Wizardly Postage Stamps
The biggest news of the day? Clearly the late-breaking word that the Wizards were issuing commemorative postage stamps, featuring the images of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Etan Thomas and DeShawn Stevenson. I mean, that's stop the presses news. And please, save me your jokes about the Wizards mailing it in.
Naturally, I rushed to the locker room to gauge the reaction to this neither-snow-nor-rain-nor-heat-nor-gloom-of-night news. The reaction was, well, muted.
"What happened?" Antawn Jamison said when I asked about the postage stamps. "I didn't hear about it. I'm always the last one to know."
Not true. No one knew. When I asked about the postage stamp news, Brendan Haywood asked if the mail service had increased rates, and Andray Blatche asked what a "poster stamp" was. DeShawn Stevenson refused to believe that his face would be on a stamp; finally, I convinced him that I wasn't joking, and asked him to compare being on a stamp to his other memorabilia.
"I've got to actually see the postage stamp," he said, "but anything with my face on it I think is phenomenal."
The next question, I guess, is which Wizard would be best-suited for being on a stamp. The popular opinion in the stands seemed to be Caron Butler; "Caron and DeShawn, they're animated, and I don't mean that in a bad way," season ticket holder Darlene Harris said. "They have vibrant-enough personalities to come through a still picture."
"I like Michael Ruffin," Besse Dailer said, despite the fact that Ruff's head is on no postage that I know of. "I would wait until the second edition comes out so I can get a Michael Ruffin stamp."
Look, I'm trying to be creative here. Bear with me. In pursuit of this stamp information I almost got trampled by fans seeking free Gilbert Arenas jerseys; I also met Aaron Goldstein, who claimed to be a huge fan of "Washington Post Live" despite the fact that he was wearing a "PTI" cap, and that the two shows air at the same time. Anyhow, the final question: would you actually mail a letter bearing a Wizard postage stamp.
"I'd mail my taxes with Wizards stamps, absolutely," Georgetown play-by-play man Rich Chvotkin said.
"Why shouldn't I?" Jamison asked. "I've got to pay bills, too, baby."
"Of course," Butler said. "That's the biggest swag of the year right there. To have yourself on the postage stamp? That's unbelievable. Oh, man, I'll pay all my bills with that right there. I'm going to send that everywhere, I'm going to make sure I get like 10 books of that."
Others were, well, less enthusiastic.
"Hell no," Haywood said.
"I don't mail nothing, I don't do any of that stuff," Blatche said when I asked if he'd pay bills with Wizards postage.
"Sure, whatever," Roger Mason said.
"That'd be weird, huh," said Gilbert Arenas Sr., who was the only Gilbert Arenas available to the media tonight. "That would be weird. I'd have to see one, but if it's a regular stamp, why not? If it's free," he concluded, laughing.
He hadn't heard about the stamps, either. Literally not one person I asked had heard about the stamps. I mean, what planet are they living on? For the record, the stamps are available at WashingtonWizards.com as of today, and they come in sheets of 20, and Susan O'Malley said in the release that this was "exceptional" postage, a word with which I can't disagree. I mean, you can't argue that a little prompt deliverance would come in handy right about now. Even if a sheet of 20 stamps appears to cost $19.95, which strikes me as a 256 percent markup. Whatever.
[Edit: MJD points out that the product description indicates only nine stamps to an order, not 20, as the press release says. That would increase the markup somewhat. If you're on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere for your postage needs.]
So I leave you with Andrea Butler, Caron's wife. I asked her whether she'd mail a letter affixed with her husband's postage.
"Of course I would," she said. "He's cute enough to be on a piece of mail."
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