Subject: Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"

In certain comedy circles, I am known for posting hundreds of pieces of hate mail on my website. In certain summer camp circles, I am known for throwing a dummy dressed like myself out of a second story window to see how people would react. But that's another story for another time.

Considering how often I've been told I'm not funny since I started writing a column for Sports Illustrated, I'm dipping into my mailbag of ignorance to show you just how funny other people can be. However inadvertently.

After my Rose Bowl column:

You should know that the Texas Longhorns' official color is burnt orange, not "orangey brown" or "brown". After all, as a lifelong Trojan fan, you would not appreciate others describing USC's primary color as "red" or "burgundy" instead of cardinal.

Unlike this and three other letters alleged, I would not care if someone called USC red. Mainly because I'm not insane.

After my column that posted top draft picks on hotornot.com to see if the average woman was a gold digger:

It was just really gay, man. You lose two cool points.

Aside from the writer missing the idea of the column completely, I don't think anyone who sends hate mail to a sports columnist or uses the term "gay" as an insult is in the position to dole out the cool points.

After my column about Barry Bonds, a week before Game of Shadows was announced:

I have read a lot of articles that bash Barry Bonds for actions which have yet to be determined.

Whoops! I also got seven other emails accusing me of bashing Bonds with "no real evidence." Strangely, I didn't receive any of those emails when I wrote another Bonds column a week AFTER Game of Shadows was announced.

After my column where I said the Devil Rays weren't going to win the World Series:

What the (censored in case kids are reading). I bet you can't name 5 players on the Rays. Just for your info we are 7-6 and 2 games back of Boston for first place. We are leading the league in walks and are top 5 in HRs.

Scarecrow, if the Devil Rays even play in the World Series this year, I will pay for your brain transplant.

Most noteably, there's the slew of mail I got this week. I wrote about how we're praising Hootie Johnson, despite his over-lengthening of Augusta National and his sexist stance on membership policies. Here are some of the winners:

You are an idiot. Augusta National is a treasure and it is so because of tradition.

You mean the tradition of Johnson changing the course twice during his tenure?

There are these dames down the street from me who will not let me in their bridge tournaments. Will you cry for me.

I won't cry for you, but I will laugh at your use of the word "dames." Maybe you can bust in on those tournaments with a tommy gun. Make sure to wear your spats.

Your article on Hootie Johnson was absolute garbage. It was obvious you don't even really care about the club or the issues revolving around it. All Hootie Johnson did was state that he wanted to preserve a place where guys can still hang out with the guys.

Actually, Johnson never said anything resembling that. And I might not care about the club or the issues revolving around it, but I care about you. Have you been eating your vegetables? Seriously, call your father, he's been worried sick.

Go back to telling airline jokes. Leave the sports and social commentary to the experts.

Airline jokes? Ooh, good heckle sir. You'd have really gotten to me if I wasn't so worried about the last guy. Really, call your father.

For an article about a guy named Hootie Johnson, dude you totally bricked on the humor part.

Hah – you said "Johnson." And before that, you said, "Hootie." Yeah, I probably should have made fun of his name more. Unless someone says otherwise in this next piece of hate mail.

Making fun of the guys name? How desperate were you to fill up space?

I feel so torn.

You should be ashamed of yourself as a man if that is what you want us to believe you are. In this day and time when we are all supposed to be politically correct and let everyone in our special clubs, why is it women can have women's clubs, blacks can have their own tv networks, as well as hispanics, but yet white men can't have their own club. Shut the hell up.

This one is my favorite. My non-man-ness applauds your efforts to re-segregate America. It's high time someone spoke up for the rights of the oppressed white man.

Actually, white men can have their own private clubs where they are free to segregate themselves. But Augusta National isn't one of them.

Two things you and many other people who wrote to me forget (or never knew) are that women and minorities already play at Augusta, and Hootie Johnson was very active in South Carolina's civil rights movement. Which is exactly why Augusta National's membership stance is hypocritical. But you're too busy rooting for John Rocker to see that.

You base your "criticism" on the man's name and his accent. Brilliant.

Actually, I made fun of his name briefly before spending the lion's share of the column on his track record, and never mentioned his accent. Why, does he have a funny accent? Did I miss an opportunity? Damn.

These people forget I am a comedian writing a HUMOR column – which means that my job is to make people laugh like they just saw Steve Lyons pull his pants down on national TV. It also means that I have no feelings, and am thus immune to your childish barbs. Neener neener neener.

And to those of you who complain that you don't find me funny, there are plenty of other columnists on the site. We all have different tastes. Heck, that one guy is a Devil Rays fan.

Steve Hofstetter is a nationally touring comedian whose column appears every Monday on si.com. His new album, "Cure for the Cable Guy" is in stores everywhere. For show information or to send him even more poorly worded hate mail, email steve@stevehofstetter.com.