National Columnist

Hate Mail: Some rotten Tar Heels fans spoil the whole bunch


Hate Mail was going to be slow today. I was so charming this past week, so nice, that I really didn't get much in the way of mean email. That's a true story.

But then I wrote about the North Carolina fans who attacked Creighton's Ethan Wragge on Twitter. And you know how UNC fans reacted to my story? By searching for whatever moral high ground they could find.

Yo, UNC fans: There is no moral high ground here. Not for you. Send out a dove with an olive branch next time, or do what most people do: Read Hate Mail.

From: Jeff Johnson

You wrote, "By the time Wragge's body reacted to what his eyes had seen, all he could do was reach futilely with his left hand while his momentum -- and [Kendall] Marshall's momentum -- created the collision." Are you kidding me?!? Have you even watched the play?!? Go ahead. Watch it -- I dare you. Please tell me exactly what that Creighton thug is doing with his right forearm planted squarely on Marshall's chest while he was in mid-air, causing the fall.

I watched it eight times, but not with the eyes of a UNC fan. I watched it with impartial eyes, and what I saw was Wragge's right arm drift out, as arms do when a guy runs and plays defense at the same time, and I saw the combination of both players' momentum causing the hard fall. It was ugly, but it was an accident. Kind of like the day you were born.

From: Sparky

Let's get the story straight. All those tweets directed at Wragge aren't from UNC fans. They're from bitter Duke fans trying to make North Carolina look bad.

Huh. And all those Twitter avatars with Tar Heels and UNC and other forms of baby blue paraphernalia in them ... all part of the hoax? Even the hundreds of pro-UNC tweets some of those folks had been sending out for months, before the Creighton game? A hoax, just in case someone from UNC ever got hurt? Interesting theory. Not a terribly smart theory -- but interesting.

From: Andrew Jones

I don't condone all the comments spewed, but as usual you only told part of the story. All that anger was not the result of the one foul. Watch a complete tape of the game, not highlights, and you will see a pattern of dirty play by the other Creighton players.

Sounds to me like you're saying Ethan Wragge got crapped on by UNC fans because they were mad at ... other Creighton players? Is that what you're saying? Andrew, you'd sound smarter if you just said it was a bunch of Duke fans in sheep's clothing.

From: Matthew Fox

Dude, nobody cares.

Attaway to be passive-aggressive about the whole thing, Matt my boy. Feel persecuted, like this whole thing is the world's fault. How dare we care about the behavior of (some) UNC fans. How dare we!

From: Charles D.

You cherry-picked Tweets to make UNC fans look bad.

There it is again -- my fault. Well, no. It's those mean Duke fans, posing as UNC fans. Their fault. Damn sure isn't your fault, right?

From: Derek

How can you always nitpick at every single event in sports? According to your nonsense opinion, there's always a flaw in some teams, always a critique to be made about some individual. It horrifies me that someone like you found a way to be a hotshot columnist on a website I actually like to consult for sports.

Good grief, Derek, you wrote this email after my work in Omaha, where I applauded Norfolk State, admired Florida, consoled St. Mary's and damn near got emotional writing on Robbie Hummel. Only thing right in your whole note was the part where you called me "a hotshot columnist."

From: Doctor John

I read your reaction to Frank Haith's post-game comments. Gregg, why you are always first in line to trash a loser? We live in a political climate where it's hip to blame someone else for our own flaws and failures. President Obama blames everyone and everything for his mistakes and failures. It would be nice if you held the President to a higher standard of responsibility than you hold the coach of Missouri.

Oh. So this is what that last dude was talking about. Frank Haith completely undermines Norfolk State's win, and his own culpability, and I call him on it -- and you Missouri fans are upset. Meh, whatever. The only homer that impresses me is one that goes 500 feet into the third deck.

From: Nick Gray

I don't understand the hate on the message boards below your column on St. Mary's. It was wonderful, and all people want to do is bash how you failed to point out Purdue. That wasn't the point. For the dumb people out there who can't understand your angle of the agony of defeat: I'm sorry you failed every English class since seventh grade.

Hey! Don't bad-mouth my readers! That's my job.

From: An Economics Professor in the Midwest

If Florida plays the correct way on the court, they're good. If they screw around on the court or simply get outplayed by better talent, they're bad. Why don't liberals such as yourself apply that paradigm to life? If a guy prepares himself well for his work day, and he happens to succeed and make a profit for himself and his family, that should be characterized as good, yet liberals characterize that behavior as selfish, evil.

First came last week's attack of the killer ditto-heads, and now this? I think someone's pulling my leg. You conservatives can't be this obsessive. You just can't.

From: Friend of Your Dad

You're just another left-wing journalist who won't admit he loves the notion of a more intrusive federal government. It's so funny how the guys with mohawks, and the alleged rock-n-roll attitude, are always the ones in favor of the federal government getting involved in everything.

Well, shoot. Maybe you guys are this obsessive. You people make me giggle, but understand, I'm not laughing with you -- I'm laughing at you.

From: Florida Gator

While real men are working in the real world, Gregg Doyel sits on his couch with a bag of Doritos, a handful of Oreos, a six-pack of Budweiser, and a laptop computer -- in a futile attempt to convince aforementioned real men that he is somehow smarter than they are. Gregg thinks that watching Jon Stewart and shaving his head makes him a force to be reckoned with.

Don't let me stop you -- you have promise as a fiction writer -- but I don't eat Doritos or Oreos, I don't drink beer, and I don't watch Jon Stewart. But wait a minute ... I do own a laptop. How could you possibly know that??!!? You bugged my house, you pervert??

From: Marvin Gardens

You're a lot like Barry Hussein Obama. Except you actually graduated college with a grade point average above 2.2, and you're not married to a 6-foot tall woman who weighs 200 pounds and has a permanent scowl on her face. Obama is the 44th President, yet he acts like he's the FIRST President to ever inherit the economy and ...

Enough. Go away. Talk amongst yourselves or something. For the love of ...

From: George Ulrich

I saw a picture of you throwing a jab in some kind of sparring session. You look set up for a counter right in that pic. You have the shoot-an-arrow jab disease that plagues a few boxers. You're reaching to land a jab, instead of stepping into it. Most fighters with a healthy fear of being countered do this. Let go of the fear, and step in there, keep your chin tucked, and for god's sake bring your left hand in to protect that giant target you call a head.

You sound like you know what you're talking about, and I'm sure you're right about everything you typed except for one thing: When I spar, even with a former pro MMA fighter (and former pro boxer) like the dude in that picture, I'm not afraid of being hit. That's my biggest problem, really: I'm a punching bag. I like being hit. Not a lot of skill, but heart for days.

From: Sid Dinsdale

I just read your column about Nebraska basketball. The name on the arena here, Pinnacle Bank, is our family's company. We are paying $11 million-plus for the naming rights because we believe Coach Osborne will make the high-profile hire. Our basketball program is like a struggling business with a great upside. We still drew 7,000 fans to Big Ten games with a last-place team. Thanks for writing about Nebraska basketball. I hope we give you a good reason to write about it again.

Nice email. This is what the week was going to look like -- this, and a whole lot of unwanted political nonsense -- until North Carolina fans saved us all.

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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