This morning, in a major sting operation executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement officials arrested several high-profile writers at ESPN.com for their involvement in a massive distribution ring of performance-enhancing supplements for writers, among them laptops, Microsoft Word, and programs allowing access to the Internet.
No writer working before 1983 had access to these writing supplements.
"When we first started the investigation, we were looking into the sportswriters recent use of GRE words like ‘excoriate', ‘plethora' and ‘erudite'," said Fred McDermitt, lead investigator. "But as it turns out, without programs like Microsoft Word, most of these guys can hardly spell."
In an unrelated story, Major League Baseball's Alex Rodriguez amazingly hit his 600th home run last night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
News of the bust has already drawn praise from the Poets Against the Proliferation of Electronic wRiting, an 80 year-old anti-technology advocacy group whose membership is now mostly deceased. The small group that remains alive has refused to comment, instead releasing a decade-old letter written by the late George Plimpton, a Harvard-educated writer who was an active member of PAPER until his death in 2003.
"The use of performing-enhancing supplements is a stain upon the legacy of all the wordsmiths who have come before," the letter reads. "Why anyone would use legal, easily prescribed substances to excel and in a highly competitive environment just baffles me."
Bryan Doyle is a freelance writer and amateur humorist currently living in Washington, D.C. Contact him at bryan.doyle15 (at) gmail.com