Mailbag: Nothing but nice

Lately, readers have accused me of publishing only negative emails and tweets (@ReillyRick) in order to stir up controversy and get attention. I'm also getting ripped for being falsely modest.

Therefore, this mailbag will feature only people who think I'm wonderful and talented and smell of lavender.

We begin:


Do us all a favor: If Tiger starts birdie-birdie at the British Open, save the "Tiger is back" montage clip until he actually makes it through the weekend with a number less than 75. Keep up the good work.

Kevin (Columbus, Ohio)

Very kind of you. I will.

How are your ankles? Did you break either one of them jumping off the Tiger Woods bandwagon? "There's no way Tiger can lose this tournament." Nice call.

Stacy Applegate (N.C.)

Appreciate you noticing. Thanks.

Do you feel the slightest bit stupid after your piece on Tiger Saturday? HE IS NOT BACK. HE IS NOT WINNING OPEN. HE IS FALLING APART. This is not the first. You are wrong a lot.

FH Race, (Westerly, R.I.)

Thanks for noticing how often I'm right. I appreciate it.


In your article on LeBron, you pick all the facts from one side of the argument and completely ignore the facts from the other.

Brad Klabik (Cleveland, Ohio)

I was hoping you'd notice that. It's taken 35 years to learn that skill. Articles that present both sides of an argument are called news stories. Articles that present only the writer's side are called opinion columns. This is what you read.

I really hope you didn't get paid more than $20 for that last article.

Pat (address withheld)

My tax strategies to avoid climbing into higher tax brackets are between me and my accountant. Thanks for worrying about me, though!

I would have loved to hear an audio narration of the "LeBron being LeBron" article as only you can do. Maybe ESPN should start audio narration of some articles? Now that would be cool!

Ray Williams (Alabaster, Ala.)

Each Tuesday and Friday night, I read my columns aloud at my home to any fan who wants to hear them. This is a free service. By sheer coincidence, these two nights happen to be my wife's Girls Night Out evenings. Come over!


Really? You like James and the Heat over Durant and the Thunder? This I PROMISE you....the Big 3 from OKC will outplay the 3 from Miami.

Jonathan Anderson (Austin, Texas)

Thank you. You made my Tiger prediction look very smart by comparison. I'm impressed, and I like your shoes.


In over 15 years of reading your articles, I think this is the first one that I just completely disagree with! Feel sorry for Phelps? Feel sorry for the millionaire who spent his life playing a sport? Come on Rick, you're better than this!

Paul (Baltimore, Md.)

Thanks for agreeing with every single column I've written for almost 15 years! That's a huge achievement by me!

He's only 26 and he wants to spend the rest of his life playing golf and traveling? How about using his celebrity to help legalize medicinal marijuana? Nobody ever put a gun to his head and said "swim."

Michael (San Francisco, Calif.)

I agree. More celebrities like Phelps need to use their status in life to promote controlled substances. And not to disagree with you, but Phelps has been in many races that began with starters' pistols, so, in a way, they DID put a gun to his head and say "swim." Thanks for being a fan!


Well done sir. A new low for biased, poorly written and opined reporting, known as ESPN.

Brendan Westfall (Richmond, Va.)

You're welcome.

You are a superlative writer. In such a concise manner, you captured the essence of this awkward and tormented situation of Monster vs. children. I shall be a fan of yours for life. No one could have done it better.

--Meg Kimmel (Donalds, S.C.)


I'm as disgusted with Sandusky as anyone (but) I'm disappointed with your conclusion. Essentially you hope Sandusky is raped in prison. Really? Don't be so flip. Think about what you're writing. Good column, horrific conclusion.

Wes Lukowsky (Geneva, Ill.)

Glad you enjoyed the column!


Why in the hell did (the girl) accuse Brian Banks of raping her? It sounded to me they were friends, going on a date. Did she ever say why she came to her actions?

Taco Jans (Netherlands)

a) You don't meet a lot of guys name Taco in Holland.

b) Banks says the woman merely told him, "I was immature back then." Sure, sure. But believing the man you sent away to prison will want to be your Facebook "friend?" Nine years later? Now that's mature.

I just finished your article on Brian Banks. If you're half as good at being a human as you are at capturing human stories, you're one of the best of us.

Clinton Carlson (Denton, Texas)

I am.


Great article Rick! ... I don't know why my golf scores are so bad. I have five or six good shots every hole.

Steve (Pontiac, Mich.)

Reading your golf term column I figured you might like these:

A Diego Maradona -- a very nasty 5-footer

A Salman Rushdie -- an impossible read

A Cuban -- needs one more revolution

A Kate Moss -- a bit thin

A Princess Grace -- should have taken a driver

A Princess Di -- shouldn't have taken a driver

A circus tent -- a BIG top

Bryan Reid (Vancouver, B.C.)


I miss you in the back of SI, dude. I grew up with that column every week. I'm sure you're told this all the time. Any chance you ever make a guest appearance?

Dave Fite (Glastonbury, Conn.)

I occasionally still write under an assumed name at Sports Illustrated: Gary Smith.

I was wondering, do you display your 11 National Sportswriter of the Year awards in the same kind of case Phil Jackson stores his 11 championship trophies? Show us a picture, Zen Master Jr.

Jim Beaver (Freehold, N.J.)

When you win the NSOTY award the first time, you get a gold ring with your name on it, engraved with the year you won. You also get a plaque with your name and year on it. Each time after the first, you only get the plaque. So I decided to box up the plaques and just keep engraving the years on the ring. No idea where they are now. I hope people are not upset at me for this. But this is not as bad as Red Smith, the late, great sportswriter, who used to burn plaques he won for firewood.

And no, I'm not going to post a picture of the ring. That would be bragging.