[Writing about] sports for a living (especially online, as I do for SI.com), insults come with the turf. You're dumb. You suck. You're an idiot. You're a moron. I'll never read your crap again. That's the %#$$ #$@@#$ %$$# thing I've ever heard. How do you have a job? Go to hell. Screw yourself. Drop dead.
I've heard them all, and aside from occasionally entertaining my wife with a reading from my Greatest Hits Packet ("I call it my 'Go back to Africa' folder," says Howard Bryant, an African-American ESPN.com senior writer), I turn the other cheek and move on.
But not this time.
This time, I aspired to know why Matt, cloaked in the anonymity provided by the internet, felt the need to respond in such a way to, of all things, a Jeff Bagwell post. So, going deep, deep, deep undercover, I tracked him down and, shortly after our exchange, gave him a call.