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National Columnist

Hate Mail: Picking fights with 'Noles, Tide fans who think it's OK to pick on the weak

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Florida State fans defended their school for scheduling a game with sorry little Savannah State. Not to be out-dumbed, Alabama fans defended their coach for being a mean-spirited jerk.

Both groups came here, where I defended myself for being right.

It's Hate Mail, college football powerhouse-style.

From: Christian Weiss

Do you do actual research before you write your rants? Apparently you didn't know that FSU had scheduled West Virginia, who cancelled the game. That would require a little work on your part, right?

Do you read the actual column before you write your email? Apparently you didn't know that I devoted an entire paragraph to the words, "In January, West Virginia canceled its scheduled game this season at FSU." That would require a little work on your part, right?

From: Kem Siddons

West Virginia backed out of playing FSU -- FSU didn't do this to itself. Too bad you didn't consider that when writing your article ...

Too bad you didn't consider reading the article before writing your email ...

From: Paul Snyder

You ought to get all the facts for your stories. Or did you forget West Virginia cancelled our game in January?

Good lord, did ANY of you people read the story before writing me?

From: Tony D.

Thank West Virginia for FSU playing Savannah State. You may want to do a bit more research next time.

I'm starting to wonder about the quality of education at Florida State. Maybe it's not that you "didn't" read. Maybe you "can't" read.

From: David

You acknowledge in your article that West Virginia backed out of its game with FSU -- not the other way around -- so how can you call it shameful for FSU to play Savannah State? You should be ashamed of writing this inaccurate, opinionated article.

At least you read it.

From: David, again

Disregard my last email. I noticed you were a Florida grad, so now I understand your ignorance and hatred for FSU. Since you have the leverage as the writer, I guess you're entitled to do your bashing. As an FSU grad in the banking field, I will do everything possible to screw UF and its grads.

Be proud, FSU fans -- this guy speaks for you. And he's doubly dangerous, because this one can read.

From: Ryan J.

You know West Virginia pulled out at the last minute. The 'Noles tried to replace them, but who would want to come to Tallahassee as a Top 25 opponent? Ripping FSU for this is the worst writing I've seen from you. Please retract.

Retract what? FSU couldn't get a Top 25 team to come ... so it settled for the single worst lower-level team in the country. That's a long, steep drop. Kudos to your reading comprehension, though.

From: Mike Meadors

Wow. You're paid to provide news and insight and you come up with blaming Oklahoma State and Florida State for the scheduling of Savannah State. Really. You must be a Democrat -- you throw anything out there, whether it is true or not.

One thing I've noticed over the years: Even when I write from a fairly conservative viewpoint like this one about the Occupy movement hitting the Super Bowl, a Democrat has never emailed me to say, "You must be a Republican." But Republicans are always playing the "You must be a Democrat" card. Not sure what it means. But it's awfully curious.

From: Water Bill

You're a f---ing douchebag liberal. You think a union will solve the UFC's problem? Don't you think that the fighters or trainers are responsible? You and Obama ...

This is what I'm talking about.

From: Mario in New York

Why is it necessary for you to dedicate an entire column to trashing the Colts? You referred to the Colts receiving corps as "Reggie Wayne and some junk." Those players you call junk are human beings. I've heard that you're an angry, visceral guy -- but seriously, big dog, you need to chill out or get some meds or something.

Look, I was nice to Andrew Luck in that story. That's what we in therapy call "baby steps."

From: Karen

You should be ashamed of yourself. Jim Tressel is and was a great coach.

Jim Tressel cheated his ass off to win the 2010 Big Ten title. Be ashamed of that, Karen.

From: James Strawn

Ohio State fans will remember Tressel as a great coach and one of the best men you could ever meet.

Ohio State fans with a big imagination and tiny memory, maybe.

From: Cheer 4 OSU

There is a special place in hell for the likes of you.

Cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

From: Greg

I'm a 62-year-old Bama fan and your column is what I often complain about Coach Saban: He is a bully and he does it because he can. If he was out on the street without his body guard he would never act the way he does. He picks on those that can't fight back and I cannot stand that, even if it is the Bama coach -- especially if it's the Bama coach.

I'm so glad you spell your name incorrectly like that, because otherwise people might think I wrote this email to myself. An Alabama fan, willing to acknowledge the imperfection of the Alabama football coach? How refreshing.

From: Gerald Tinnon

You are wrong about Saban. You'll say this is because I am a Bama fan, but it's not. I have followed Saban his whole career. I have watched all -- repeat, all -- of his press conferences. I have heard the ridiculous questions posed by young reporters. It annoys him, it annoys me. You are on the wrong side of this discussion.

You've watched all -- repeat, all -- of his press conferences and haven't figured out that Nick Saban is a classic bully? Golly, Gerald, you take myopic fandom to a new, completely blind level.

From: Loren

You really don't understand how Saban works, do you? This was a coaching move on his part -- nothing more, nothing less. Alabama had articles written that it could go toe-to-toe with an NFL team after beating Michigan, then goes out and has a sh-tty first practice back. If you were the coach, wouldn't you do something to get the team's attention?

Sure, I'd do something to get the team's attention. Throw a fit at a group of people -- reporters, bank tellers, whoever -- that had nothing to do with a bad practice? No, I wouldn't have done that. It was a mean-spirited, self-centered bully move ... which means your first sentence is dead wrong. I understand exactly how Nick Saban works.

From: Glynn

It's obvious that Coach Saban controls you and all the douchebag media. By taking time out of your day to focus on him, you prove my point. Thanks for the coverage of Coach Saban. We'll probably get another five-star recruit out of this.

Any idea how many of these messages I got via email or Twitter? It was the craziest thing. Spawned from the same myopic message board, you people kept writing some form of, "Ha! You played into Saban's hands! He wanted the attention off his team, and you did it for him." Saban's personality was eviscerated on a national website, and that's a positive thing? If I hadn't blasted Saban that day, I was going to ignore Alabama. Instead of being left alone, he got himself ripped at a pretty damn good level And you lemmings found a message board that told you to celebrate it. Baffling.

From: Paul R. Thomas

As usual, you missed the point. Saban is trying to keep the young Alabama players from getting a big head like.

No, I got the point. You're the one who missed it: Nick Saban is a great coach but a bad guy. Most people around the country seemed to get the point -- celebrate that, lemmings.

From: Mr. Anonymous

Your tirade against Nick Saban is so transparent. You're spun from the same wool as Letterman, Colbert and Obama -- you can throw a punch, but you have a glass jaw. Your father the judge has a public reputation for being snarky and short tempered with people in his court. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, Gregg.

My father the judge took no sh-t and tolerated no bullies -- and I am absolutely my father's son. A mama's boy like you? You can't even sign your own name.


Gregg Doyel is a columnist for CBSSports.com. 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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