You are burying me in e-mail. I love the deluge.
Hundreds of you have been in touch, and Your Humble and Brilliant Columnist - or in the views of some of you, Your Not So Humble nor Brilliant Columnist - is delighted and extremely appreciative. Keep them coming. I read every one, I need every one, I want every one, and I'll respond to as many as I can.
Most of your letters are thoughtful and insightful. That includes the ones I absolutely disagree with. A few are really dumb. I like those, too. They make me laugh.
A tiny sampling of your wit and wisdom from my private mail, for your edification. Whom shall I believe?
Treaner writes: "If only our snowboarders get to read your article.... Not only will they see that their ungodly boorish behavior was exposed but also that, at the end of your article, their better sides were acknowledged. Congratulations on writing such a no-nonsense and descriptive article which successfully attempted to find a positive note to end on."
Jarrett: "... you should pull up a big helping of humble pie, buddy. Go pick on someone else."
Dale: "I was gratified to finally read something that exposes most snowboarders. It's about time someone had the temerity to tell it like it is."
David: "Who are you to say that these athletes need humble pie? It is apparent that you are uninformed about the current status of snowboarding in this country and its popularity...."
Scott: "While your article ... may upset those aspiring snowboarders around the country, I thought I'd pass along a quick 'well said.' "
Philip: "Excuse me but your article on snowboarding stunk."
William: "I, for one, certainly appreciated your article with reference to the Olympic snowboarders. It's time the younger generation learned a few manners."
Michel: "In a game of hockey, one team usually wins, the other one loses. That appears to be beyond [your] comprehension. Maybe the US hockey team got so fed up of hearing such comments, they did 'lose it' in the village."
T. Graham: "Thanks for your article.... I didn't realize that the men's hockey team had behaved so badly...."
Will: "I am not watching or reading to learn your or some other commentator's opinion and most definitely not looking for you to tell me how I think."
Ann: "Wow! What a column. You're right. I got hooked because it wasn't the usual run-of-the-mill sports column."
Joan: "I have found without exception that your articles, far from being reporting, are stinging opinions very uncharacteristic of the Monitor.
Don: "Hurrah, Douglas S. Looney! I've been waiting for a guy like you to write sports like this for a long time."
Irene: "I think you are dead wrong, and looney."
Denis: "Great stuff. Yes, I am already hooked...."
Louis: "Get rid of Mr. Looney."
Audrey: "Look forward to more from you...."
Sarah: "You don't get it.... Women's ice hockey is way past your knowledge at this point."
Steve: "It is nice to see someone call a spade a spade in regards to your article on women's hockey.... Thanks for saying what needs to be said.
"If women athletes want to be taken note of on men's terms, they need to embrace the same standards where possible."
Gene: "It [women's hockey column] was a very disappointing article."
Larry: "Thanks for saying what so many people, including me, were thinking. I liked it a lot better when men and women honored and appreciated each other for their differences."
Abby: "You must either have participated in cross-country or observed it enough to really appreciate it, because you describe the struggle very well. Yes, it is for the mentally and physically strong, more than any other sport.... Thank you very much for being one of the few people out there who understand the pursuit...."
Hal: "I was disappointed in your sarcastic article on the women skaters in the Olympics. I saw nothing but beauty, grace, and courage. Medals or not, they are the winners. You are the loser."
Stephen: "... I felt a strong urge to second the satirical emotion of your Olympic commentary. The sarcastic edge and pinpoint precision observation of what really motivates this bloodthirsty, Romanesque, feed-'em-to-the-lions, American viewing public really resonated with this Monitor reader."
Marci: "... your attitude [re: Olympics need more controversy] came off a bit too cynical for the Monitor. And if you don't know the definition of cynical, please look it up."
Suzanne: "You know, it's really dangerous publicizing your e-mail address."
* Douglas S. Looney's e-mail address is email@example.com