top so it can get a little more prominent display time before it disappears.
Now, before we get into any weeping and/or gnashing of teeth from various other fans and so forth, let me put the disclaimer out there that this has nothing to do with the actual game itself. There. . .that should please just about everybody.
Many of you probably heard the story of Christopher Wilno of Oak Park, California in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. If you didn't, here's a quick synopsis. . .Mr. Wilno's sports teams had experienced a run of bad luck leading up to the Super Bowl, as he was under the impression that his bad sports karma had something to do with the demise of Boise State national football title chances, as well as the Atlanta Falcons getting crushed in the NFL playoffs. That pales in comparison to his own run of bad luck, as he has lost his father and daughter to cancer, and his wife was diagnosed with cancer as well when she was pregnant with their son.
So, in an effort to raise money for a good cause, he thought he would auction off his "bad sports karma" for the Super Bowl. He put such a listing on eBay for it, saying that he would cheer for whichever team the winning bidder wished, thinking that he would be a jinx. Had a Packer fan won the bidding, Mr. Wilno would have cheered for the Steelers with the logic of jinxing the Steelers. . .and had a Steeler fan won the bidding, he would have cheered for Green Bay. In the end, the winning bid was $1,625, which was set to be a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Indeed, an awesome story. . .or, at least, it would be had the story ended there.
If you've used eBay for anything, you know that you have a certain amount of time to make the payment for an auction you win through whatever means, whether it be a credit card or PayPal or whatever else. Well, the winning bid of $1,625 was submitted by a J. Shepherd of Arkansas. As you can imagine, Mr. Wilno was quite happy when he saw the amount of money that was raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and so he patiently waited for this J. Shepherd to verify his payment.
The people at eBay reached out to J. Shepherd.
They moved on to the people that placed the second and third-highest bids in the auction.
Again. . .nothing.
So, what was supposed to be a $1,625 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society turned into a whole lot of nothing because some people out there apparently think it's funny to pretend to give money to charity. Seriously, if you're this "J. Shepherd" from Arkansas or any of the other people that Mr. Wilno and the eBay folks tried to reach out to, you darn well ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
Upon seeing this, I reached out to Mr. Wilno via Facebook, and told him that I wanted to attempt to help him out in some way, because what happened in this situation simply strikes me as being completely wrong. His life, as many of ours are, has been touched by cancer. Mr. Wilno told me that if I wanted to continue to run with the "bad sports karma" thing, he would have no problem with that option. . .so, I sat and thought about that for a bit.
Could we, as a community, attempt to donate to Mr. Wilno's cause and ask him to attempt to transfer his "bad sports karma" to the Packers full-time? This option appealed to me at first, because I thought it might appeal to many of you as well. Then I thought about simply asking him to cheer against the Vikings every week for the 2011 season instead.
But, in the end, about all I can say is this. . .the more I've thought about it, the more I've cared less about helping to prolong Mr. Wilno's "bad sports karma" and helping him to prolong his "good life karma." Cancer, in its various forms, has dealt him a pretty rough hand thus far, and maybe we can do a part to help change that course instead. So, on Mr. Wilno's website (which is where the link just before the jump comes from), he has a link to a fundraising page for various distance races he's running for cancer research through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (That's probably phrased badly, but the proper way to say it escapes me at the moment.) As of this very second, he's 87% of the way towards his $10,000 goal.
I think we can push him over the top. . .and then some.
I'll be going to make my donation as soon as I hit the post button on this one. Cancer has touched my life as well, and I'm sure that there are many of you out there that fall under the same heading. Don't get me wrong. . .I'm not attempting to beg here or mandating anything or saying that you're a bad person if you don't donate or anything like that. I'm just simply putting this out there for everybody, that's all.
I do hope that this leads to a big influx of donations for Mr. Wilno's cause, though. . .at least as much as that winning eBay bid would have been.
Thanks in advance to those of you that choose to donate, and thanks to Mr. Wilno for fighting the good fight. Eventually, cancer is going to go the way of polio and smallpox, and small efforts like this will have every bit as much to do with it as big corporations and huge medical grants.