National Columnist

Hate Mail: We're stuck in a vicious Hate cycle


Updated Feb. 10

This is Hate Mail about Hate Mail, which means this is a whole lot of navel-gazing.

I never liked that phrase: navel-gazing. It sounds like something an orangutan does at the zoo while the rest of us are watching. So when that happens, if you think about it, we're gazing at navel-gazing. It's a vicious cycle, a full circle, kind of like when I do this week's Hate Mail on last week's Hate Mail.

See what I did there? I completed the cycle. Brought it full circle. Found a way to ... ah, shaddup.

From: Pat

I don't read all your columns, but I find them to be unnecessarily inflammatory. However, I just read your response to the comments you got to your column on Iowa football and I find it to be incredibly unprofessional. You're acting like the trolls who get on the CBS message boards, whereas a good journalist would take the high road. I just found it unnecessary and a little bit narcissistic of you to put this out there as a column.

It's not bothersome to me that I've been writing Hate Mail for seven years, and you just ripped it apart. It's bothersome that I've been writing Hate Mail for seven years -- and you just found out. Maybe I've not been mean enough to get your attention. I'll work on that. Who's next?

From: Baxter

Just wondering, do you shave your hair to look tough, or do you shave it because you have a massive receding hairline? Was curious because you seem awfully young to be going bald. I thought this might explain your arrogant, do-no-wrong attitude. Sorry about the locks, bro. Not our fault though.

I'm not old enough to be going bald? I'm old enough to be your father, Baxter -- and given the way your mom ran around ... I just might be.

From: Mark

Your articles where you berate readers who write you with comments is beneath what I consider to be a professional journalist. I enjoy many of your articles but I really dislike when you do this.

I don't berate readers who write me with "comments." I berate readers who write me with "personal insults" or "threats of physical violence." And if you don't enjoy reading it, in the words of the worst football coach in Colorado history: Go play intramurals, brother. Because this is varsity-level journalism right here.

From: Alan from Alabama

After reading your story on parents and college football recruiting, I concluded that you hate God, the South, all women and anyone who wakes up and breathes air everyone morning. Go jump in front of a train!

I would like to berate you for "wishing my death" -- but that last wimp, Mark, might be offended. After all, Alan, you're merely writing me with "comments." That said, you're Exhibit A that Alabama needs to improve its public school system ... and enlarge its jails.

From: Brian

So your way to respond to the hate mail is to single them out and bash them? Calling them names and making personal attacks? No one thinks it's cute to publicly bash readers in an article.

Well, truth is, lots of people think it's cute. Hate Mail is one of the most widely read weekly features we have at I asked my bosses a few months ago if I could take a break from it -- I can tolerate only so much cuteness in my life -- and they told me no. I can't. Readers would revolt. But thanks for your input, Brian. Invaluable, really.

From: Brian, again

YOU are what's wrong with sportswriters today. Shock jock. "Hey everybody, come read my article so you can get mad at me for writing outlandish comments, and you can tell your friends about it and get me all the attention I want." You asked for it, buddy. Now you're getting what you deserve. The hate mail was brought on by you and only you, and you deserve all the bashing you get.

You just don't get it, Brian. I enjoy Hate Mail. I enjoy reading it, I enjoy responding to it. I enjoy the fact that your IQ is at least 50 points below mine. I love everything about this. Why I asked for a break from this, you simpleton, I'll never know.

From: CT Hoosier

In case anyone was wondering, I'm still reading.

I found the GPS you hid on my car, you creepy little stalker.

From: Ol Hoss

I have to tell you, I'm beginning to see you writers much like football coaches. We follow your work, we criticize freely and we all think we can do better, when in reality none of us has any idea what's really involved in what you do. Keep up the good work.

If you're comparing me to Jim Tressel or Chris Petersen or Gene Chizik, thank you. But if you're comparing me to Nick Saban or Lane Kiffin, I'm going to ask you to step outside.

From: Raheel S. Thobhani

You cannot compare Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre just in terms of stats. According to you, everyone with a passer rating higher than Favre is better than him. That is not true. Look across the league, my friend. Passing numbers are inflated! Throwing for 4,000 yards is no longer an accomplishment -- it's expected. You can't touch the QB anymore. Receivers can't be hit after five yards. So please. Do not write this kind of garbage again.

You act like Favre is some prehistoric throwback who played alongside Otto Graham and Y.A. Tittle. He played this past season, Raheel. What kind of name is that, anyway? Are you a woman? Better be, because your name is an anagram for, "Hi, banshee harlot."

From: L. Martin

I can't believe your article which said parents shouldn't be involved in deciding where their sons go to play college football. Are you serious? Obviously you don't have college-aged children. Good parents will ALWAYS be involved in their children's college decisions.

Involvement, good. Running their kid's life, bad. Your reading comprehension? Terrible.

From: Tim

After reading your comments about Brent Calloway, apparently you don't know that he was an Alabama commitment for nearly two years and then mysteriously de-committed.

De-commitments are mysterious, all right. They NEVER happen. You kook.

From: Cooper

Peaches Winston makes a living out of adopting future athletes? All you probably did is read a message board for your information. I'm a lot closer to the situation.

Your first and third sentences are interesting. I never said Winston makes a living out of adopting future athletes. I just noted that every kid he adopts ends up being a Division I athlete. Do you know what those odds are? Those odds are almost impossible. But now I'm wondering, since you're so close to the situation and all, why did you blurt out your first sentence? Do you know something about Peaches Winston?

From: More Cooper

Apparently you didn't realize that Auburn's coaches had Cam Newton call Calloway several times and tell him he was coming back for another season -- and he wanted Calloway in the backfield with him.

OK, I take it back. You're not close to the situation at all, because you got THAT rumor from a message board. No way in hell did that happen.

From: Jim Sanders

As an Arizona basketball fan it's nice to go back and reread your story from 2009, stating how Arizona basketball is going down, and Arizona fans have no one to blame but themselves. We live in a country where everyone has an opinion, but few have an intelligent and informed opinion. Unfortunately, you do not fit in the few.

Thing is, I was right. Arizona is riding high now under Sean Miller, but in that story I predicted only that the bottom would fall out of Arizona hoops last season -- and it did. The team went 16-15 and didn't qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years. I nailed it, Jim. But why would you be rereading that story two years later?

From: Dandy Flowers

Hey Gregg Doyel, lick them Arizona (gonads), b----!

Oh. I see. There's an Arizona message board out there that found my story from 2009 -- and as usual, there was no reading comprehension on the board. Just a lot of groupthink and lemmings. And here you are, Dandy, right on cue. Good boy! Now fetch!

From: Grant Senner, via Twitter

Remember THIS column on Arizona basketball? Gregg, we'd love to hear from you.

I'm a little disappointed in you, Grant. Your Twitter bio says you're on the "Fiesta Bowl Executive Committee and 2011 Chairman, UofA College of Medicine Alumni Board." Seems like you ought to be above the whims of message-board groupthink. Maybe you're the best Arizona has to offer. Maybe that depresses the hell out of me.

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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