Updated Sept. 23
Another week, another nerve struck with North Carolina fans. How's this for irony: A dozen or so threatened to beat me up last week, so I welcomed any of them to try -- and I'm the big-talking bad guy in that scenario?
I take back what I said earlier about UNC fans -- you're not half as smart as I thought you were.
But you've made for some decent Hate Mail, I'll give you that.
What exactly would you do if somebody did jump you in the street? You say "it would be epic." What kind of s--- is that??
If an angry fan jumps me, and I put him in the hospital, that WOULD be epic. But I could be delusional. To this day, I walk onto the court for pick-up basketball thinking I'll be the best player out there -- and I never am. Ever. But continually I think I will be. I might be overconfident. I could be stupid.
From: Mo Drayton
Gregg, I thought your UNC column was poor. It didn't make much sense, and you slam UNC yet you ignore the violations by other schools. Please be consistent. With regard to your responses to last week's Hate Mail: Gregg, I could kick your ass. I would tell you that I would kick your ass, but I'm not going to threaten you. I don't need to threaten you just because you wrote a stupid article. Writing a stupid article is not a reason to get your ass kicked. That said, I went to UNC, and I don't need anyone else to kick your ass for me, I can do it myself. Man to man, face to face.
This is what I'm talking about. Maurice Drayton was a 6-foot-1, 218-pound linebacker in the 1990s, and I e-mailed him privately to congratulate him on cold confidence -- love it -- and also to let him know that he'd have a chance only if he were still in playing shape. And I'm 5-10, 165! I'm unnaturally confident. It's kind of creepy.
From: E. L. Gradillas
Just read Hate Mail. Geez, nothing like exposing the undersurface of a rotten piece of wood and watching the rats scurry! But why openly dare them to come after you? One of these days, some psycho might do just that. Then what would I do on Thursdays without Hate Mail?
See, you're assuming the worst. You assume I'm delusional and overconfident, and that at 5-10, 165 I'm not nearly as dangerous as I think I am. Here's the thing: A real fighter doesn't e-mail a stranger and threaten to beat him up, and a real fighter would never jump someone on the street. So I'm not talking to fighters, I'm talking to morons -- and I'm positive I can kick some moron ass.
From: Kennon H.
You've been "waiting your whole life to make an example of the idiot that tries to fight you, and it'll be epic, and that's a promise?" The only thing epic about our meeting will be how stupid I'll make you look. That's a promise.
Kennon, you're a moron.
From: Chris Smith
You make all these claims in your hate mail. If you want to back up your claims, then e-mail me and I'll give you my address.
You misunderstand, but hey, you're a moron. I'm not challenging anyone to a fight. I'm simply saying this: If any of you morons are serious, I'm ready to go. Am I coming to find YOU? No. I don't know who you are, Chris, and I don't care. But if you should find me some day ... don't wear white if you're a bleeder.
From: Lance Taylor
I work for the University of Tennessee, and I go to church with Mike Hamilton. In your column on Bruce Pearl, you said "Mike Hamilton is one of the most inept, disingenuous college administrators I've ever seen." Mike is a great person and has worked hard to serve the University well. You have no right to say the things you did. He's also Chair of the United Way Campaign here in Knoxville.
He goes to church and works for the United Way? Terrific. He's a do-gooder. But he's a lousy AD. Simply awful. He can't be fired fast enough.
From: Robert Neyland
You appear worldly-wise enough to know that it's not a crime to be a liar. Just look at Congress and the Senate if you want to see how beneficial it is. The NCAA (stinks). Imposing inane, ludicrous rules on college sports is more akin to a crime than an occasional lie -- especially when everybody is lying anyway.
Everyone else is doing it -- so it's OK that Bruce Pearl cheated, got caught, and then lied about it? I'll be damned. You sure you're not a UNC fan?
From: Hank Levi
It's apparent that you'll never be happy with anything less than having teams only from the six BCS conferences in the spotlight. Too bad you can't use your power as a journalist to improve the game.
Damn right I got power.
From: John Romano
I like how you brag about your two-time (1987, '88) all-state baseball honors every hate mail, but never mention teammates Jerry Shepherd and Jay Cranford, who were THREE-time all-state picks. That means you were the third-best player on the team.
I was only third-best, but we won two state titles. No shame there. Jay Cranford reached Double A in the Pirates organization, and Jerry Shepherd still holds the South Carolina Gamecocks record -- 18 years later -- for career slugging at .698. They batted third and fourth in the lineup. Me? Leadoff, baby.
From: Henry Poer
Are you really bragging about being an all-state soccer player (1986) in high school?
Only because you bring it up. Or I bring it up. Well, somebody brings it up -- I just work here. And I fight better than I played soccer. But I played baseball best of all.
From: Daniel Earp
I agree with you about the UNC fiasco. I don't agree with you dropping down to the level of these moronic homers who have posted threats. You're a sports journalist, not a 14-year-old. The only thing getting beat up here is your professional integrity.
Yeah, I know. My mouth is way too big for my own good. Always has been.
From: Austin James
Why do fans threaten writers? And why do writers challenge people to fight them? This all seems childish.
From: Mike Dyer
It's obvious you are a TV person, Gregg. I'm a retired sportswriter who worked from 1963-2009. Deadlines are a problem. Many guys don't want to talk, but writers represent the fans who pay the salaries. Learn the truth, Mr. TV. Keep these broads out of the locker room ... but not the beat writers.
Lord have mercy, I could devote an entire edition of Hate Mail just to you, Mike, and pick apart your letter Fire Joe Morgan-style. But I'll just say the following:
• It's obvious I'm a TV person? You found me because I wrote 1,000 words on the Internet. That means I'm a writer, Mike. Spelled with a silent "w". Tricky, I know.
• You represent fans? Aww, how quaint. Let me guess: Your favorite show as a kid was Leave It To Beaver.
• Keep these broads out of the locker room? Oh, Mike. Mike, Mike, Mike. When that lovely woman at the nursing home spoons you some whipped corn, try not to call her a "broad."
Ines Sainz got what she deserved and wanted. Females don't belong in the locker room. They don't belong anywhere interviewing men.
You agreed with me, Joe? In that case, I change my mind.
I have today written two senators, one congressperson and a governor to see what can be enacted to stop the media from locker-room access.
What do you want, a cookie?
Sometimes I think you are a dork. Other times a genius. This time, on preseason polls, you are on the money.
Your first sentence, Larry. It stings. Are you not aware of my prowess as a two-sport all-state stud in high school? Have you not heard about my basketball or boxing ability? Apparently I've been too modest.
From: Mike Ellis
I don't agree with the Arkansas reporter being fired, but you sir are an idiot! I wish I could tell you in person how us backwards people feel about the Razorbacks, but you would not understand. I will give you my phone number, but you will not call. You are an addlepated amateur.
Right. I won't call. Because you're right -- I wouldn't understand you. Not if you're going to use 1950s lingo like "addlepated amateur."
Since CT Hoosier isn't doing his job, I guess I'll have to start stalking you. Please stop whining about Boise State and/or the idiotic polls. You generally have no hesitation tilting at windmills, so why the warped love for the worst method of deciding a college title?
Where is CT Hoosier? Anyway ... I don't love the BCS. Not at all. But I refuse to hop on the Boise State bandwagon. Too crowded. Screw it -- I'll walk.
From: Steven Simpson
Don't act surprised when a coach gets pissed after a game as you're asking him dumb questions. John Harbaugh felt like you were insulting his intelligence -- and you were by thinking he didn't know he didn't run the ball enough.
I wasn't surprised at all. In fact, my comeback was pretty damn good. A surprised writer would have swallowed his tongue. Me, I lashed back like a smartass. I love me some me.
From: Moosies Woodworks
We can all read between the lines here. You're scared of BYU and what could be a very nice run the next three years for them.
I'm scared of BYU? How very Mike Garrett of you. Everyone wants to be a Trojan, you know.
From: Moosies Woodworks
Just read some more of your stuff. I see how you are. You're not a BYU hater -- you're an anyone/anything hater. What a pity your talents are wasted with hate.
I'm not a hater -- I'm a realist. If you want to read about seashells and balloons, go find a message board devoted to seashells and balloons. Or read this next idiot.
From: Stephen Sonderman
I'm not a sports fan, but doing research on sportswriters and I've found your particular focus a bit sad. I'd suggest maybe trying to do something that helps others, use your writing ability in a constructive direction. Trust me my friend, I've seen what happens to individuals such as yourself, it ain't pretty. You get bald, fat, bitter, drink too much coffee, think about how you should go for a run and beat yourself up. I've researched and interviewed over 500 sportswriters, and your case seems particularly sad. Sorry, I do mean well.
True, you're not a sports fan -- you're a sportswriter groupie. You hitting on me, Stephen? Don't.