CBSSports.com National Columnist

Hate Mail: Defend Howard and Palmer at your own risk

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Dwight Howard throws his elbows like spears, but he's not a dirty player. Carson Palmer quit on the Cincinnati Bengals, but he's not a quitter. Those paradoxes aren't mine, but yours.

And you wonder why I respond the way I do to Hate Mail? I'll tell you why: Stupid people make me angry.

From: Ric Austin

Do your job right so I don't have to waste my time reading your crap and then replying to it!

But then I'd miss out on the pleasure of your company.

From: Ric Austin

Seriously, have you ever watched a whole Magic game? Your little video clips only show when Dwight Howard has had enough. What about all the hits prior? As for your "dirty player" remark ... please. Obviously you are not watching games.

Ah, my newest stalker. Listen groupie, I've seen Howard in person -- for a whole game -- at least 10 times. In fact, I saw this last year. Why can't you remember I wrote that, stalker?

From: Josh

Two stories in a year, bashing the same player for the same reasons. Either you're the only one who sees it -- or there is a slight bias.

Oh. You remember I wrote that. Well, thanks.

From: Ernest

The Korver play that you referred to ... Howard was hit in the head two or three times. He absorbs tremendous amounts of punishment every game. I guess he isn't allowed to get frustrated. Look at some Magic games before you draw conclusions on Howard.

I've looked! I know it helps you sleep at night to say, "What does that guy know? He's never seen Howard play." Yes, I have. And I know plenty. Plus there's that whole "bias" thing.

From: Adam

I must say, although I don't personally agree with your opinions, you definitely know how to respond to hate e-mails.

Well, everyone has their niche. Faulkner writes long sentences. Hemingway writes short ones. I write mean ones.

From: Billy Herron

I will no longer read anything with your name on it. You're a dirty writer!

Whereas you write sentences like a 9-year-old girl.

From: Mark Lamoureux

You are a real JERK! You have obviously never seen Dwight Howard play. This was the last time I will ever read anything you have to say!

Seems like I hurt your feelings, Mark. Go on. Let it out. You'll feel better after a good cry.

From: Chris

Do you ever write anything positive?

Sure. Watch this: Thanks to the last two guys -- Billy Herron and Mark Lamoureux -- I realize Dwight Howard isn't the biggest baby in Orlando.

From: Jason

You are a perfect example of a columnist not having a clue. Carson Palmer gave the Bungles eight prime years, and never said one word publicly.

That's my point, Jason: He never said one word publicly. Rome burned around him -- Chad Ochocinco kept lighting matches -- and Palmer never said a word. Was happy being one of the guys, when a $50 million quarterback has to be a leader. But then, Palmer was never leadership material. He should've been a tight end.

From: D. Jones

The Bengals made bad decisions -- teaming Palmer with Chad Johnson, getting away from running the football -- and this was the last straw: They acquired T.O., which took Palmer out his game because he wanted to make T.O. and Chad happy and forced them the ball.

That's my other point! Instead of doing what was best for the team, Palmer did what was best for Chad and T.O. by forcing balls their way. Why? Because Palmer was scared they'd get mad at him. He should've been a punter.

From: Kevin Tierney

Palmer has made you root for Mike Brown? I'm not a huge Palmer fan, but it isn't his fault. It's all Mike Brown. Palmer is walking away from big money. I don't get your rationale at all. Why does this make us root for Mike Brown?

I'm rooting for Brown to stand up to Palmer. I want Palmer to quit like the baby he is, or come back to the Bengals with his tail between his legs. He should've been a farmer.

From: Chris D.

Couldn't disagree with you more on your Palmer article. The fact you side with Mike Brown on this speaks volumes about where your head is. Funny how you lament being a fan of the team -- knowing full well how Brown treats us -- then turn around and side with him.

Funny how you read my story and got it so wrong. I said I was a fan of the NFL, and a resident of Cincinnati. Not a fan of the Bengals. Never said that. Read it again. Slower, this time. Ask someone for help with the bigger words.

From: Cesar

Because of people like you, everybody hates reporters. Writing cowardly out of frustration of NEVER knowing what it feels to be a player. Easy to criticize behind a desk.

I never played the game. I'm a coward. And I'm hated by readers. Well done, Cesar -- that's every cliché in the book. But the truth is, I write from a table, not a desk. The desk doesn't fit in my mom's basement.

From: Craig M.

I listened to you when you were on radio in Cincinnati. But didn't you quit your radio gig here? I'm sure the station wanted you to do things you disagreed with, but you decided to leave instead of playing the game the way your boss wanted. Just like Carson Palmer.

I didn't quit, I was fired! I win another argument. I beat you. I ... oh, right. I was fired. Sigh.

From: Chase

You're wrong and missing the point. There is no legacy to be had or tarnished in Cincinnati. Palmer is faced with the choice of playing a violent sport and risk further injury that could affect him for the rest of his life -- or he could move to California and be rich. Which one would you choose?

I'd choose to play. The money will always be there. So will California, at least until it falls into the Pacific. But the chance to play in the NFL is fleeting. I'd milk it, but then, I'm not a quitter. But I did get fired once! Sigh.

From: Nick

Cincy native here, used to listen to you on the radio. I thought you were probably a cool dude to have a beer with until you came out of the liberal closet. Come on broseph, you're better than that.

Broseph, you had no shot at having a beer with me. In less than 40 words you've identified yourself as a complete douchebag.

From: Mr. Romano

Your column arguing against the NFL owners was unusually tame. I know this Ohio winter has you down, but don't take it out on us.

Unusually tame? I called owners silver-spooned spoiled brats. I used a man's suicide as an unfair emotional tug against them. And I said I'd rather step on a snake than pull for them. I bet you wouldn't have written this e-mail if I'd called Jerry Jones a douchebag.


Gregg Doyel is a columnist for CBSSports.com. He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. More importantly, he is 4-0 as an amateur boxer, with three knockouts. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.
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