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Jeff Cunningham Writes Entirely False Article, Corrects Next Week

2003.06.23

Jeff Cunningham, temporarily replacing Alex Shvartsman as the writer of Sideboard's Week in Review, has broken new ground in the world of Magic coverage. Last week, the pro player and master wordsmith crafted an entirely fraudulent Week in Review, only to correct the whole article this week.

The falsehoods saturating the column ranged from the inconspicuous (referring to London, Ontario rather than London, England) to the outright blatant (claiming that Jack Osbourne was the Brazilian National Champion). However, the public was largely unaware that they had been duped, figuring Cunningham had actually researched his sources and thoroughly checked his facts before sending them to his editor, who also trusted the word of the cherubic Jeff Cunningham. Message board replies to Week in Review were the standard banter, as exemplified by the following excerpts:

"First post!!!

I wonder what week in review is going to be about.. My guess from the title is that they will talk about what happened this week."

"first post1!!

I hope they post my play I sent in this week. if they dont, here it is: my friend tom and me both had a lot of creatures in play, then I played decree of pain and attacked to win!

edit: second post!!"

"Wow, I didn't know Norman Osborne played Magic!"

"It's pretty cool that more players like bob maher and zvi are bringing their moms to tournaments. I bring my mom to tourneys, but only to drive me there lol"

It was not until this week, when Cunningham's latest Week in Review article was posted, that the readers of Sideboard.com were made aware of the elaborate deception they had all fallen prey to the previous week. In a numerated list--itself of record-breaking length--Cunningham detailed every falsehood he had created. The staggering revelations included:

1. My middle name is not really "Stingray". It is "Richard".

7. I reported that Alex Shvartsman was a member of the Russian mafia. He is in fact a respectable businessman guilty of no wrongdoing. Alex, was that OK?

46. I am not the Puerto Rican state champion.

47. Puerto Rico is not a state.

88. Gigapede cannot be the target of spells or abilities, which includes the triggered ability from Skinthinner. This is a reversal of what I mentioned last week.

193. I detailed one method to consistently win at the slots. One of those methods is ineffective.

245. The American troops are actually occupying Iraq right now. They did not run and beg forgiveness, as I had reported earlier.

Sideboard editor Thomas Pannell said regarding the fraudulent article, "I am truly...shocked and...hammered that...a pup of a writer would commit such a--mountain of lies to...a scroll." After making the statement, during which his eyes would frequently dart downward to his tabletop covered with what seemed to be a red deck, Pannell asked if he could get back to work.

Long-term Week in Review writer Alex Shvartsman commented, "I have worked long and hard to establish a mostly mistake free column, and this shlub goes and pisses all over it. I cannot say I am happy."

When asked his motivation for submitting an entirely untrue article to the Magic community, Jeff Cunningham said, "We all make mistakes. Some more than others, I guess. Hey, did you know there are seven ways to win on your first turn in September Standard?"

While the reasoning behind Cunningham's lies may never be known for certain, the Magic: The Gathering community can safely assume there are seven fewer ways to win on the first turn than had been previously thought.