Letters to the Editor, or How Wigs Spell Victory for the Eagles

As the czar of a sports-related website, I get a lot of chance electronic mail. Most of it is spam that makes a certain amount of sense. Sports gambling websites, for example, ask me in stilted English if I will link to them. Marketers approach me with promises of thousands of page views. It’s clear most of the time that some search algorithm has led these internet opportunists to The Modern Spectator and generated a “personal” email to “Mr. Comments.” But this Sunday, immediately after the Eagles fantastic victory over the New York Giants, I received two such missives that gave me pause. So I’ve decided, out of foolish whimsy or Eagles fever (Some of you may be aware of my Eagles problems), to share them and to link to their sites.

The first email read:

Hi there.
Have you considered how Nike is trying to subvert our behaviour itself to reflect its brand. As its branded football hero continue showing the Finger and v-sign us spectators and each other (soon they moon us?), the ‘v’ gesture itself is becoming owned by Nike. Look out for Nikev branding techniques which are working their way into our lives without us even realising.

Course, who’ll brand the Finger. Adidas can take the thumb/finger circle gesture ‘a’.

Either way, it’s invasive and viral. Curious how much you’ve heard, and your views.


Ericius, I’ve heard nothing about this alarming trend, though I do like the idea that Nike would own the “moon” sign (a.k.a. exposing ass in the direction of the foe). I checked out your equally puzzling website. It didn’t really clear things up.

In American Sign Language, I believe the “V” sign simply signifies the letter “V,” but it can mean much more in different contexts. It is V for “victory,” reportedly launched by Winston Churchill. To me it also stands for my father’s and the amazing Brian Westbrook’s alma mater, Villanova (“V for Villanova, V for victory,” I used to sing). It can mean “peace” as well, or serve as joke rabbit ears. Or it can mean “up yours.” (Palm turned in, hands jerked upwards.) And now it means “Nike,” the goddess of victory?

Victory. Peace. Nike. Up Yours. How will we keep it straight?

I received Ericius’ email in the midst of my euphoria over the Eagles victory. For some reason, though, it made me think of another celebration a few years back at the New Orleans Jazz Fest (pre-Katrina). The Meters were playing. It was the first time the band’s original line-up had performed together in decades, but rather than watch the band, I was fixated on someone else. Beside the musicians on stage, there was a young woman translating the concert into sign language. When Art Neville would sing, she would sign out the lyrics. Then, during the musical interludes – the concert was primarily musical interludes – she would pantomime the instruments, playing air guitar, keyboards, drums, or bass. I was transfixed. The music coursing through me (much like the feeling of beating the Giants) couldn’t really be “translated” into language, but she was doing a pretty good job. And she had awesome hair.

I read the second email:

My name is Shannon York. I’ve just visited your website modernspectator.com and I was wondering if you’d be interested in exchanging links with my website. I can offer you a home page link back from my “Hair Care Tips” website which would be

Your link will be placed here:

http://www.wailaigong.com/Recipes_for_Home_Hair-Repair.html (It’s a Hair Care Tips website )

If you are interested please add the following information to your website and kindly let me know when it´s ready and I will do the same for you in less than 24 hours, otherwise you can delete my link from your site.

TITLE: Women’s Wigs
URL: http://www.wearmyhair.com
DESCRIPTION: Party wigs and fashion hair pieces for women.

Or you can use the following html code:

Women’s Wigs – Party wigs and fashion hair pieces for women.

I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your time,

Shannon York

Thanks, Shannon, I thought. I am having a nice day. The Eagles are going to the NFC championships. But how did you find us, and where did you get those awesome mannequins? (You can buy them.) And what do fashion hair pieces have to do with The Modern Spectator or the Eagles?

Then, in my football-excited state, I decided the wigs (like wings) meant Victory.

Super Bowl.

Go Birds.

What kind of name is Ericius? Is he from Ancient Rome?

— Mark E    Jan 13, 08:24 PM    #


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