National Columnist

Hate Mail: You've put him in a no-win situation


Happy Thanksgiving, and also, I hate you. Well, not all of you. But those of you who sent e-mails ripping Ben Roethlisberger so blindly, so ignorantly? I hate you, because you're about to make me defend the Steelers quarterback.

And I've never liked the Steelers quarterback.

But I can't allow this. I can't allow you to tell me Roethlisberger caused the Richard Seymour sucker-punch by running up to Seymour and taunting him. I was at the game and saw it differently, and anyway, the video is clear -- Roethlisberger bumped into Seymour as he was heading downfield to celebrate a touchdown. Nothing more, nothing less.

And as for the taunting accusation, well, no less an authority than Oakland linebacker Quentin Groves said Roethlisberger was trying to calm an escalating situation between Seymour and Steelers lineman Chris Kemoeatu when Seymour lashed out.

See? I'm already defending Roethlisberger, and we haven't even started Hate Mail. So let's do it. And Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Nothing says "Happy Thanksgiving" like Ben Roethlisberger.

From: Tom

Doyel, you're an idiot. Why did the Big Rapist run right up on Seymour and yell in his face? The Big Rapist provoked Seymour and deserved to be punched.

Sigh. That's not what happened. I mean, you can SAY that's what happened. But you can also say that whales walk out of the ocean and dance on the beach while the rest of us are asleep. Doesn't make it true.

From: Andrew Barons

Video shows Roethlisberger chirping at Seymour, and getting in his face. I can't understand how you can back Roethlisberger when he got a slap to the helmet and goes down like a ton of bricks.

No, video doesn't show that. But the video does show Seymour -- who goes 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, and can bench press almost 500 pounds -- delivering a straight right to Roethlisberger's face, extending his arm in an explosive fashion. Open fist, closed fist, who cares? It was a straight right, delivered down the pipe, by a 310-pound monster.

From: Brian

You, and guys like you, are what dooms sports in this day and age.

So true. The problem with sports isn't the domestic violence perpetrated by athletes, or the steroids injected by athletes, or the steady dose of narcissism displayed by athletes. Nope. The problem with sports is ... me. Absolutely right.

From: Beth Maxwell

It would be just like the NFL to suspend a player for punching a serial rapist. I suspected as much after the league gave Ben only a six-game suspension, then reduced it after he avoided raping someone for an entire summer.

Forget innocent until proven guilty, Beth -- how about innocent until CHARGED? Roethlisberger wasn't even charged. You do know that, right? I'm not saying I know for a fact that he was innocent in either incident. But you don't have the first clue what happened, either. So don't come here and pretend you do.

From: William

Define "sucker punch" for me, please. The face-to-face punch Ben took can hardly be called the "sucker" variety.

A "sucker punch" happens when the victim never sees it coming -- and Roethlisberger never saw it coming. One second he was jogging down the field, celebrating a touchdown. The next, he's getting decked. Textbook sucker punch.

From: Grunt

Wish I could do the same thing to you, you eff-ing punk! Maybe RapistBurger will think twice before he taunts.

What do you want to do to me -- sucker-punch me? Or rape me? You weren't clear. Either answer, by the way, makes you a joke.

From: K. McDonnell

What's it like to be the Steelers' bitch? I'll take you any day of the week, baldy.

Not even if you sucker-punch me, you sloppy truck driver. Yeah, I looked you up. If you lower that keg you call a belly onto me, sure, you've got a shot. Otherwise? No shot.

From: Michael Blouse

Thanks for saving me time in the future. There's no need for me to read any more of your pathetic crap. Sucker punch? With an open hand to the facemask? Of course you did not mention Rapelisgroper's taunting, then his acting job.

Someone's awfully prissy, Mr. Blouse. I think your last name fits you. What's your middle name, anyway -- Thong?

From: Vidin

Wrong again, Gregg! Seymour was penalized and ejected, end of story. Terrible article, stirring the pot for no reason at best -- and at worst to sensationalize for money.

My column was definitely a money grab. Any idea how much extra cash I made by writing that story? Let me tell you. From the time I hit "send" until just a few hours ago, I'd made an extra $14,784. The money just keeps showing up in unmarked envelopes.

From: Sundance Kid

Big Ben should be in the movies, because that was some acting job he pulled. Just out of curiosity, have you ever been pushed with a open hand and fallen back like that?

Pushed with an open hand? Good grief. It's one thing to despise Ben Roethlisberger. Been there, done that. But to let those personal feelings turn the facts into fiction ... well, that makes you an idiot.

From: Dominic

Your attack on Jeff Tedford was classless and vicious.

It was not. It was the journalism equivalent of a "push with an open hand."

From: You are an idiot

I bet you hear this every day, but you look like an amazing douche in your picture. Seriously. I'm surprised South Park hasn't begun to mock how ridiculous you look.

Me too! South Park only goes after world-famous adversaries, and clearly I qualify.

From: Robert

Huge Jeff Tedford fan here, and let's get real -- you do what you have to do to win the game. You played soccer, didn't you? Do you feel the same way about Italy when they won the World Cup? The saying goes: If you're not cheating, you're not trying.

Hahahaha, you're the worst "fan" I ever saw. You just called Tedford a cheater and compared his tactics to those wimpy soccer floppers. Next time you feel the urge to defend your favorite football coach ... don't bother.

From: Gabriel

That was terrible hack job you put up on Tedford. FYI, what do you think a charge is in basketball? What do you think about flopping in soccer? It's part of the game, and if you use it right, you win.

No wonder Tedford is a cheating SOB -- his fans approve it.

From: Mike

I think your comments on Jeff Tedford are mean-spirited, uninformed and designed to just get you in the news.

Huh? Look up at the top of this story. See that picture up there? It's me. Every time I write, I AM the news. Me. Headliner, right here. That Tedford story wasn't "designed to just get me in the news." It was "designed to show the world what a cheating fraud Tedford is."

From: Michael

You cannot actually know Jeff Tedford and make those remarks. Someday you too will be judged, and I hope for your sake that when you do bow down, you will be treated better than how you treat others.

If you're using religion to win an argument, you lose. Might as well wave a white flag and say, "I don't know what to say, so, so, so ... you're going to hell!"

From: Ben

Seriously, why did you show up on my Bay Area local news? That was incredibly strange.

Tell me I was clothed -- or better yet, tell me my shirt was off! Any idea how good I look without a shirt? Pretty damn good.

From: D-Bag Filter

Lookie what I found.

Aww, someone Googled me. Thank you. And my goodness, what an idiot you are. Do you really think I felt insulted when I was profiled by one of the country's most-read sports blogs? Brother, I'm relevant. That's all you just proved.

From: Bryce

I've been a reader for quite some time and I know to expect some harsh comments and knee-jerk reactions from you. But in a recent Hate Mail you went too far. (Tim's e-mail.) I am a Mississippi State alum and fan. You said, "Cowbells are for hicks and losers -- which one are you?" Is that really necessary, or how you actually feel? I don't expect a response but I will also no longer be a reader of your work.

I win some, I lose some. Sorry I offended you. So which are you -- a hick or a loser?

From: Danny

You are without a doubt the biggest a--hole in sports journalism ... which is why I like you. Reading your columns cracks me up, mostly because you're a d--k about everything.

Nicest e-mail of my life. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, a--hole.

Gregg Doyel is a columnist for He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. He was 4-0 (3 KO's!) as an amateur boxer, and volunteers for the ALS Association. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.

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