If you’re a college football fan you probably know Feb 2nd is “signing day” when the top high school players commit to big time college football programs. How do these high school football players confirm their choice? With a letter of intent — via fax. Big time college football programs are not willing to wait for signed letters to arrive in the mail, so fax transmissions become top priority on this day.
How important are these faxes to college football programs and fans? According to this article on the Wall Street Journal online the University of Washington set up a Web cam pointing at the fax machine on signing day last year so fans could catch some “can’t-miss football action.” According to the article the Web cam feed was so popular many potential viewers couldn’t get on.
Why would all of these big time college programs, with deep pockets and vast resources, use an older technology like fax? Why not just have these signed letters sent in via email? Two main reasons are that (1) email is too easy to forward or intercept and (2) both sides want confirmation of delivery — which is something email can’t reliably provide.
Using fax to sign high profile athletes isn’t limited to NCAA football. What happens when a top prospective player on your European soccer team can’t get a fax through? Ask the FC Köln football (soccer) club. Just yesterday a top player from Hamburger SV had his transfer deal to FC Köln negated after the fax confirming the transaction arrived late to the German Football League.
Now, back to Brett Favre. How did he let the NFL know he wasn’t (really) retiring in 2008? Via Fax. According to this NY Times article “Favre formally applied for reinstatement to the N.F.L. on Tuesday, faxing a letter to the league office — the first step in a process that could have Favre back wearing his No. 4 Packers jersey, or perhaps in the uniform of another team, later this week. “
Fax continues to play an integral role in our ever day lives – even superstars send faxes one page at a time. If your sports teams have RightFax they probably know the score…