An Open Letter of Apology to Those Offended by My Open Letter of Response to that One Auburn Fan’s Open Letter of Complaint
Yesterday, I responded to an open letter from an Auburn fan. Don’t want to read letters? I don’t blame you. Here’s the summary: An Auburn fan said on Reddit that Athens was an evil place. This Auburn fan claims to have been spat on more than 20 times and made other ridiculous claims. While on hold for a phone call I penned (keyed?) a brief response saying, “I’m sure mean things were said. That happens. I doubt you were spat on 20 times. I bet your weekend was tainted by the loss.” Somehow that has turned into me condoning spitting on others and other tomfoolery.
Dear Offended Reader,
You are the vocal minority. I say that because at the time of this publication more than 40k people have read my article from yesterday. There are 59 comments on the article, some of which are mine and some of which are not negative. You might think everyone hated the letter from yesterday, but in reality only about 0.1% of people hated it.
In any event, I want to apologize for a few things.
First and foremost, I want to apologize for not writing something compelling enough for you to actually read. Based on the comments explaining that spitting is assault and that spitting is classless, you are apparently under the impression that I’m a member of #TeamSpitOnOpponents. I’m not. I’m actually on #TeamNoWayYouGotSpatOn20Times. To quote myself, “I find it incomprehensible that you were spat on more than 20 times—not because it’s surprising, but because there’s no way that is true.” I apologize for not hooking you early and compelling you to read with some semblance of comprehension.
Secondly, I want to apologize to those who thought I was simply using the letter to bash Auburn and talk trash. To be fair, that’s what the Auburn fan posting on Reddit was doing to Georgia fans, but that’s neither here nor there. I thought it was clear that I mentioned recent Auburn losses to Georgia solely as examples of unpleasant road game experiences. For what it’s worth, if I just wanted to take cheap shots at Auburn I would have also mentioned the Tigers’ 38-0 loss at home to Georgia in 2012. I didn’t mention that game because I was discussing the disappointment that accompanies road losses. I also mentioned how much the trip to Auburn last year sucked for the Georgia fans who went, because the game ended in defeat. I even added a blanket statement of empathy, saying, “I’ve made long trips to road games before only to witness defeat. It screws up the entire weekend.” In light of that, I would like to apologize to myself for taking a cheap shot…at myself.
Finally, I’d like to apologize for not believing the story written by this Auburn fan. I suppose it is theoretically possible that this group was harassed all weekend, subjected to projectile fluid in the form of thrown drinks and saliva and otherwise mistreated. When I lived for several years in Athens, I never saw that type of behavior. When I go back for games, I’ve don’t see it either. But again, it’s possible that these completely innocent Auburn fans drew ire unseen by locals. I apologize for being skeptical, but as several folks have pointed out, why no contacting of the authorities? Downtown Athens has more cops than anyone cares to recognize. People get ticketed for “Pedestrian Under the Influence.” Not just people, but NFL players. It is not hard to get a drunk person arrested in Athens. Why not alert someone other than a glorified message board? Why not take a picture? Why not get a video? I run a website and if that experience has taught me anything, it’s not to believe everything on the internet. I’ve probably contributed to the general delinquency of the interwebz more than I’d like to admit, but I’m sorry that I didn’t realize an open letter on Reddit was to be taken at face value as the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth and an indictment of an entire town and university. My lack of awareness is my own fault, I suppose.
But since this story is unequivocally true according to you, the vocal minority, I’m sorry for not taking it more seriously. You are right. These are bad things that definitely happened. They are reflective of everyone’s experience in Athens. It’s a miracle that opposing fans and visitors in general ever visit that modern day Sodom/Gomorrah. Georgia fans need to be better.
P.S. Please share this letter as much as you shared the last one.
P.P.S. If you’re an Auburn fan, you really will enjoy The Auburn Vault, a mobile app with exclusive highlights. I don’t make a penny if you download it, but consider this a peace offering from me to you and download it on Android or iOS here. You can even watch that stupid play from last year’s Georgia loss to Auburn.