"What if you could share a moment with Gio Gonzalez?"
That is the message that greets you upon clicking on the Washington Nationals pitcher's Egraphs page, but the question you're probably asking yourself as you read this sentence is, "What the hell is an Egraph?"
Allow me to explain. Egraphs are the newest way to reach out to your favorite athletes. By visiting the company's website (www.egraphs.com), you can choose any player you'd like to sign and record a personalized message to you on a photo of your choosing (several are available for each athlete).
Let's use Gonzalez as an example:
Tell Gio Gonzalez whatever you want him to know — maybe he has inspired you, or perhaps you like the same band. Ask him to write a memorable note on your egraph. Maybe it’s for you or maybe you’re sending it as a gift for a friend. Either way, you’re guaranteed that Gio Gonzalez will read and respond to your message personally.
Perhaps you want to ask Gonzalez why he didn't take you to the Nationals' black tie gala a few months ago or what he thinks about Stephen Strasburg's impending shutdown, but the other suggestions are good, too.
Anyways, Gonzalez will receive your message through the Egraphs application on his iPad, where he will sign your photo and leave you a personalized audio message. The entire package can then be posted on Twitter or Facebook or can be made into a print and sent you. It's a pretty cool concept.
If you're looking for a gift for your favorite Nats fan (or are way too shy to actually approach these people in person), here is an idea gift-wrapped to you from me.
Prices vary and depend on the player; Gonzalez costs $35, while fellow Nats Adam LaRoche, Craig Stammen, Michael Morse, Jordan Zimmermann, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard cost $25.
Personally, I'd ask Tyler Clippard why he doesn't use "Peaches" as his entrance song anymore and Sean Burnett if he can read me a passage from "50 Shades Of Grey." For a friend, of course...
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.