I mentioned yesterday that I had traded emails with a Big East fan, and that I might introduce him in Tuesday's Dear Gary. So that's what I'm doing. He sent a note, I responded, and then he responded to me. And now I'll just let you guys tell me how to handle it from here.
So without further ado, here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Pitt is seventh in your poll (seventh last week; now the Panthers are fifth). Really? How can a team that wins the Big East last year and brings back the core (of that) team this year not be ranked higher than seventh? You are probably a Big East hater that goes after the smallest market in the northeast to try and make the rest of the conferences look less inferior. The agenda seems to be to discredit the Big East by making the top tier teams appear to be over-ranked. This ploy is sad because Pitt this year will be a contender, and had Pitt not been injury prone last year it would not have been boned by the selection committee yet again. (I'm) tired of jackasses like Parrish having an opinion that seems politically motivated. If his opinion was not politically motivated (then) how does the weeny justify (Pitt's ranking)? Perhaps the winning of the past eight years would have helped give the benefit to a higher rank! Good luck, Gary. You are now a Dickie V Baby with an overt agenda!
So I could've just ignored him.
But I'm not good at that.
So I replied like this:
Exactly. I'm a Big East hater. That's why I had seven Big East teams ranked in the top 16 of my preseason rankings. You know, one day, you guys will smarten up and realize that most of us don't have agendas outside of just trying to be right. I mean, why on earth would I hate Pitt? You couldn't name one reason. But whatever. Carry on with your wild ideas. They're wrong and insane, of course. But that doesn't make them any less amusing.
All the best.
Naturally, Rob had to respond.
Here's what he wrote:
Dear Gary: Please save your BS for the mentally impaired morons that do not understand the politics at play when NCAA tournament time begins. OK, you had seven Big East teams ranked at the start of season, and if things go south which is what every other conference cheerleader, err, sports writer is hoping for to undermine the credibility of the league. I worry that conference AD's will use referees to help win games, NCAA selection committees will make it harder on the Big East by longer travel and lower seeds, and writers and media will pander to these conferences by jumping all over the Big East if they do not perform up to the hype by "guys" like you. I agree that you want to be right but you are also hedging your bet because if you are wrong then you can win by attacking the Big East. The fact that you responded to my email means that I hit a nerve and that makes me more critical because if it was gibberish why respond? I get it when media peeps like you use code phrases like Pitt is "physical" and they "muscle in the middle" as if to indicate or foreshadow that Pitt will be susceptible to a sh-tload of fouls, and that way a fast whistle can slow down Pitt's explosive offense. I listen to other schmucks like Joe Lunardi (ESPN's St. Joe's cheerleader) talk about how big the Big East is and says that eight teams is not a big thing if they get into the dance. That is code for recruits to be skeptical of playing for the lower-tier teams because the chance for a ticket to the dance is hard. You "guys" can use all the tricks in the books and the Big East will survive regardless!
So to recap, it appears Rob believes I hate the Big East, and that I only called the Big East the best conference in America and ranked seven Big East teams in the preseason Top 25 (and one) because I am raising expectations in an attempt to undermine the league in a way that will lead to conference AD's using referees to help win games and the selection committee screwing the Big East in terms of travel and lower seeds. Also, my kind words are just a set-up so that I can "attack" the Big East at the proper time. Beyond that, he's certain I also hate Pitt, specifically, and that I've targeted the school because it's in a small market (is Pittsburgh a small market?), and nevermind that I wrote this nice column about Jamie Dixon a few months ago and have consistently sung his praises.
Anyway, you be the judge.
Am I trying to undermine the Big East?
Or is Rob just insane?