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Mailbag: The Trump cultist who doesn’t like my reporting on UVA Basketball

Chris Graham
sam wells
Sam Wells

Subject Line: You are disgusting

Body: Please recuse yourself from reporting on anything related to the University of Virginia. I’m actually sick of you! And to be quite honest with you, so is everyone that I know that’s associated with the University!

Sam Wells

Welcome to my world.

I get a couple of these deranged emails a week, at least, though not usually from an email account with a guy’s name and photo.

Usually, the haters use a burner email.

They’re the smart ones.

This Sam Wells guy, according to his socials, claims to be a UVA alum, which, based on his grammar and punctuation, I have to doubt, and also according to his socials, dude is quite clearly an inveterate Trumper.

“You must be referring to the greatest president that ever lived. Of course the exception of that is George Washington,” the Sam Wells guy wrote back to me when I let him in on how he’d outed himself.

“Your response only proves exactly what I thought. Another pecan brained libtard…. LOL… At least when you’re talking to me you’re not slandering the University of Virginia. So keep going. You’re very entertaining on a libtard level.”

If you hadn’t already guessed, the issue for this Sam Wells guy, other than how he’s let himself get brainwashed into the Trump Cult, is my reporting on the Tony Bennett contract situation.

Through public-records requests, I’ve been able to report that Bennett’s contract is set to expire on April 30, 2026, and that a succession plan appears to be in place that would put his top assistant, Ron Sanchez, in the job once Bennett is done.

I reached out last week to give the athletics director at Virginia, Carla Williams, and also Bennett, a chance to talk with me about the recent run of articles on the topic; both declined the opportunity.

The reporting, I have to presume, qualifies, to our Sam Wells person here, as “slandering the University of Virginia.”

Now, yes, I know, intellectually, that I probably should ignore people like our Sam Wells guy here, but I just can’t; it’s too much fun engaging, and seeing how far they’ll take their nonsense.

“I’ve carefully considered your recommendation, and decided against recusing myself on reporting on anything related to the University of Virginia,” I wrote him back, opening the floodgates.

After I let him in on how I’d tracked down practically everything about him online – I mean, come on, I am a journalist, right, been doing this for 29 years now – I got back a range of responses, starting with disbelief, and going on to full-throated MAGA.

“I don’t believe you can see my social media, Mr ganderer,” this Sam Wells person responded. “You’d rather spend time attacking good people.. I have a feeling when you were born there were two of you. You died and the grunt lived. Just a hunch!”

There was two of me when I was born, I died, and the grunt lived.

I’m not sure what to make of that.

Seriously, what was he trying to say there?

“Trump wasn’t responsible,” the Sam Wells guy went on next, pretty much out of nowhere, except that, obviously, this was what this whole thing was really about, using the Tony Bennett story to try to kneecap me over his boy.

“Why slander a great man. Is it because you’re a little man?” Sam Wells was on a roll now. “Never mind I answered my own question! Trump was the greatest president since George Washington.. and he’s going to be your next president . Better learn to love it. Because just like before you’ll benefit from it. Just like the rest of the United States!”

This is where it hits me, where I’ve gone down this rabbit hole before.

Two summers ago, an online lynch mob formed on the message board of virginia.sportswar.com over a politics column that I’d written blasting Trump.

The fever pitch reached the point that the editor of the site decided to drop AFP articles from the site’s daily news links, mainly out of interest of self-preservation.

The odd timing of that decision: I was, at that very moment, negotiating with the owner of virginia.sportswar.com, which is to say, above the editor’s head, to purchase the site.

Not all bad news there, in the end: withdrawing the offer saved me a couple hundred thousand dollars, and I don’t have to deal with cranks like our new friend Sam Wells more than a couple of times a week, as opposed to having them live rent-free in my head 24/7.

“I didn’t realize how stupid you really are! Thank you for revealing who you really are. Ignorance isn’t Bliss. Wow! You really are a dumbass!”

It went on like this for a couple of hours.

I couldn’t get the word “cuck” out of my head as I thought up a couple of my responses. Trumpers love the term, because the think of “libtards” like me as being weak, weak-minded, and then there’s the sexual connotation, in which a “cuck” is a man whose partner is adulterous, and taking the sexual connotation to the extreme, a man who, shall we say, derives sexual pleasure from watching his partner being adulterous.

I take you there because, yes, I used the word “cuck” in a couple of my responses.

Just because, I can’t get past how, to me, it seems that the Trump worshippers among us can sit back and let a soon-to-be convicted felon Vladimir Putin wingman with tiny hands and a tinier, you know, do his 45 seconds of business with our way of life.

Unless they, you know, derive some sort of sick pleasure from worshipping a cartoon carnival barker as he buggers the rest of us into oblivion.

“Sorry Satan. I worship God,” was the response from Sam Wells to my egging on to that end.

Here comes the kicker: Sam Wells said next that he is going to tell on me.

“Now that I know how ignorant you are. I do plan to send this entire conversation to every newspaper near and around the Shenandoah valley. I think everyone needs to know who you really are!” he wrote me back.

I’m pretty sure that anybody who cares already knows, but, whatever.

And anyway, ain’t it grand? Dude is going to out me, I guess as a liberal, maybe because I used the word “cuck” to refer to what his kind is doing to our country, almost certainly because he doesn’t like that I didn’t show proper deference.

I’m sure Tony Bennett just absolutely loves having guys like this Sam Wells guy defending his name.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].