Even cooler: You
can be the ringer of bad news. Say your friend Tork is at his desk, minding his
own business, selling and buying widgets as usual. Suddenly his phone rings
once. Then again. Then again. An icicle suddenly forms in Tork's heart. He
knows something horrible has happened to his beloved Red Wings. He goes to the
Internet to find--hello!--they've moved to Tucson!
Reach out and
torment someone! It's creative grief-giving!
It's even catching
on beyond sports. Recently, a One Ringing architect in New York City was being
publicly berated by his boss. When the boss left, the guy got 13 One Rings.
There are all
kinds of variations on the theme. Your Oklahoma buddy's Sooners just went on
10-year probation? Why not simply text him a Ring! Send a buddy The Ring DVD.
Hell, go to Walgreens, buy an actual ring for two bucks and send it in an
envelope, no note.
something like that to his best friend, Q, who lives in Pittsburgh. When
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger broke his face in a motorcycle
accident, there arrived at Q's door a motorcycle helmet--scuffed, dinged and
dented--with Steelers stickers on it and a note attached:
If you're going to
start One Ringing your poor friends, adhere to the Ring's strict dos and
don'ts. Don't One Ring after deaths or serious injuries (unless it's Joey
Porter getting shot in the butt). Do use proper ringspeak. ("I'm not
looking forward to Sunday. My Colts are playing really ringy.") Don't One
Ring for cheesy stuff like first downs or sacks. And if you do a Revenge Ring
to brag on your own team, don't let it be for something trivial. (One of the
Bates crew, a big Patriots fan named Graham Ivory, once got so desperate that
he began One Ringing when nice things about New England appeared in print. Very
And be sure to try
this: Sit with some nonringers, watch your favorite team play, and when a
first-quarter fake punt backfires, say, "I have this weird feeling the
phone's going to ring." Voil�! You're Miss Cleo!
But the thing I
like best about One Ringing is that it's the rare way in this homophobic world
of sports for guys to show man-love. Women would never do it. There'd be tears,
nasty letters and possibly embedded fingernails. But for guys, it's perfect.
It's our way of saying, "I miss you." And, "I love you." And,
most important, "Your team sucks."