An open letter to Richard Jefferson: While We’re Waiting

Dear R.J.,

First of all, great win last night. I’m so glad you guys got up on the Raptors early, and stayed there. I think the closest they came was within 10 or so? Yikes.

Anyways, I’m not going to waste your time, so let’s get right to it. I’m writing to you today with a desperate plea. Please, Richard, please… unblock me on Snapchat.

I get it. I committed a cardinal Snapchat sin when I screen-grabbed one of your Snaps last year. But hear me out.

I was one of your earliest followers. A friend had passed along your username to me, and I was absolutely thrilled. That’s the cool but uniquely frustrating thing about Snapchat, isn’t it? It’s not as easy or intuitive to seek out people you want to follow. Getting passed your name shortly after you joined was like striking Gold—the kind that pairs best with Wine.

Your Snaps were as entertaining as they were fleeting; rare glimpses into the “behind-the-scenes” Cavs, a version of our team so many of us Clevelanders never get to see. Beer pong with Delly and Channing. LeBron actually driving a KIA. Planes, trains and automobiles. It was pure magic in the palm of my hand.

I felt so inspired by your Snaps, it gave me an idea. I wanted to write a piece for Waiting for Next Year called “The Cleveland sports fan’s guide to Snapchat.” At the time, many fans were just figuring the medium out. I planned to provide usernames and quick profiles for as many Cleveland athletes I could find. I wanted our readers to see what kinds of posts they’d be seeing from their favorite athletes, and you were the top of my list. I took a screen grab one afternoon and planned to include it in my piece.

Soon after, a co-worker asked me, “Oh my gosh, did you see RJ’s Snap today?” I hadn’t, so I opened up the app to look. You weren’t there. Confused, I assumed it was an error and moved on.

And then… it happened again.

And again.

That’s when I, positive Snapchat was just “acting weird,” attempted to re-add you to my list of friends. To my horror and heartbreak, I couldn’t. You were there when I searched, but I couldn’t—and still can’t—add you.

So close, yet so far.

I was blocked. Blocked like Iguodala in Game 7. Banished to a life of FOMO and looking over others’ shoulders to see your Snaps. Sentenced to a Snapchat existence where I missed the inception of Lil Kev, your vantage point of winning the NBA Championship and your un-retirement from the league.

All for one little screen grab?

At the time of “Grab-Gate,” a name I just made up, your Snapchat was a bit unknown and certainly flying under the radar. I totally get why my screen grab may have raised a red flag for. But now? You’re HUGE on Snapchat! I see screen grabs of your Snaps all over Twitter. Here’s a whole USA TODAY article full of them, actually. Did you block Alysha Tsuji, too?

Richard, listen. I’m a huge fan. Honestly, I am. I listen to your pod, Road Trippin’, every week. I even wrote a piece awhile back, encouraging our readers to do the same. Fun fact: I also once wrote a piece that condemned “open letters” like this, because I generally think they’re pointless. But here I am, so desperate to be let back into the magical world of your Snapchats that I’m doing the unthinkable—writing an open letter to you.

You know what else? I looked back and I can’t even find it. I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE SCREEN GRAB THAT GOT ME BLOCKED. But yet I’m still paying for it?

If you find it in your heart to forgive me for “Grab-Gate,” please take me off of your block list. I’d love to re-join your loyal legions of followers, and I promise I won’t take anymore screen grabs. Go Cavs.

@jessaforrester on Snapchat