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Eric Walden: Can I just say no to the comments? No comment
First Published May 17 2014 07:36 pm • Last Updated May 17 2014 07:43 pm

I avidly, obsessively and perhaps even excessively consume sports-related news. And, perhaps unfortunately, my interest in these stories often does not end at story’s end.

I have a decidedly unhealthy addiction to the "comments" section.

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I’ve always had a fascination in trying to figure out what makes people tick, and here they are, conveniently making their inner thoughts public to personality voyeurs like myself.

It’s the dissenting opinions that really catch my eye. I don’t care about the incendiary-and-toxic-as-Chernobyl works of fiction from Internet trolls taking perverse pleasure in merely eliciting a reaction.

But what about the people genuinely expressing points of view I can’t begin to rationally fathom? Well, I suppose they’d feel the same about me.

Fair enough. Quid pro quo. I like it.

So it’s settled — four stories from the last week, four actual, unedited comments to said stories by readers, and four reactions I had to said readers’ comments.

Don’t like it? Troll away, I guess. I’ll probably read it.

Story 1 » Rookie Michael Sam’s planned documentary about being an openly gay man trying to make an NFL team.

Reader comment » "But isn’t this the whole idea behind Gay Rights? It’s not about being treated normally — it’s about pushing an agenda down everyone’s throat AND monetizing/commercializing something they beg everyone to treat as ‘ordinary’ and socially acceptable."

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My reaction » I’ve never understood the whole "gay agenda" argument. LGBT people aren’t asking you to be LGBT. They’re not passing laws banning straight marriages. So who really has the agenda here? I’m not trying to denigrate anyone’s religious beliefs. I just don’t get why people believing homosexuality is a sin should be sufficient rationale for governments here in the earthly realm to sanction discrimination. If you’re expecting God to punish such people with some Old Testament-style judgment, you have the right to believe that. But leave it to God, then. Last I checked, he hasn’t been elected to anyone’s state legislature.

Story 2 » Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy ordered to turn in his gun collection as part of an assault investigation.

Reader comment » "Its america he can have what he wants maybe he likes guns ppl like shoes should they not be allowed to own 50 pairs"

My reaction » Hardy, who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend in a drunken rage, owns at least 10 assault rifles and shotguns. Some might consider that excessive. What’s undeniably excessive is the hyperbole of comparing owning guns to owning shoes. Sorry, it’s just not the same. And if you think it is, I suggest a duel wherein you are armed with a pair of high heels. Fine, up to 50 pairs of high heels.

Story 3 » High school baseball hurler throws 194 pitches in one game.

Reader comment » "He said it was his decision, stop blaming coaches. [Wussification] of America is in full swing, god his arm isnt going to break from 1 long game"

My reaction » Just for the record, his use of the word "wussification" technically started with a different letter. I’ll let you figure out which one. Regardless, this guy strikes me as the type who would consider it a bad thing that we don’t let pre-teens work in coal mines and textile factories anymore. Child-labor laws turnin’ ’Merica into a buncha namby-pambies! Of course the 18-year-old didn’t ask the coach to take him out earlier. But then, 18-year-olds aren’t exactly renowned for their decision-making skills, are they? That’s why you have an adult present. The coach should have known better — especially in a year where it seems like every fourth MLB pitcher is getting ligament-replacement surgery.

Story 4 » Banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling threatens to sue the NBA.

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