National Columnist

Hate Mail: If you don't like Fred Hoiberg, there's nothing to say


Last week I crashed a Final Four party that had a bunch of college coaches, and when I met one of them the conversation went like this:

Party host: "Fred, do you know Gregg Doyel?"

Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg: (Shakes my hand, then turns to his wife) "This is the guy whose Hate Mail you were reading earlier."

Mrs. Carol Hoiberg: "I love your Hate Mail! It's the best thing you do!"

Gregg Doyel: "Would you tell Faulkner that you most enjoy his table of contents?"

At which point I stalked away, furious. Well, no -- I didn't. But after making that Faulkner comment, I did in fact hug both Hoibergs (shaddup) and proclaim my eternal devotion to both. Because it's like I told them: If you like Hate Mail, I like you.

From: Nathan S.

Do you really print emails just so you can trash whoever wrote them? Stay classy, loser.

Fred Hoiberg can kick your ass -- but it's Carol you ought to worry about.

From: Occupy The NBA

Uh, yes, Doyel it is wrong for these one-and-done college basketball players to become millionaires, and therefore part of the 1 percent. We have not been occupying Wall Street since last fall just so some thugs can become millionaires. Maybe we should find out where you live so we can occupy your front lawn. Perhaps Spike Lee will be kind enough to Twitter your address. Then again, that little natty-haired dwarf spends thousands of dollars to sit courtside at Madison Square Garden. He's part of the problem, too.

Only thing missing from this email was your white sheet. And your name. Not that your name is relevant -- you're all the same guy.

From: Ilya

Just read your column on one-and-done players at Kentucky. To suggest that coaches absolutely must go after these players -- and to condone those who place higher value on education -- is baffling. You, sir, are a flagrant idiot.

If you want to get mad at what I wrote ... get mad at what I wrote. Not at what YOU wrote. Not once did I suggest "coaches must absolutely go after these players" -- nor did I "condone those who place higher value on education." I said coaches have the right to recruit one-and-done players if they so choose, and I said some critics are hypocrites hiding behind some elitist academic ideal that masks their true intent, which is to knock the unstoppable force that is Kentucky under John Calipari. But please come back next week and argue with yourself some more -- you're cute.

From: Robert Balogh, on Saturday

The best you have is to make fun of my hobby? I have no desire to get into a debate with you, for two reasons. First off, I refuse to match wits with someone who is unarmed. Second, arguing online is like winning the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still a retard.

This is the guy who wrote me last week (fourth email). He was so clumsy, I had to look him up. Turns out, he collects Coca-Cola memorabilia. And doesn't he seem like a wonderful guy? I sure wish he wrote me more often.

From: Robert Balogh, 3 minutes later

FYI, Erick Dampier is an avid Coca-Cola collector. He attends auctions and occasionally conventions. Ask the big man if it's about collecting "figurines."

Erick Dampier doesn't win your argument. He loses it.

From: Robert Balogh, Monday afternoon

So a friend of mine wants to bet tonight's game. He likes Kentucky. I kinda like Kansas. Well, I look to see what the so-called experts are saying, and I see that the only one picking Kansas is the douche-nozzle Doyel. I agree with your analysis, but there's the way you state your case. Even as I'm agreeing with you, I sense this overwhelming aura permeating your every word that screams out, "Look at me! My name is Gregg Doyel and I am a dyslexic nouche dozzle!"

Is that what it screamed? Because that was Dennis Dodd, not me, who picked Kansas. Robert, I think you need to go back to collecting aluminum cans. The intellectual bar here isn't all that high, but you limbo like a champ.

From: Tyler

OK BALDY! What is wrong with a college coach recruiting the best?? Last time I checked, it isn't their job to do anything but make sure the team is winning and bringing the school as much money as possible.

Which is exactly what I wrote, for 1,000 words. You missed the entire point. I mean, you made like Adam Dunn and corkscrewed yourself into the dirt.

From: William B.

There was an article earlier this week when I realized you really are a talented writer, the Kansas-is-Butler one. It wasn't an article where I agreed, but still I think you might be CBS' best sportswriter.

There's no "might be" about it. Aww, shucks. I think you're way too kind.

From: Columbus Carl

It's funny how when people challenge you on your left-wing politics, you never respond other than with an insult. I don't blame you for taking that strategic approach. After all, left-wing policies don't work -- so there's really not much of a defense to be made.

I insult you people because it's easy. What's difficult is understanding why anyone -- on either side of the aisle -- would waste time parsing my words on sports for their political meaning. I mean, I get why you read me. I might be CBS' best sportswriter can be fairly entertaining. But the parsing? I don't get the parsing.

From: Hotel Clerk

Nice try in last week's Hate Mail (second from bottom) at attempting to sugarcoat your reputation for being rude and someone who acts in public just like he acts in print, hurling insults everywhere. Several people have actually made that same characterization about you. We imagine you aren't even aware of how rude you come across, publicly.

Read this tweet. Or don't. But when it popped onto my Twitter feed the other night, I was beaming. As always, thanks for setting yourself up on a tee. Let's do this weekly.

From: Dan O'Connell

You should leave brackets alone. Not your thing. But I do think you should write about women's golf, which is what sissy sportswriters like you probably enjoy.

I'm bad at brackets, like this year's bracket? Where I correctly picked the title game, and the winner, and finished second among our eight expert brackets posted? You should leave putdowns alone, Dan. Not your thing.

From: David Haye

As a higher-education professional, I find your take on Calipari and the one-and-done rule refreshing. I've always believed that the point of college is to prepare people to earn a decent salary and support themselves, and if they so choose, their family. And if you want to use this in hate mail, um, your bald head isn't aesthetically pleasing and your diminutive stature cacchinate blithely.

No idea what you just wrote, but I'm positive them are fighting words.

From: Robert Service

There are over seven million people who live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Just because two cretins get into a fight over a ball game does not mean everyone in the state is a barefoot redneck. For cripes sake, Mitch McConnell is probably the third most powerful man in this country. He was born and raised here. Your column, sir, is to quote Shakespeare: much ado about nothing. Yes, by golly, we do read Shakespeare in Kentucky!

Yeah, but do you understand Shakespeare, Robert? Lord knows you didn't understand me, if you thought I was mocking Kentucky with that barefoot comment. A dangerous man is one who overestimates his intelligence. You, sir, are a dangerous man.

From: Honey Badger

Just went to your Wikipedia page. That's quite the family history, LOL.

Yeah, it's been fixed now -- but I saw that. Someone doctored my Wiki page. Do you have any idea what that makes me feel like? It makes me feel like ... a celebrity. By all means, doctor away. And also, could someone please update it with my most recent award?

From: Ole Miss Mister

Oh, Gregg, you poor little queen ... do people actually write to you with hate in their keyboards? Is THAT why you title your letters to the editor, "Hate Mail?" You poor little sissy. I went to high school with you, so I literally know that you're a sissy -- and I know that you're white trash.

Sorry about stealing your girlfriend back then. Looks like you're still angry.

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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