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Hate Mail: Yes, I live at the zoo and look like that American Idol


In my business, greatness is measured in different ways. You can win an award. You can have your own Wikipedia page.

Or you can have a snake named after you.

I did all three the last one, and let me tell you, it feels ... weird. I mean, a snake? Honestly? Did that just happen?

From: Jeff Mitchell

You finally made a TV appearance! Check the 3:05 minute mark ...

I'll be damned. That just happened.

P.S. to readers ...

This whole thing started in January 2011, when a curator at the Brookfield (Ill.) Zoo, the aforementioned Jeff Mitchell, made his Hate Mail debut by teasing me about possibly naming a gross creature called an invasive round goby after me. I suggested he go for something more anatomically correct. Like a snake.

Five months later, Jeff Mitchell said it was done: The Brookfield Zoo now had a snake named Doyel.

I didn't believe him, of course. A zoo named a snake after me? Come on. Really?

Really. A TV station did a recent piece at the zoo, and at the 3:05 mark the reporter walks into the reptile area and offers these thrilling words: "Meet Doyel. He's a 15-foot, 80-pound reticulated python."

Sweeter words have never been spoken. And you know I'm right! Also: shaddup. Back to our regularly scheduled edition of Hate Mail ...

From: Dan Antwein Marlon

Looks like Coach Spo pulled your punk card. #smh

A grown man, giving me a #smh? If the zoo named a creature after you, it would be a prancing little pony.

From: Joe Kaboul

What's up with the bad writing? I'd bet 100 bucks you were bullied and got beat up regularly as a youngster. No other reason to focus on this type of nonsense. Do you know how to write about the actual game itself?

Sure, I could write about the game. But it's so much more fun to write about me! When everyone else on press row learns how much fun it is to write about me, that's when you're going to see a renaissance of sportswriting.

From: A.R. Bengston

Gay ... quit writing don't defend yourself now that LeBron and Wade did show up ... you can criticize them ... I will criticize your job ... what, can't you write quality night and night out ... you continue to write horse---- and still get paid.

Your stream-of-consciousness style doesn't work. The only sentence I understood was the last one, and I understood it to be stupid. And my name isn't "Gay." I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, because otherwise you were using that word as a slur. And you're not THAT guy, are you?

From: Robert

In your bio you state: "Personally? I have three dogs, two kids and one wife. And that's none of your business." If it's none of my business, why put that in your bio? I would also add that, that bald noggin of yours keeps getting bigger in your bio picture. You're not that great.

Jeez, Robert, that line in my bio was a joke. But after reading the rest of your email, I realize you have no sense of humor. So it's not your fault. I forgive you.

From: The New Doctor Phil

When Junior Seau committed suicide, we didn't get it. But, Gregg, if YOU were to commit suicide, we'd understand. Really.

Never thought I'd write this sentence, but here goes: I prefer the other Dr. Phil.

From: Backlinks

Check out this crazy service that sends thousands of visitors to your web page automatically! I wanted to tell you about this website I used with great results, that drives thousands of targeted visitors to your site who are dying to spend money! You can check it out here: a href=http xrumer

Silly Spam-bot, I don't need a backlinks service. Google does it for me. Those suckers are obsessed with me or something. They remember EVERYTHING I write. Kind of creepy, really.

From: Charles Johnson

If football is as potentially dangerous to its participants as you allege, then the sport should be canceled. Your half-baked idea about paying college players as compensation for potential brain injuries is silly, and can be accurately characterized as just another liberal, it-makes-me-feel-good solution that doesn't provide a solution.

If it's dangerous? If? NFL players are being diagnosed with dementia at rates nearly 20 times faster than non-players. Then they're dying. That's not "alleged," you boob. That's "fact." I'm not going to do like you did, paint with a broad brush and use your email here to suggest that all conservatives are cold, callous jerks. I'm not. But I am going to say, with certainty, that you're a cold, calloused jerk.

From: Fred C.

You do kind of look like Chris Daughtry. Well, I'm off to get my knew prescription from LensCrafters ...

He. Looks. Like. Me.

From: Chris Daughtry

I've been getting asked quite a bit if I was this man named Gregg Doyel. I had never heard of him before and was confused. So I looked you up and here I am. I feel there are slight similarities in our features, but my facial hair clearly is superior to yours. Also, you are a douche nozzle, which I am not. So ... can we put this behind us? If you would like, you could just off yourself, thus making it much easier to live my life as the only person who looks like us.

So you acknowledge we look alike, Robert Chris! Thank you. And you're welcome, for being lucky enough to look like me. You probably owe half your groupies -- the hot half! -- to me.

From: Mark

If you consider the scholarship tuition that college athletes receive in exchange for playing sports, compare the pay at a university like Vanderbilt to a university like Ohio State. The cost of attendance at Vanderbilt is higher, and yet their players are typically less recruited than those at Ohio State -- so you have somewhat inferior players receiving higher pay than superior players at a less expensive university. Arguably, a student could also receive a better education at a higher ranked, more expensive private school, exacerbating the discrepancy in pay between athletes. Furthermore, many of the huge public institutions that make millions on football are also the ones paying their athletes less. I do not know about you, but I find that rather interesting. Also, so I make Hate Mail, your face is stupid.

I'll be honest. I didn't understand a word of this until your last sentence. That one, I got.

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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