Earlier this week I appeared as a guest on an Alabama-based sports radio program hosted by Paul Finebaum, a well-known sports media personality in the South. I’ve received so many emails as a result of that appearance that, rather than reply to each individually, I’m posting this blanket response.


Dear Paul Finebaum Listener:

First, a thank you for taking the time to drop me a note. I honestly appreciate the feedback.

Second, an apology. It’s usually my policy to respond personally to every email I receive, particularly when I go out of my way to solicit that email. After Tuesday’s interview on Paul Finebaum’s show, however, it’d take me days to reply individually to the many emails I’ve received. I simply don’t have the time.

Given that many of your emails touched on the same points, I hope you will not be too disappointed with this regrettably less personal form of reply.

There doesn’t seem much reason to belabor the points I made on Tuesday. I stand by everything I said on the show and respect that most of you disagree fairly strongly with me.

A direct appeal to 15 or 20 emailers: I do not hate the South. I spent nearly all of July traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. I had a great time, had many enlightening conversations, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to returning to Tennessee on September 11 and other parts of SEC territory after the Oregon vs. Tennessee game.

Thanks to those one in four or so emailers who wrote either in complete or partial support of my opinions.

A number of emailers brought up the screw job Auburn got in 2004—not getting a shot at the national title game despite going undefeated—as proof that the BCS does not favor the SEC. I sympathize with Auburn fans. I have similar feelings about the Oregon Ducks who were demonstrably the second-best team in the country in 2001, yet who were denied the 2002 national championship game so that “traditional power” Nebraska, a team that didn’t even win its own conference, could be awarded the chance to play Miami instead.

My sexual orientation is none of your business, but thanks to those of you who asked or speculated. And, no, I would not, as was suggested following my interview, enjoy being sodomized in Tennessee.

I did not come on Paul Finebaum’s show to sell books. My book isn’t coming out until 2012 and I’m pretty sure most of you will have forgotten my name by then. I came on the show to provoke opinion and listen to the views of SEC football fans. I got those. In that respect, the show was a success for me.

Finally, another thanks. Some of your emails were pretty nasty and some were just plain stupid, but a few of you displayed those famous Southern good manners even while disagreeing with me and many of you made excellent and articulate points that will inform my writing.

I wish you all best of luck with your teams this year and extend the hope that it’s an enjoyable and interesting season. From my perspective, it already is.