Leo Sterger, Gabriel Morency, and the Last Thing I am Writing About The FSU Cowgirl EVER
(WARNING: THIS POST IS EXTREMELY LONG, BUT I WANTED TO LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT THE STERGER FAMILY AND WHITE DADE HAVE BURIED THE HATCHET (OR TOMAHAWK, IF YOU WILL). THERE IS A SECOND SUBJECT AT THE BOTTOM. MUCH SHORTER. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE - WD)
“Please allow me to introduce myself….. I write a blog called White Dade."
And so began my weekend-long email interaction with Leo Sterger, father of FSU cowgirl Jenn Sterger. Yes, the same one I spent 1500 words ripping last week. And for those of you who have not checked the comments box on that particular post, it is full of insults, threats and out and out garbage directed mostly towards myself. The piece was picked up by my very favorite sports blog, Deadspin, and, ultimately got back to Jenn’s father, Leo. He left a very long comment and, in addition to calling me ugly and a coward, left his email address on there. So I thought since Leo had shown the balls to put himself out there, and basically called me out, I would reply to him. And so I did, and now, with his permission, I would like to show you all some excerpts form our conversations. Those of you who know me I can send you the full transcripts if you like. Those of you who know Leo, ask him.
Dear Mr. Sterger
Since you told me a little about Jenn, I will tell you a little about myself. I am a UM alum, class of '02. I served in the Marine Corps Reserve for 6 years, achieving the rank of Corporal before I left. I never went to Iraq, but this was pure chance. I would have been happy to go had I been called. So I do resent people calling me a coward. I work as a fitness trainer and manage a gym, so obviously I am not as hideous as you might have made me out to be.
I post every day, and most of my posts are in the same tone as the one about Jenn. Not that I am a particularly negative person, but that type of writing is what I do best. She is literally one out of about 100 different topics I have ranted about, and I didn't give that post a whole lot of thought after I responded to the usual 15 or so comments I got. Then a funny thing happened. Somebody posted it on a UM message board, and it got picked up by a LOT of people, and next thing I know the Cowgirl's dad is calling me a faceless coward (or an ugly coward, or something along those lines). Sound familiar?
As I have told several people who have contacted me about my post, if I am going to write assumptions about someone I have never met, I have to expect the same in return. Fair enough. We all love attention. This is not a UM-FSU issue…. It is an issue of the media overexposing someone and the sadness of a nation of men drooling over a girl they've never met.
You must understand, though, while I spent the better part of the first half of the piece ripping on Jenn, the point of it, and I'm not sure if you caught this, was that it is not entirely on her. It is more on the media and countless guys sitting around their computers drooling over her. A friend of mine who went to FSU sent me her pictures back in September, and…..I didn't give them much more than a single look. But I am not the type to fantasize about women I'll never see in person.
I have attached a picture just so you know I am not faceless, and that I have no problem with individual people knowing how I look. And that I am not ugly.
I appreciate it that you took the time to reply to my response that was posted this morning to your Blog. I expected to be bombarded with emails from the Jenn haters out there ...was warned when I signed with my personal email address but so far I have only received 2 replies, yours being one of them. I must say I was quite impressed with your response once you became subjective in your approach ...sure beats the tone of your Blog.
Jenn was actually getting to the point of where she was accepting the hate attacks for what they are, a small minority. She talked about the 10-10-80 rule ...10% love you, 10% hate you and 80% are indifferent. However, you got to keep enough good information out there to keep the 80% from swinging the wrong way!
Being in sales all my life has taught me how to handle rejection. I'm usually very calm cool and calculated but I must admit my response directed towards your Blog was a culmination of repeated negative attacks on Jenn that have been festering for months ...sort of the last straw! After receiving your response and hearing your story I can say I still would have written a response to your Blog but I wouldn't have attacked you personally, for that I'd like to apologize!
Without opening up another chance for a hate forum all I can say to the people who have read the articles on Jenn is that they are an accurate snapshot of her personality ...except for the misquote in Maxim about "getting wasted on game day" which came from Fabi.
It is amazing as to what has happen to her since last Labor Day. Yes, its the fault of the media for helping blow this 3 seconds into and Internet side show but you got to give Jenn credit for seizing the opportunity and running with it as she has. I too laughed it off until I started getting phone calls from TV, radio stations and newspapers across the country. I roared when I started getting phone calls and emails from Europe.
By the way the attached photo is Mama and I (see above) ...can you guess where?
Dear Mr. Sterger -
Well, you certainly are a proud father. And I can't say I blame you, I think any time your child has success the natural reaction is to share those accomplishments with other people.
You, sir, are one ballsy individual. Not only do you put your email address up on the internet for the whole world to contact you, but you wear UM gear to the UM-FSU game in Tallahassee. Impressive, very impressive.
Though I can't say you've converted me to a card-carrying member of the Jenn Sterger fan club, you have at least humanized the icon for me and given me some valuable insight……It's weird because I've read some other rather negative articles about the cowgirls, and I have no idea why mine was the one that got all the attention and became the icon for Jenn-hating. If you noticed, I never mentioned anything explicit in my piece, and I think the people who are taking it there, on both sides of the issue, are truly classless.
There is no need for you to apologize to me for anything you said. I insulted your daughter. A less-sane man would have tracked me down and given me a James Caan-esque beatdown, so I appreciate you stopping at a mean-spirited comment.
The internet is a funny thing, isn't it? I was out with my friend from FSU who had sent me Jenn's pictures originally like six months ago and I said' You know, if you'd have told me then that I would be emailing her father, I'd have been checking your pupils to see what you were taking."
Keep it touch, Mr. Sterger. If you and your wife are in town for the game this year, I would love nothing more than to buy you a conciliatory beverage and laugh about all this ridiculousness. Or if you don't drink, a Diet Coke.
First of all you have my permission to publish my email responses we have exchanged the last couple of days ...even the photo of my wife and I. However, please make sure you get the game right since this was not at last years MIA-FSU game (although that doesn't stop me from wearing my MIA gear) but rather at the 2002 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, AR. We were outnumbered pretty badly there too!
While Maxim was nothing big I'm not looking forward to the upcoming Playboy shots although the pre release press Jenn has received from this shot has probably helped fuel the Internet interests ...at least among college male students. Of course this has also fueled the haters (mostly female) saying that a Vivid contract is coming soon.
I know the SI folks love her cause we were out in LA the day after the Oscars meeting with some agents who want to represent her (most are vermin) and as soon as she told her SI contact that she was coming out they had 2 radio interviews set up for her and they got her court side tickets for the Lakers game that night ...very cool sitting down with the celebs! The attached picture is Jenn with Seth Green (Austin Powers movies and the Italian Job). Jenn will graduate this May and has talked about law school ...where and when I don't know.
Like I said before I thought this whole thing would blow over in a month or two but the contacts just keep on coming. She even has me excited about it hoping she makes it big ...or at least big enough to get her off my payroll!
Take care and keep dodging those hate emails. Like I told my wife when I signed the first email ...I know where the delete key is!
Okay, I know that was long, but I’d just like to conclude all this by saying that the one person who stood to be THE most offended by my Jenn Sterger piece, besides Jenn herself, has been cordial, professional and even somewhat friendly towards me in talking about the whole issue. So to all the people who came at me with hate mail and insults, take a clue from Leo Sterger and show some goddamn class. Say what you will about his daughter, but this man has been the most professional and polite critic I have had in the past week, and a lot of you could take a clue from his actions.
One interesting side story to all of this was my being invited as a guest on Gabriel Morency's radio program on The Team 990 AM in Montreal. My guess was he didn’t want to talk about the $40 Rule. And I was right. While I have called some sports talk programs form time to time, I had never been a guest on a show before, so this was definitely a novelty experiecne for me. I had a nice conversation with Mr. Morency prior to and during my interview, and for those of you who are reading this late at night (12-3AM Eastern), check out the live feed of his show from the link above. He is exactly what you think a sports talk radio host in Canada should be.
For those who don’t know, Gabriel placed 4th in the Montreal Readers Poll as the biggest sports personality in the city only behind Jose Theodore, Saku Koivu and Vladimir Guerrero. So I suppose over at the Montreal ESPN radio affiliate, being on his show is a pretty cool thing. Of course, I was on on a Saturday night. Opposite a Canadiens game. And the NCAA Final Four. So my guess is there were roughly a dozen people listening. But still, it was a good time being on the show and I hope its something I can do again sometime, somewhere. But my question is: If Gabriel Morency and The Team can have me on to talk about a story in Florida, where’s the local love? Yeah, I’m looking at YOU Dan LeBatard. Hank Goldberg. Montreal knows what’s up, how about you? My schedule is open.