My favorite hate mail

hate_mailOn the internet hate mail often comes in the form of “comments” at the bottom of a post. It isn’t always pretty.

If you write for a living, and especially if you write opinion pieces, you’re going to get criticism. That’s the nature of the game and I’ve gotten my share. Some of it is well founded, smart, and brings to light a view I might not have thought of before. Some has been downright mean spirited wishing horrible things to befall me. Other comments ramble and are devoid of basic grammar. I can only imagine that in their unbridled rage, pounding away at the keyboard with the fury of a crap flinging baboon, they forget what their third grade teacher taught them.

Anyways, here are a few highlights.

The Mark Cavendish Fake Email

Months ago I took the infamous email from a sorority sister, repurposed it with cycling terminology, and claimed it was sent from Mark Cavendish to his teammates prior to the start of the Giro. Before the start of the Giro the world champion was having a bit of an off-year (some may argue that the curse of the world championship jersey is a real thing). With that in mind I riffed off of the sorority sister email that was making the rounds on social media, as well as in the news.

At the end of the Cavendish email post I wrote, “In case anyone thinks this is a real email from Cavendish, it’s a real email from a sorority sister with some changes to the text. Here’s also a dramatic reading to give you the full flavor.”

In the sentence I gave links to the letter as well as to the dramatic reading on the “Funny or Die” site from Michael Shannon (he recently portrayed General Zod in the Man of Steel).

I knew some people would not read the final paragraph, however I was surprised by the amount of people who didn’t read my disclaimer.

FAKE, Fake, fake, I read this exact email (with gender changes) from a sorority sister that was berating her sisters for not socializing enough with a fraternity, duped again. DO NOT BELIEVE ALL YOU READ ON THE INTERNET.

Then there were some that had no concept of satire.

Browne, I hope you discover legitimate purpose in life, because it’s not evident yet. All this is supposed to be funny when these guys are simply persona, but it’s different when you grow up and realize they are real people. I’ve met Mark, he’s a real guy. We had a nice conversation,and I found him to be a rather polite and respectful man. To pull a useless thing like this really serves no purpose than to define how low of a level some people exist upon.

My reply.

Oh nooo boo hoo I don’t understand satire, then I pity you because I don’t know how you got this far in life, and with that in mind don’t fucking comment unless you’re going to stop being a goddamn cock block on Facebook. Seriously. I swear to fucking God if I see anyone being a goddamn boner on my Facebook page, I will unfriend you even if you’re posting photos of kittens. I’m not even kidding. Try me.

Cancer Shield Activated

Lance Armstrong can be a polarizing topic. His work with the LiveStrong Foundation has endeared him to millions of people. So when I broach the Armstrong topic, which I did a lot after his Oprah interview as it was huge sporting news, I got comments. They basically say the same thing over and over, “Lance did so much in the fight against cancer, LiveStrong helped, everyone was doing it…” You get the point.

Here’s a comment from Facebook in reply to someone else’s comment and hits on all the classic denial themes.

“Jason, then you best leave the cycling world, cause dopers will never go away. There will always be that ” New” drug. And Neil Browne, you shouldn’t post stuff that you don’t have solid proof on. But in any case, if it is true, that Lance and Greg Lemond doped, I’m still behind Lance 100% for his fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!!!!

I’m glad he wrote LiveStrong in all caps with numerous exclamation marks otherwise his comment would have seemed ambiguous.

Haters are a writer’s best friend
In a scene from the Howard Stern movie, “Private Parts” a radio station manager is reporting Stern’s ratings to his boss. Stern’s boss was surprised to learn that the shock jock’s haters were by far listening to him the most. I also have one of those obsessive haters at For awhile he would leave a negative comment about anything I wrote and seemed to really hate me. However, he read everything I wrote!

Here are a few from my hater/fan.

Neil is at least as egotistical as the people he rights about. Every story he rights is either about how bad those people are that wouldn’t give him the time of day, or about how he was right and all of his wrong doers should be sent to purgatory until they personal apologize to him.

Neil needs to take a long walk in the woods and find peace inside.

Neil, Lance is your own personal “Cash Cow”, just about every story you have written for Road Cycling has been about bashing Lance, with him gone you are out of someone to write about and out of business (personally, I look forward to this).

I get the sense that Neil will be forgiving every rider, doctor or team director that has been connected with a doping past, as long as they were ones that previously gave Neil an interview or the time of day. Lance isn’t one of those riders, Neil treats Lance like a bitterly divorced spouse.

Here goes Neil, trying to create news again. Neil just keeps adding to his “Twit” account.

When, Neil says the UCI needs an “overall”, Neil you twit, it’s an “over hall”

The past couple of months he hasn’t posted a comment. I miss that guy’s stylistic grammar and creative spelling. I hope he’s okay.

Random Comment
Sometimes comments can be so random. Twitter is the worse for non sequiturs. The comment below came out of left field. I wrote a review about Levi Leipheimer’s movie, “The Levi Effect” and I’m guessing this person is upset that I mentioned his recent doping admission in my review?

Gosh, that’s a lot of confidence for someone who actually has no idea what he’s talking about. it’s not at all possible that the filmmakers shot those segments months ago and cut it out of the movie until the news officially broke, right? nope, no way that could have happened.

If you feel slighted because I didn’t mention a comment from you, feel free to go crazy below. Remember, extra points for correct grammar!


  1. Sam says:

    To correct your hater / fan, it’s not an “over hall” either. It’s an “overhaul”. If you’re going to correct someone’s grammar and spelling, at least put a little effort into it.

    • Kevin says:

      @Sam – I think the point being made is that while the UCI does need an overhaul, McQuaid personally needs to be pumpkin’ chunked ‘over a hall’ by some guys wearing ‘overalls’.

  2. Josh says:

    The Cavendish letter was hysterical! I think people were so offended because it seemed like something he would actually do.

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