Half the fun of being a sports fan is the heated debate, that's pretty much the only reason sports blogs exist and it's the main reason why our other site ProjectFranchise.Org has been such a success. In fact, there are five sports fans that write regularly for this blog, and I often disagree strongly with many of their articles, and our frequent visitors will recognize that we will call each other out in the comments. Each posting is basically one sports fans view on a particular story or event. Having said that (that's for you Curb fans), we sometimes get fan/hate mail that is so over the top and off the mark that it deserves a posting of it's own. The following are some excerpts from emails sent to FOF in response to THIS post about Pete Carroll running up the score by FOF writer "Aramnath".
"Pete Carroll doesn't believe in running up scores he's too good of a person to do that."
"I suggest your analysis needs to be adjusted because Pete Carroll is one of the greatest people I have ever been lucky enough to even see in my life. How many college coaches can you say spend time with inner city kids mentoring them every month? Are you aware Pete is spearheading "ABetterLA" a charity to help disadvantaged kids?"
"You are an asshole for even suggesting that Pete would stoop low enough to run up the score on a team. Maybe I should question your credentials as a writer for trying to humiliate such a great man. You suck asshole. "
Let me first say that I disagree with my co-blogger on this one. Not only am I fine with running up the score in college football (within reason), I encourage it because I think the BCS and relevant polls encourage it. Let's face facts, the voters of these polls don't watch all the football games, it's impossible. They form their opinions based on scores, stats and other measurables. Voters and pundits often evaluate two teams that have not played one another by how those two teams performed against a common opponent. Lots of points and wide victory margins make teams look better. Therefore, I don't think that Carroll was being a prick at all, but rather doing the job USC pays him lots of money to do, which is finish the season with the highest ranking possible, get to bowl games and recruit top talent, all of which equals money and prestige for the University. By most accounts Carroll has done his job superbly and has managed to do it all with likeable, so-cal surfer persona. This is a reasonable debate between myself and another blogger. However....
The above emailer on the other hand does something that drives me as a sports fan nuts (other than firing out emails while sobbing into a Kleenex). He is an "idolizer" who can't take even the slightest criticism of his favorite squad and tries to stifle conversation and debate by getting personal with anyone who disagrees with him. It's like countering a barstool argument that Montana was better than Young by screaming "he's got a gun" and running out the door. Rather than argue on the level, he brings up irrelevant facts as if they have something to do with the conversation. While the original article clearly calls Pete-y boy out for a couple of arguably prickish moves...I can't find anything in the article claiming Carroll hates charity work, waterboards his players or molests adorable ponies. This fan's Lifetime Original email about Carroll being a good person is completely irrelevant to the argument. The fact that Pete MIGHT be a competitive prick on the field, has nothing to do with what he does off the field, the same way I assume that Troy Polamalu is not a violent maniac when he takes off his pads, and Maria Sharapova probably doesn't make sexy grunts everytime she picks up a diet Fanta.
I mean come on...tell us Carroll didn't run up the score, that it was justified or that Neuheisel had it coming, but don't start telling us that because Carroll is a great philanthropist, he also craps gold and can do no wrong on the football field. For the record, there are tons of amazing people in sports (coaches, athletes, owners) that do great things in the name of charity, Carroll is one of them. We recently applauded Shaq for his acts of kindness, but that doesn't mean that I have to pretend his Diesel album is The Blueprint or that Kazaam should have gotten an Oscar nod. Tiger Woods is one of the most charitable, but in light of recent news I don't think Tiger's wife is going to think he's any less of a prick because of his philanthropy work.