Tom Arnold and Michael Strahan Announce America’s Craziest Sports Fan

NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2004 — Today a panel of celebrity judges including Tom Arnold of Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and professional football player Michael Strahan named Joe Vitelli of Westborough, Mass., the winner of the “How Low Did You Go to Catch the Big Game?” contest sponsored by Microsoft Smart Watches for MSN Direct.

Tom Arnold (L) and Michael Strahan (R) give Joe Vitelli of Westborough, Mass. the first place trophy from the

How Low Did You Go to Catch the Big Game?

contest in New York, Dec. 7, 2004. Click image for high-res version.

Vitelli earned the honor of being called the Fan of the Year 2004 based on his story of how he faked a broken leg so he could get out of attending his girlfriend’s sorority formal to watch game seven of the Yankees-Red Sox American League Championship Series last year. After six weeks of wearing a fake cast, getting around in a wheelchair and attending fake doctor’s appointments, he was eventually caught in the act of walking. But he says all that was well worth it to catch the score.

His full winning story can be viewed at . Vitelli won a trip to Hawaii to party with the pros for five nights in February and a new Smart Watch for MSN Direct.

The aim of the “How Low Did You Go to Catch the Big Game?” contest was to find the craziest things fans have done to get the score of a big game when they were supposed to be doing something else, such as having dinner with the in-laws, paying attention in class or attending a wedding. Smart Watches for MSN Direct will soon make stories like these a thing of the past by bringing up-to-the-moment sports information straight to fans’ wrists.

“Any true sports fan knows there is nothing worse than not knowing how your team is doing. These guys have proved that they will do anything to get the score, and I’m hoping that they won’t have to sink to these lows ever again, thanks to our friends at Microsoft,” Arnold said.

The three finalists, Bill Kapke of Madison, Wis., Randy LaMance of Mount Juliet, Tenn., and Joe Vitelli of Westborough, Mass., were flown to New York to participate in the final event today at the Shops at Columbus Circle, where they were razzed, scrutinized and honored by Tom Arnold and his compatriots.

“Sports is my life, and when I heard about the ‘How Low Did You Go’ contest, I knew my name was written all over it,” Vitelli said. “I faced some pretty tough competition with these other guys, but I’m grateful that my pathetic story got me the trip to Hawaii and the Smart Watch for MSN Direct. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to these lows again.”

Microsoft Smart Watches, which are available from Fossil, Suunto, Swatch and Tissot, deliver updated sports scores, so people can just glance at their wrist to stay in touch with their favorite teams – whether they’re at a wedding, in a business meeting or at a family gathering. The people around them won’t even know they’re checking the score.

In addition to sports information, Smart Watches for MSN Direct enable subscribers to receive other personalized content such as news, weather information, calendar appointment reminders and personal messages.* Since the launch of the service, Microsoft Corp. has nearly doubled the number of available channels by offering expanded sports content, daily diversions, movie listings, horoscopes and lottery information.

About MSN Direct

MSN Direct, part of the Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, is a specialized wireless service that combines technology and fashion to deliver customized and personalized information to people. Those interested in learning more about MSN Direct can visit .

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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* You will need a subscription to the MSN Direct service to take full advantage of all watch features. To find out more about MSN Direct devices, services, pricing, coverage and availability, visit .

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