John Adams: Fan mail contradicts negative posts

John Adams

Readers say the posts after my columns indicate I have an approval rating of about 3 percent.

And friends sometimes say, "Why do they write such horrible things about you?"

In both cases, I'm quick to defend my critics. After all, we're basically doing the same thing — expressing our opinion in a public forum — with several exceptions: Posters cherish their anonymity, write for free and sometimes work from their mother's basement.

But for the benefit of my readers who would like to see more positive feedback from my literary efforts, I've selected a few messages emailed directly to me that perhaps better reflect the relationship between readers and this column.

Anyone else who is weary of all the negative posts might find these good-natured exchanges refreshing. Please note some of the messages had to be shortened.

Lynn: We can always depend on you for positive comments on UT sports. Your cup is always half full. I long for the days of (former Knoxville columnist) Tom Siler.

Me: Thanks. So many columnists are cynical. But I try to look on the positive side of sports. Maybe that's old-fashioned, but that's just me.

Shep: You are a dirt bag. Grow up and become a man and stop beating up on Pat (Summitt).

Me: Beating up on Pat? I think you've got the wrong columnist.

Rich: You've written some really crappy columns in the past (but) the past few take the case. Didn't know your (sic) an editorial writer? Think your (sic) out of line calling for Dooley and his staff to be fired.

Me: You can't be for real. I'm a sports columnist. Every newspaper has one. Columnists are paid to write their opinion.

Shelby: I truly hope you realize how you are viewed by the Volnation. Your years of negative view points and predictable columns have run it's course. You no longer have any credibility among the Vol faithful. Congratulations.

Me: That's devastating news. Just wondering, how do you become a spokesperson for the Big Orange Nation? Is that an elected position?

Mark: Pulling for the opposing team. That's pathetic and should have the luxury of being dignified by your article or any others. (He signed it "Vol fan for life.").

Me: I'm pulling for you to write a coherent sentence. Reread your second sentence. It makes absolutely no sense.

Jay: Tennessee beat writers hate Tennessee fans with a monstrous passion. There is no other reason to ever mention Lane Kiffin.

Figure it out you moron. Tennessee fans loathe Lane Kiffin. If you don't want to get emails like this, quit bringing up hypotheticals that are completely useless and unnecessary involving that scum of the earth that coaches USC.

Me: That's one of the most pathetic emails I've ever read. You obviously were in love with Lane when he was here, then were devastated when he left for a better job and a huge pay hike.

Sadder still: If UT rehired Kiffin, you probably would fall right back in love with him. Time to move on, Jay.

Wayne: John, get away from there. Seeing that much bad football will affect how well your soul rests.

Your soul will be flying around on a broomstick looking for road kill.

Me: Thanks for your concern, but I've covered worse teams than this one.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 90

voloffaith writes:

In the TRUE spirit of CHRISTmas....God bless us everyone....including John Adams...

huntwithmojo writes:

Personally I enjoy readying your articles Mr. Adams. You're paid to call it how you see it. Not to make Vol fans feel better about their team. The '93 & '94 Alabama games made me sick to my stomach and I went crazy when Jay Graham hit the sideline for long TD run in '95. Don't question my love for the Vols. Question Mr. Adams if he pours Orange Kool-Aid down your throat.

DRORANGELOVE writes:

Merry Christmas John, Hope you have a lot more POSITIVE things to write about UT football this next season. Maybe the new coaching staff will give us more to cheer about. GBO

fearthehound writes:

Sad. A guy who used to be the sports editor for KNS is reduced to a 'columnist' who leads the brigades to dump Fulmer and Dooley, and who now is further reduced to writing a column criticizing the fans who criticize him. How much longer before he becomes a 'blogger'? Merry Christmas, John.

volbike writes:

I appreciate JA's point of view. There is so much sycophantsy about UT's AD that hearing an opposing point of view is refreshing and at times enlightening. Those that want to be spoon fed pablum don't have to read the column. The UT AD could use a lot more criticism as the past few years have demonstrated.
It is also one thing to simply disagree with a point of view and express your contrary opinion and quite another to disparage the writer. Coming up with multibple columns with fresh inciteful commentary is not easy and JA certainly fails at times though being a sportwriter has to be one of the best jobs in the world.

OLROCKYTOP writes:

Like the old saying, "opinions are like a__h___s, everybody has one and they usually stink".

wildmed writes:

Keep up the good work, Adams. No genius is appreciated in his own time.

FlaVol2 writes:

John, I wish we could swap you for someone that really cared about the Vols instead of your kind.

Razor784 writes:

There was one shocking part to this article. At the top Adams said he has friends.

pcorange writes:

Rarely do I have a problem with what you write, Mr. Adams. It is what it is, and you usually call it like you see it. There hasn't been much sunshine to talk about in Tennessee athletics lately.

tomkats3242 writes:

It was nice to see that you have relatives and family who can say something good about you. I would not and do not read your trash. The KNS should hire someone that loves UT so the sports people here in Knoxville could be proud of articles that should be posted on this site. Sorry but you do not make the grade.

VFLVFLVFL writes:

wat the **** is wrong with the positive posts here . obviously taking jabs at tennessee to get a reaction . one thing john is bad wrong about is the hiding behind a computer with no name... id love to adress john adams in person

orangecountyvols writes:

Vol friends,

At long last, Adams finally recognizes what the over whelming majority of Vol readers and fans acknowledge.

The 'friends' real names to whom Adams is referring are actually those of the following:

Seven
Flowers' foible
Title village
Un professional handicapper
Rtr chatterbox
45 revolver
9 is enough of him
plus several other sundry trolls

Dalton writes:

I spent a lot of time defending you this past year...just had a light bulb go up over my head highlighting my New Years resolution

NYCApple writes:

(crickets).....yawn.

NYCApple writes:

(wet fart noise)
Gag...
Wretch....

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say we love to hate you and lets be real this board has a couple built in trolls. lol
Bones never lie.

NYCApple writes:

This article is hilarious. John you should've titled it, " Passing the Savant in the Mirror: Tortured by My Own Genius.". John, how can you humor the intellect in Eastern Tennessee? You deserve a medal. I loved your book," Pederasty in my Mother's Basement...Moving out your Parents House at Forty".

fan_for_life writes:

I think what most readers want is a cheer leader. Keep telling it like you see it. You can't please everybody all the time.

fearthehound writes:

in response to NYCApple:

This article is hilarious. John you should've titled it, " Passing the Savant in the Mirror: Tortured by My Own Genius.". John, how can you humor the intellect in Eastern Tennessee? You deserve a medal. I loved your book," Pederasty in my Mother's Basement...Moving out your Parents House at Forty".

Now, now. Fact is, I think Adams is really a pretty fair writer. Problem is, he tries to be funny, and the only way he knows how to be funny is to use sarcasm and cynicism. The problem with that is, when your team is going through tough times, cynicism isn't really what you're looking for. I have no problem with the columns Strange writes--or others. It's just that Adams is the type of guy that tries to be funny with no consideration for what others about him might be feeling. You've met guys like him before--the real life of the party. Funny guys--always looking for a laugh.

NYCApple writes:

in response to fearthehound:

Now, now. Fact is, I think Adams is really a pretty fair writer. Problem is, he tries to be funny, and the only way he knows how to be funny is to use sarcasm and cynicism. The problem with that is, when your team is going through tough times, cynicism isn't really what you're looking for. I have no problem with the columns Strange writes--or others. It's just that Adams is the type of guy that tries to be funny with no consideration for what others about him might be feeling. You've met guys like him before--the real life of the party. Funny guys--always looking for a laugh.

Disagree. Vehemently.

CoverOrange writes:

I don't expect Mr. Adams to write columns that endear him to the heart of every fan.
I do expect him to be objective and research as much as possible to buttress his opinion.
Too often he shoots from the hip; just like many of the posters after his columns.
I always welcome another well considered viewpoint, but I require that viewpoint explain why it is well considered. Convince me, don't just tell me your opinion.

senracjr writes:

How much did you have to pay your kinfolk to write all of that John?

VolMoment writes:

Football players lose their talent and ability to think quick as they get older. Sports writers do the same when they get John's age. They retire and John should retire.He reached this several years ago. He is spoiled and if the coaches, administration and others don't pat his ego by disagreeing with him, he holds that against them and or the team.
Make my new year by annoucing your resignation effective January 1.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

It was nice to see that you have relatives and family who can say something good about you. I would not and do not read your trash. The KNS should hire someone that loves UT so the sports people here in Knoxville could be proud of articles that should be posted on this site. Sorry but you do not make the grade.

You dont read Adams? Then what are you commenting on if you dont read him?

utbaby#215635 writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

It was nice to see that you have relatives and family who can say something good about you. I would not and do not read your trash. The KNS should hire someone that loves UT so the sports people here in Knoxville could be proud of articles that should be posted on this site. Sorry but you do not make the grade.

Is it me or does it appear you read this article? Do you have an email account that uses the name Mark?

aspenvol2 writes:

Adams writing about himself. Another new low. Please resign.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

JA's bitterness and cynicism towards The University is based on the fact that he is compared on a daily basis to the likes of Tom Siler, Ben Byrd, Marvin West, etc... These men could report what the problems were at UT while still respecting both The University and its fans. When compared to these legendary writers he finds himself sorely lacking.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

I normally agree with the gist of Adams articles and always read them. Sometimes there is a little gem of writing in there. Adams can be a little caustic for the thin skinned or weak minded who believe that UT administrators/coaches/players/fans who can do no wrong. A big part of his job is to offer opinions for discussion, and get responses. If the replies are a measure of that then he's doing his job well. In referencing Mr Tom Siler, who was amazing, you had the same qualities. Siler called it as he saw it, good or bad, and didn't care what people thought. That style of journalism keeps a country or college or any institution strong. Keep up the good work. Honest discussion is a healthy idea. Bonzaivol

hueypilot writes:

All humor must have some element of truth and sometimes the truth hurts. Happy New Year John.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Happy New Year John! Be glad you have thick skin.

dvhill100 writes:

There is nothing wrong with John Adams' writing. He is supposed to give his opinion and get reactions. The reactions are used to gauge advertising rates I believe. (Quantity, not quality which is a good thing reading some of the reactions). He uses humor in his writing, which can sometimes fall flat, but overall I consider him a good read. If you all want nothing but positive news on UT then just read the press releases from the public affairs office. Their job is to put a positive spin on UT news whenever possible.

SummittsCourt writes:

What a dirtbag you are ja for writing this column to make yourself look better and to hate on those who don't like your articles.

I have no respect for you whatsoever!

bkgunter writes:

What an insufferable hump. Tell yourself whatever you like Johnny Boy. You're a lousy columnist. Your themes are for the simple minded, so no great surprise that you've got your fans. You are at your most annoying when you think you've got some insight (see every recent column about the "lack of speed"). I don't even understand the folks who hate you because you aren't a UT cheerleader. The tortured logic and indignant pretense on display in every column are reason enough. Having you "on UT's side" would not comfort me at all.

Jakevol writes:

Keep bringing it home John. I know to be a sports writer one must have a leather skin, which I'm sure you know this.

FanNotSheep writes:

The one and only thing that bothers me about John's columns are that he goes out of his way to aggravate UT fans, whether he is constantly bringing up the worst moments from losses of the past few decades or piling on because fans are so desperate for any success that they have a love/hate relationship with a certain former coach.

John is paid to keep the pot stirred. He does.

signalcorps writes:

I think some of us are rubbing off onto you john,,,,,,,I love it when a plan comes to gather,,,,,we love you to john......GO SEC

GerryOP writes:

Comparison, John Adams vs. standard GVX posters.

John Adams: He "signs" his name, get's paid to write his opinions, works from his KNS office:

Standard GVX posters: "... cherish their anonymity, write for free and sometimes work from their mother's basement."

voloffaith writes:

Have to wonder when you come out defending yoself based on postings that may be from inhouse or are they real....anyway it is humorous the defending of the writer from responders....wah wah wah.....BTW don't mind objectivity in articles..it is again an apparent disdain for all things VOLS that comes through strongly with a degree of regularity...

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Does anyone else know this is "National Whiners Day"? No kidding.

jollofran writes:

I would say, "I know your mother is soooo proud of you." But then I remembered you weren't born, but rather created in one of those dark slime pits, deep below the roots of Isengard, where you simply bubbled forth into existence; begat of ignorance, pride and negativity. Happy New Year!

BruisedOrange writes:

I like having at least one writer who accepts the role of unbiased, truth-telling, balloon pricker--as long as he's trustworthy.

What bothers me about this article is Adams seeming to embrace the image of balloon-pricking anti-Vol. Sure, he does it with his usual "tossing something down to the hoi polloi" humor. But it's done with an exaggerated sense of self-awareness that just invites more integrity questions.

It's the difference between a pastor in the pulpit telling you what he's experiencing in his personal spiritual life... and a pastor telling you from the pulpit what other people say about his preaching. One is self-revealing, the other is self-promoting. One encourages a closer relationship; the other just defines the relationship--to the opposite effect.

Convincing fans of uncomfortable truths takes time, research, talent, and trust. It requires a demonstrably unwavering ethical compass.

Just being critical, negative or cynical takes none of these.

killdevil writes:

if you dont like his articles dont read them

mac_b_from_tn writes:

in response to killdevil:

if you dont like his articles dont read them

It's clear from a couple of comments that folks don't need to read his columns before commenting.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

John, just sign your name to a blank page since so many who comment on your articles claim to never read them. It would save you a lot of time & it appears that it wouldn't lower the number of negative responses. The ones of us who do read, enjoy & sometimes even agree with your writing would miss them, a little. ;-)

laraccoon writes:

i guess this article came from John's childish vault . people should remember this line from the article "In both cases, I'm quick to defend my critics. After all, we're basically doing the same thing — expressing our opinion in a public forum" it is only his opinion .With that said Adams does write alot of articles that dont make alot of sense to me and appear to be his attempt at doing a stand up commedy act . either way i cant imagine him being to surprised handfuls of people dont always see eye to eye with some of his babble .and remember John ,JMO .

ktownorange32 writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very much agreed. I personally have read some of his articles that have made me sick to my stomach but generally those articles come after a horrible loss or a horrible season. Sports writers jobs aren't meant to sugar coat reality and make us feel better as fans. Their job is to analyze teams and their play. Vol Nation has had to suffer through some really tough years but its not JA's job to give us a hug and promise us that we will win the next one. The problem is it's hard to read about all the flaws your team has especially right after you watched everything he is saying with your own eyes. I've cut many of his articles short just because they made me mad, but not because he was saying anything false or untrue, but because I didn't want to relive the travesty i witnessed on tv or personally from Neyland just the day before.

volsathleticsupporter writes:

Although I don't always agree with you John, I respect your right to print your opinion. I would hate to see a column written by some of these idiots that post on this board. I agree that we have had a lousey last few years and most of it was caused by bad management decisions but let's move on and look forward to better times. I don't know any thing about the new coaching staff but by and large they all come from winning programs and that is more than I can say for the last two. Keep writing your opinion and I will continue to take it with a grain of salt. GBO

VolFan_InFlorida writes:

in response to pcorange:

Rarely do I have a problem with what you write, Mr. Adams. It is what it is, and you usually call it like you see it. There hasn't been much sunshine to talk about in Tennessee athletics lately.

+1

murrayvol writes:

Dear John,

Great column! Hope it becomes a tradition.

Know that the the 3% of us who support and applaud your efforts are behind you all the way.

Merry Christmas (belated) and Happy New Year,

murrayvol

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