The wife and kids and I were at a get-together/barbecue yesterday, and I got into a conversation with one of our friends about anonymous e-mailers and the people who rip sports writers on blogs but refuse to use their own names.
I was making the point that one person who disagrees with something I wrote could have a field day with me from his keyboard. He could make fun of my name (it’s been done numerous times on the Internet with people who thought my opinions/writing were horse manure). He could label me an idiot (it’s one of the nicer names I’ve been called). He could say how crappy I am at my occupation and how he could do a much a better job (this comment, as it turns out, was made just the other day).
What if he was to run into me in real life? What if he recognized me at the coffee shop or at the library or in the airport while waiting for my luggage? Would he ever say any of it to my face? No. No, he wouldn’t. He would ignore me, or he’d walk up to me, excitedly shake my hand and tell me how he checks out the blog/web site/whatever all the time and how he’s a big fan.
You know why? Because people, by and large, are hypocrites and cowardly. If somebody walked up to me, shook my hand and said, “You know what, I hate your writing and I piss on your opinions, but hey, it was good to meet you anyway, ” I’d respect the hell out of him. At least, it’d make for a good story.
Anyway, after having that conversation, I saw this post by Jeff Pearlman, one of my favorite sports writers, on his web site.
I don’t necessarily agree with a few of his points on here, but he details the story of how an e-mail-bashing coward approached him at a Starbucks and introduced himself.
And Pearlman proves my points. This guy called Pearlman “a Kotex” in an e-mail, and then when he recognized Pearlman, he went out of his way to introduce himself. Then, hiding behind another e-mail, he later admitted to Pearlman that it was he, in fact, who had called him a tampon/panty liner.
Pretty lame. But pretty typical.