Updated May 8
It's been a somber week here, what with the death of Eight Belles and then with me laying low after making fun of PETA. Last thing I need is a bunch of protesters on my front lawn, showering me with fake blood every time I step outside.
So let's be calm, rational and serious, OK? Hate Mail needs to grow up. Let the first letter set the proper tone.
From: Bob Valerius
Dude, you wrote about a dead horse. Please, get a job. It's a horse. And it's dead. That makes it a dead horse. Quit beating it.
There's an Equus joke in there somewhere.
From: Fred M.
Spare me the outrage, Gregg. One could make the claim that all popular sports, many televised on CBS, exist for the sake of rich owners and gawking fans. Many sports -- motor sports, football, boxing -- cause injury and even death. Horse racing is not unique in that regard.
For a lawyer -- looked you up -- you can't debate worth a damn. Those other sports you mentioned feature people as competitors. People, not horses competing at the urging of people. You can defend horse racing all you want, counselor, but not using that argument. Good grief, whose LSAT did you cheat off?
Nobody likes a breakdown. Nobody. But it's a part of the sport, like brain bleeds and comas in boxing and it's uglier twin, the UFC. Don't like horse racing? Don't go. Keep your hands off our whips.
What are you, one of Fred's idiot law clerks?
From: Ryan Burns
I only caught the last few seconds of the race -- and I wish I'd never seen that much. Seeing Eight Belles crumbled up on the ground made my stomach turn and caused me to go into an angry rant that "ruined," or so I was told, the Derby party I was attending. Give me Joe Theismann's injury any day of the year over a horse having to be "humanely put down."
This is actually a better comparison than my lawyer friend was trying to make. Much like Eight Belles, Joe Theismann lacked the intellectual wherewithal to understand what he was doing.
Wow, Gregg, you're a real d---.
Until this moment, you thought it was just an act?
The Bush comment in that NBA story was completely wrong and it is complete arrogance on your part to equate the statements about Rome and the earth with your opinion about the president.
The loyalty Bush inspires is amazing. It's like when Duke decided a few years back to keep Carl Franks as football coach when his record was 5-40. It defies explanation.
I'd take Bush over Doyel. Bush's record is a lot better than yours.
Possibly the meanest thing anyone's ever said to me.
From: Bill Berliner
I was enjoying your column until I got to your clever little item about Bush. Too bad.
Jeez, Bill. You quit reading a column you were "enjoying" because of three words? You sure are soft upstairs. Probably downstairs, too.
From: Joe Masi
I think I speak for everyone when I say: Stop taking the majority position. I read your articles to be disgusted because your opinion is so out of left field and reprehensible that nobody else could possibly hold the same point of view. I do not read your articles to agree with you. This PETA article is the most recent example. I can't help but think your view on PETA was right on point. Stop doing that.
I can do disgusting. I can be reprehensible. But both at the same time? Might be a bit much.
I usually don't agree much with what you write, but you are spot on with your two articles relating to Eight Belles.
First Joe, now you. I'm sensing a trend here. I'm sure the trend is over now, however.
Most of the time I think you're a buffoon, but I couldn't agree more with your PETA article.
Gotcha. I'm that blind squirrel who finally found an acorn.
From: Rob Jones
You are a sorry excuse for a sports journalist and my skinny ass could kick you into next week.
Are you challenging me to fisticuffs?
From: Rob Jones
P.S. If you ever want to fight, come to Louisville and I'll smash you in your stupid face, bro.
Goshdarnit, I believe you are. Jorge Gurgel's gym is less than two hours from Louisville. We spar Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. Gurgel charges a nominal fee for one-time guests, but I've got you covered.
Allen Iverson did a lot for the 76ers. He took an absolutely terrible team to the 2001 Finals. And hello, Denver won 50 games this year. A.I is not Denver's problem, nor was he Philly's problem ... He's The Answer!
I can picture you writing those last three words, hitting "send" and screaming in victory. And then of course your mom wonders why you're so worked up, so she asks if you've taken your magic pill and eaten your peanut butter sandwich cut in the shape of a dinosaur.
From: Chris H.
I love reading my stuff in Hate Mail. This has to be the second or third time you have put me in. I now realize why you are so in love with yourself. After all, you get to see your stuff in print EVERY week!
You now realize ... what?
From: Ken R.
Thank you for this common-sense approach at how insane PETA is. I have dogs that are part of the family. I raise cows that are part of the food chain. I raise game chickens that compete all over the world. I wish people could see that PETA is what is wrong -- giving rights to animals.
You raise "game chickens" that "compete" all over the world? I'm not sure you're my target audience, Ken.
I just saw the picture of you and Lesley Visser at this year's Final Four. Whose idea was it to take the picture? Her closed fist around your shoulder makes it appear that she is trying to keep her digits free from contamination. The only thing missing is the audio feed where you can hear her mumble, "Please snap this photo and cut my arm off at the shoulder."
The photo was her idea. Maybe she thought I was Chuck Liddell.
From: Peter G.
Dude, turtles are reptiles, not amphibians. Anyway, I Googled you -- "I looked you up" -- and this is what I found: "The humiliating stain widens." Man, they love you in Wolfpack country.
Try Googling my name with any number of curse words or insults. It's fun for the entire afternoon.
I actually agree with the PETA article. Problem is, anyone who supports a program like PETA probably doesn't read cbssportsline.com.
Good guess, but this next person read me, and she sounds like a PETA soldier if I ever heard one. She sounds armed and dangerous, too.
From: Lauren B.
PETA is standing up for the rights for animals. You say only two horses out of 1,000 races die? I guess the other you are referring to is Barbaro. GUESS AGAIN!! Plus this does not include the ones that break down out of the media view. Also research the comment that was supposedly made by Eight Belles' jockey, that the horse started to act strange coming down the stretch. That's probably when the injuries really started to set in. Probably when he started really whipping her. PETA will find out!!
From: Gene W.
Ah yes, the media -- a mile wide, and an inch deep. This PETA column is just what I would expect from somebody who does nothing but run his mouth. And that's a good thing. You probably couldn't handle anything important. Typewriter jockey, oooh, tough guy.
And you're stupid.
I am pretty sure your "tough guy" rep has lost a few points after the admission of kitty love in that PETA column. Please attach some sort of link to you pummeling some guy in the ring, or I may have to go back to watching The View.
I have a "rep"? Woohoo! Um ... can I keep my "tough guy" rep and still say things like "woohoo"?
From: Random Fan
Tough break about giving the masses fuel to ridicule you -- the admission that you and your animals "talk" so frequently. Still I look forward to more insights from the world of Dr. Doolittle. I'll make a point to share your insights with my dog.
Don't bother. Your dog calls me on the cell when you're in the shower.
From: Terry M.
I have watched the Derby for more than 30 years, and also show dogs myself. After seeing this I will never watch another race. I was so saddened that I cried on and off all day, and could hardly breath. And I'm a 50-year-old, Harley-riding tough guy who hasn't shed a tear in years. She gave it her all, and to see her die amid all the glee and pomp and mint julep-sucking apathy was bad enough. But as I assimilate the horror of it all into some kind of intrinsic meaning, I begin to see it as not just another Dale Earnhardt-type incident, but rather as an indictment on our culture, our society, and how cheaply we value life today. What has become of us -- or them, to be precise? It is like a cultural epidemic where we can send our 20-year-old kids to a war that is for nothing, and live in a world where you can get carjacked and killed for ten bucks and a joyride by the lower classes, or a beautiful and majestic creature can get killed for a mint julep and two minutes of wild speculation and exhilaration. I am sick to my stomach over this.