One Writer Tracks Down His Haters

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Like anyone who has written in any public fashion on the internet, I've been the subject of a few hateful online comments in my day, so a CNN article where SI.com writer Jeff Pearlman tracked down a few people who seemed disproportionately angry about something he wrote was amusing to me, to say the least:

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.

Quite frankly, I wanted to hate him. I wanted to bash him. I wanted to plaster his name, address and personal information atop a column on CNN.com, so that when someone Googled his name for future employment, they'd find the words "Sent me a link to pornographic material."

Then we spoke. And I (dammit) liked him. Without invisibility or the support of his 54 Twitter followers or the superhuman powers supplied by a warm keyboard, Matt was meek and apologetic. "I was just trying to get a rise out of you," he said. "You're a known sports writer, and I thought it was cool. That's all. I never meant for it to reach this point."

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