As I'm sure you've come to realize, I have thick skin.
In this here blog and on 105.3 The Fan I'm bombarded daily with insults, criticisms and cheap shots. All part of the game. I realize it. I take none of it personal because, come on, I don't know you personally or vice-versa.
Truth be told, I kinda like the venom. In a perverted way, it often fuels me.
(FYI, I'm not an asshole. I just play one in the paper and on the radio.)
My family cringes and my editor chuckles and my friends sometime join the daily dogpile. But a couple of incidents recently reminded me that:
A) Anonymity is dangerously empowering.
B) There is hope for this cold, cruel world yet.
I bumped into renowned forked-tongue commenter "Rob M" over the weekend. Twice. Out in Bedford Saturday night we exchanged pleasantries, then drinks. I met his wife. He's human after all. A nice guy, with a nice wife. Then again Sunday they showed up at The Fan's Cowboys Pre-Game Show I was co-hosting in Addison. More pleasantries. More good-natured kidding. Professionally he'll still harpoon me. Personally, he knows that I know that he knows.
Anonymity stripped away, he was disarmed. He was friendly.
And then this morning in my e-mail I got this ...
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Most of the e-mails I get are harsh and hard-hitting, but from time to time I get a complimentary one. This struck one for some reason:
I've read your stuff for several years now, and have been enjoying your blog posts quite a bit, as well. Don't catch you on the radio much, sorry to say, but when I have, it's been good, too. I tell you all that only because I don't know how you handle all the shit about you that's flung around the comments on Sportatorium on a daily basis. It's unreal -- I guess guys hang out there and comment just to bust your balls, regardless of how or why? I have a sense that you could post a story about how you single-handedly saved a young girl from the rape-happy hands of a bunch of Nazi Klan bikers, and you'd be raked over the coals for not taking her to "Build-A-Bear" on the way home. Anyway - your skin is probably plenty thick enough to take the beatings you get, but just wanted to remind you that at least some of us still read because we like what you write, not because we're looking for a place to displace our irrational hostility.
Keep up the good work. Craig Myers
Just know this: I fully realize that if everyone loved me I wouldn't have a job. Still, nice to know the other side is reading as well.
We now return you to your empowering anonymity. Fire away.