All That and a Bag of Mail: Ohio State Hate Edition
Earlier this year I made fun of Justin Bieber on Twitter and was immediately assaulted by crazy Bieber fans. They were maniacs. All under the age of 18, but crazy as hell. It was like being attacked by an army of 5th graders hopped up on Red Bull. I'd never seen so many lol's in my life. I was drowning in teenage shorthand. For an adult man this was pretty much Twitter waterboarding.
The Bieberites crushed even the dumbest sports fans on Earth.
But then Carlos Hyde allegedly punched a girl and Ohio State fans decided that rather than blame their running back for putting himself in a stupid situation in the club, I was to blame. What with my ridiculous Twitter policy of linking stories and having an opinion. What in the world did I think I was doing not giving Carlos Hyde the Nobel peace prize? And being critical of Urban Meyer too? What basis could I ever have to be criticial of a multi-million dollar coach with one of the most lenient disciplinary policies in college football? I mean, it's not like one of his former players was a potential serial killer who shot two people while he played football for Meyer's team.
Nope, I'm the bad guy. I've been swimming in a sea of idiocy for the better part of this week. It's gotten so bad that I apologized to Alabama and Kentucky fans for calling them dumb. Really. Most of y'all have loved it.
So I polled you guys on Twitter and asked, should I just run an all hate from Ohio State fans mailbag?
Your nearly unanimous answer was yes.
I typically don't feature hatemail that much because the vast majority of my Tweets and emails are positive. Really, they are. I could just retweet positive comments from you guys all day, but I don't think those are as entertaining for you to read. Yay, another person who likes the site and wants me to keep doing exactly what I'm doing. While I appreciate you letting me know you enjoy the site, the radio show, or the TV hits -- I really do read every email and tweet sent to me -- the hate is just so much more entertaining to broadcast. My buddy, comedian Josh Wolf, a writer and panelist for Chelsea Lately, is incredulous about the venom I can provoke.
"Dude," he's said on multiple occasions, "don't these people realize you're just talking about sports?"
This is serious stuff.
On to the hate.
Our beaver pelt trader of the week is former Clemson Tiger and current Tennessee Titan linebacker Tig Willard, who saved a family from a burning car on his way to training camp.
A Twitter hate screen shot.
This is too good to be true, these are this guy's three most recent Tweets.
The most amazing thing about this Tweet -- aside from the suggestion that I commit suicide for Tweeting about sports, is the rapid decline in Brandon's opinion of me. At first he doesn't even care that I exist. But then our relationship spirals downhill in a hurry. Just thirty-six minutes after he Tweets -- "I'm so glad I hold judgement before commentting on something.. A lot of you look stupid today." -- he tells me to put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger.
That's true restraint.
But @brand0n_james1 was not alone in his requests that I commit suicide. He was one of at least five Ohio State fans to suggest that I kill myself.
I only retweeted two.
Here's the other one that I retweeted.
"@teddyhesiman: Hang yourself."
Now some of you might be surprised that Ohio State fans are so quick to suggest suicide to people who Tweet things about sports they don't like.
But when you really think about it, this makes perfect sense.
I mean, if you had to live in Ohio you'd be thinking about committing suicide all the time too.
This is just projection.
John Storhaug writes:
"You need to get that sand out of your vagina ASAP. Afterwards, how about a nice game of hide and go fuck yourself. Get off Carlos Hyde's ass."
What would a "nice game of hide and go f--- yourself," actually look like? How could you play? I mean, I'm not necessarily opposed to a "nice game of hide and go f--- yourself," -- especially not after I got the sand out of my vagina, god that would be awful -- but it seems pretty physically impossible. Or would at least require a physical dexterity I don't possess.
Plus, there are just so many conflicting commands here.
How much time and energy does John think I have? First, I have go get sand out of my vagina, then I have to figure out how to f--- myself -- while hiding no less -- and then I have to climb off Carlos Hyde's ass? Good Lord, who do you think I am that I can do all these things in a row? Ask my wife, I can barely remember to take the trash out once a week. Playing hide and go f--- myself after getting sand out of my vagina and climbing off Carlos Hyde's ass is way past my paygrade.
Not to mention if my latent homosexuality was constantly challenged by the budding blossom of Aaron Craft's facial cheeks when he plays basketball. Which appears to be the definite case based upon his Tweets.
"@OSUbuckeye4life: the shit you say is just ignorant and holds no truth. Get off of Ohio States nuts".
General life rule -- if you are over the age of 16 and your Twitter handle involves your favorite sports team, you are a pretty big loser in life.
This rule is virtually undefeated.
If I was a girl -- sympathies about getting sand in your vaginas -- I'd use this as a dating no brainer. If a guy includes his favorite sports team in his Twitter handle he is not dateable.
Also, if you use the number "4" as a stand in for hugely long words like "for," we all know that you cheated on the GED. And still failed.
It's also time for an Outkick anatomy lesson -- a university doesn't have testicles. Except for Texas Tech, and that's only because Kliff Kingsbury's balls are so big he's storing them at the center of campus when he wears shorts this summer.
But if a university did have testicles, they would presumably wish to retain possession of those testicles. Hence it would be "Ohio State's nuts."
Finally, he's even misapplying an insult here. When you're on someone's nuts it's because you like them. For instance, OSUbuckeye4life is likely on Urban Meyer's nuts. Which explains the poster of Meyer on the ceiling above his bed in his parent's basement.
Don't worry, living at home at 37 is perfectly normal, dude. Lots of undiscovered serial killers have been doing that for years.
"RT @BuckeyeMike91: I think your a piece of shit. Glad I left Nashville so I don't have to listen to you're bullshit"
This might be my favorite Tweet of all time, it's like a Twitter double rainbow, or seeing a unicorn.
This guy actually managed to use both versions of your incorrectly in less than 140 characters. Do you know the level of dumb this requires? It's pretty astounding, like the complete and total opposite of splitting the atom. Buckeye Mike is the type of guy who has spent his entire life thinking he's the smart person and everybody else is dumb.
Really, he has.
Also, I love the Jedi mind control that I possess over BuckeyeMike. I forced him to listen to the radio and then I forced him to put it on my station at the exact time that I was talking and then I forced him to listen.
Jesus, I really am a badass.
Clay Travis is a moron. Before you start to write articles on coaches being "fake", why not get your facts straight? You are a great example why sports media is out of control nowadays. You're a goofy writer that probably makes $50k a year if you're lucky, and who probably sat the bench on your little league team.....wannabe athlete who "blogs" for a living. I'd love to see your goofy ass out and about. Stay cool dude."
I love when people make up email addresses to email me from and then reiterate their email address in the first line of their email.
My favorite all time was from a guy who wrote: "Claytravisisgay.com" and then his entire email was "Clay Travis is gay."
This one is a bit more in depth. People who make less than $50,000 a year have a lot of fun emailing or tweeting me to say that I make less than $50,000 a year writing and talking about sports for a living. I suppose it makes them feel better about being unemployed from the suburban Cleveland manhole cover factory.
First, the amount of money you make is not necessarily a reflection of your value. For instance, neither of my parents ever made more than $50,000 a year. Nor did any of my grandparents. I've never made any professional decision based solely upon the money I make for doing it. If I did, do you think I would have stopped practicing law to try and write a book about traveling around to every SEC football stadium?
There have been several years where I didn't make much money.
But now is not one of those times.
Money aside, how do you quantify the value of being able to work from home while your sons grow up? Of having the opportunity take a wrestling break in the middle of the day with your 3 and 5 year old? You can't.
As for being a wannabe athlete, sure, I wish I was better at sports. Is this really an insult? Yeah, I would like to be a PGA golfer. But with my golf swing, this is not likely.
Playing baseball for $10 million a year is probably not a bad gig either. I also wouldn't mind being LeBron James or a movie star or having John Grisham's book sales on my resume.
Those would probably also be pretty cool traits to have.
But, alas, those ships have sailed.
As for seeing me out, I'm happy to talk to anyone and love to meet readers. In nine years of writing online, five years of having a daily radio show, and several years now of appearing on television, do you know how many times anyone has ever said a single negative word to my face?
That's because 99.9% of critics are pansies in real life.
And for the record, I was a damn good little leaguer.
RT @rakeshjani: Ignorence is a Bliss...... Don't open your mounth before you know your facts....
There are certain words it's tough to misspell when criticizing the intelligence of others.
Ignorance is one of those words.
Randall Bills writes:
"Just read your story, I find it interesting you actually have a law degree. Now I understand why your a "writer" and not a lawyer since you don't know when to research all the facts. I hope Carlos Hyde takes the correct approach and hires a lawyer and teaches the ignorant millions of "writers" out there that defamation of character is the best way to hold you all accountable."
Trust me, I know defamation law very well. And the vast majority of people who talk about suing for defamation have no idea what they're talking about.
The best thing that could ever happen to me would be getting sued for defamation by an athlete or coach.
The best coach that could ever sue me for defamation?
Because I can guarantee you we would have one of the most amazing depositions in the history of mankind. Also, that I would put together a legal dream team. Can you imagine the crew I could line up pro bono if, for instance, Urban Meyer sued for me for defamation? You think there might be some badass Southern lawyers who would like to make Urban Meyer squirm during a deposition? You think Urban Meyer might have some skeletons in his closet?
So bring it on.
Second, I make a better living than any lawyer my age and I do it writing and talking about sports. I'm very, very fortunate to be able to do so. Because the reason I'm not a lawyer is the same reason the majority of my law school classmates are not lawyers anymore either -- Because being a lawyer is, all things considered, a pretty crappy job. More power to you if you like practicing law, but that's a tiny percentage of lawyers. Most of us are trying to find a way to get out of the business.
Walk into any law firm in America and ask lawyers what they'd rather be doing for a living.
The law is not the answer for about 95% of them.
Jordan Cole writes:
I really like the way that you don't let things like "facts" get in the way of a good story. I know a few aspiring journalists who are great with the traditional (i.e. boring) style of journalism, but they could really use a lesson from you on how to completely ignore facts, rely purely on hearsay and harp on a completely unoriginal theme. I am throughly impressed with the mockery you have made of "traditional" journalism, and I'm hoping you could speak to some of the kids at the local high school's gossip magazine about your writing process.
From Buckeye Nation with laughter."
My response to this emailer:
Always love to inspire and mentor the next generation. Let me know when and where."
But these emails are so stupid.
Here's the deal, I'm not a traditional journalist.
No one who has any job security in sports media is a traditional journalist. I'm a hybrid of lots of things. I write columns, I share opinions, I break stories, but primarily I'm an entertainer. That is, my job exists to entertain people who are pretending to work at their actual jobs. The more entertaining I am, the more readers, listeners, and viewers I get. The less entertaining I am the less of all these things I get.
This is not very complicated, it's the same challenge that anyone in the entertainment business faces, whether you're making a movie or singing songs, you have to find an audience and build it.
Most in the sports media have become entertainers. The better you are at entertaining, the more you get paid, just like in all other entertainment professions.
Yet most still don't get this in sports media. I write about sports, for god's sake. Sports is entertainment, what people watch to escape the serious things in their life. We are the toy department of adult life. My job is to make your day more entertaining than it would be without me. That's it. Now being entertaining all the time isn't an easy job. Most people in sports media can't entertain all the time because it requires a great deal of work. It's a lot easier to rewrite press releases from teams and pass them off as news like sportswriters did for the past forty years. But those jobs are all dying. In an Internet age you can tell that nobody reads those articles. It's already been distributed to the masses hours before.
That's why my advice to young writers who are always emailing asking for advice is to focus on three things: being smart, being original, and being funny. If you can do all three of these things you have a great future no matter what comes in the years ahead. If you can't do any of these three thing then you're completely expendable and have no future in this business.
Lots and lots of people are completely expendable. I mean, how many people need to write about the depth chart at linebacker?
So let's stop pretending that sports journalism is a difficult profession. It isn't. There are many, many more difficult professions in America than sports journalism. The vast majority of you guys reading this article right now have a more difficult job than a sports journalist does.
What's more, if you're a true "Journalist with a capital J" why are you making a living writing or talking about sports? Sports exist to entertain people. If you want to be a true journalist head to the Middle East and do bootstrap journalism while people are shooting at you. Uncover corruption at high levels of government. Do something that matters in life.
There are a few journalists in sports who break news that otherwise would remain uncovered. But they represent a tiny fraction of sportswriters. The rest of us are entertainers. And there are a ton of bad entertainers in sports media.
Put simply, journalism has changed.
You either evolve or you die.
And I plan to get busy living instead of get busy dying.
I love what I do, thanks for letting me do it.
The radio show will be live from Las Vegas on Saturday at six in the morning pacific time.
That should make for some interesting listening.