Updated March 5
In the span of one week, I defended Bud Selig, Jim Calhoun and Bill Belichick. I defy you to find anyone who has defended a more motley crew than that. Well, other than Robert Shapiro, who has defended O.J. Simpson, Darryl Strawberry and Jose Canseco.
Difference is, Shapiro didn't defend that trio in the same week -- plus he got paid. I did my defense work for free.
And still people are mad at me. That's why we call it Hate Mail.
Aren't you done grinding that ax for Belichick YET? It's getting really old.
And here I thought I was defending the man.
From: Tom Coppa
Your article about the Matt Cassel trade reads like you have a personal vendetta against Bill Belichick. We get the point -- you don't like the guy.
Apparently I could have defended him with a bit more enthusiasm.
From: David Nicolson
I read the Belichick story. You need help! I am sorry one person feels so emotional about one other person. Usually those feelings are set aside for, say, my mother-in-law.
Nah, we're still on the same page. I hate your mother-in-law, too.
From: Rick Hoffman
Completely disagree with your Calhoun article. The man makes a ridiculous amount of money, and yes he makes money for the state, but UConn is a basketball school. Regardless of who is the coach, UConn is going to get great recruits and have above-average teams, and thus continue to make big bucks for the state.
UConn is a basketball school only because of Jim Calhoun, you simpleton. Luckily for you, your name is fairly common. So if anyone asks if you're the Rick Hoffman who wrote that stupid letter to CBSSports.com ... deny it.
What's up, Ebeneezer -- think you can spare a little change for Tiny Tim next Christmas? Look, idiot. People are in the streets with nothing to eat and this moron wants to say he deserves his money?
Don't hate Calhoun because he's a success, Chris. More to the point, don't hate him because you're a failure. Use your outrage to overthrow the government ... or shut the hell up.
You really are out of touch with the REAL world ... The SOB is OVERPAID ... He coaches basketball ... has been at UConn for 22 years ... has he saved any lives ... I DARE YOU to e-mail me back with a coherent explanation of your article ... Oh, and that's another issue ... your writing ... it's god-awful ... what was your GPA in college ... bet you were a 2.0 student ... and I bet you only have an undergrad too.
Hey, professional student. In ALL THOSE YEARS of college you never learned to use a period? Or that TOO MANY words in all-caps DILUTES THEIR IMPACT? I can't believe you signed your name "Logic." It should have been "Deluded."
From: David H.
This man, Coach Calhoun, is in charge of kids in school. He's not a coach or a money-maker. He's a role model. He sets an example for kids.
Not a coach? Not a money-maker? Good grief, Calhoun isn't teaching kindergarten. That last guy was Deluded. You're just Naïve.
From: CT Hoosier
Not just any jerk can win 800 games. But two that that I can think of have.
The 800 club includes Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Mike Krzyzewski, Eddie Sutton and Jim Calhoun. There's more than two jerks on that list alone. Hell, there aren't two non-jerks on that list.
Gregg, you've always spoken very highly of Billy Gillispie since Kentucky made the hire. Given that, what is your professional opinion of how he is doing at Kentucky now and what the future holds? Thanks.
First of all, nothing about my opinion is "professional." But thank you for thinking otherwise. Second, Billy the G is going to win and win huge at Kentucky -- if he can survive himself. If you know what I mean.
To answer Kenny E's question from last week's Hate Mail -- "What happens if Gregg Doyel is wrong? -- the answer is, he gets jumped on by every college basketball fan for suggesting Davidson should be an at-large team, plus gets a Hate Mail dissent from Gary Parrish, and a polite dissent from Jerry Palm. That's what happens when Gregg Doyel is wrong. To quote a 1984 presidential candidate: "He won't tell you. I just did."
Walter Mondale would have made one hell of a president. OK, I'm just saying that to be nice.
From: James Cesler
Being the highest-paid state employee, Calhoun should be obligated to answer. His true colors were on display as he historically is an arrogant bully who thinks he doesn't have to answer to anyone. He could have simply stated the revenue his program nets and be sensitive to the growing number of unemployed folks in Connecticut. Saying "not a dime back" just isn't being aware of the dire situation for most Average Joes in the state and elsewhere are currently facing.
You know what I sense here? I sense a lot of people frustrated, angry and even scared about the economy -- and I understand that -- but I sense those people taking out their angst on Calhoun. And that's weak.
From: Kenny E.
Gregg, I'm going to tell you something that Jim Calhoun taught me. Shut up. OK, not really. CBSSports.com would be fairly weak if you do.
Because I'm the best writer we have?
From: CT Hoosier
You may be a better writer with a bigger paycheck, but Gary Parrish has a better job than you.
You were definitely right on one of those things. You better have been right on two of those things. And if you were right on all three? I can live with it.
Bud Selig doesn't just deserve some of the blame -- he deserves more of it than any single player or trainer does. There is no question he was weak in his uncovering of this. You are a fool to think otherwise.
Nope. My column was damn near brilliant. The fact that you read it and still don't agree with me tells me that you're the fool here. Or you're illiterate.
From: Owen G.
I've bashed you plenty, but your Bud Selig column was absolutely on the mark. I've been saying this to anyone who would listen: Knee-jerk blame of Selig is beyond cliché, and the epitome of lazy sports writing. Thank you for saying so.
You're an idiot for bashing me plenty.
How can you blame Donald Fehr? He was doing his job, getting as much money as possible for the people who employ him. He wasn't jabbing needles into anyone's back side, I don't think. If Roger Goodell was commish, I don't think he ignores the problem for seven years. Plus I'm a little disappointed that you didn't unnecessarily belittle Lane Kiffin in the steroids article.
Selig tried to get the union to test for steroids as early as 1995. Fehr refused. For that, Fehr is a bigger jerk than the spoiled brat coaching Tennessee football.
While I agree that Selig probably gets too much blame, the free pass you give him on steroids is at best naïve.
It's not your fault, Robert. You've been swallowing what the rest of the media has been cooking for so long that you can't even taste it any more. But it tastes like crap.
From: Vic C.
Your article on Belichick proves once again that nobody -- including you -- gets it. While I agree with you that Bill doesn't do any favors for anyone but the Pats, he didn't want the Broncos' first-round pick. Why? Because the money the Patriots would have to pay for the 12th pick in the draft far exceeds what they'd pay a second-rounder.
And you think YOU get it? If Belichick truly had the No. 12 pick, and truly didn't want to pay No. 12 money, he would have just traded the pick -- and received a lot more than a second-rounder in exchange. Your theory sounds good, Vic, as long as you don't think too much. Sorry. Please try again.
From: Michael Bleach
Just curious, what are some other cases of Mortensen reporting things that were wrong? I'm not saying that you aren't correct, I just try not to listen to anyone on ESPN, so I am only vaguely familiar with his reporting. I was just wondering if you could fill me in on some other serious gaffes he has made.
Sorry. Not enough time in the day, or bandwidth on the Internet, to answer your question.
I cannot find fault with anything in this article. You are dead on.
Look harder next time.
From: Tom Lewis
Regarding Selig and Fehr and steroids, you are SO DAMNED RIGHT!!!
That's not what Daniel Edmiston says.
From: Daniel Edmiston
That was one of the most foolish, illogical and ridiculous articles I've ever read on the subject of steroids. I can't believe your editors let that get through without squashing it. I'm blaming myself, though, because I was crazy enough to read it.
From: Nate Lewis
Loved the Patriots article. Belichick is a slime and you hit the nail on the head. Keep up the great work! (Except for that Utah article. You know I will hold that against you for a long, long time.)
Every time you mention the Utah article, I have to link to it. It's a rule.