Venturing into the abyss of the comment sections of Chicagosports.com requires a person to be stronger than most. The online areas are teeming with a mix of bad grammar, meatballs, angry Bears fans, trolls, spam and the occasional voice of reason. But mostly thousands of trolls and meatballs. How could Steve Rosenbloom’s awful blog post have possibly garnered 40 comments from 37 different posters? The answer: there were not 37 different posters. Every post was made by one man using different screennames, super-bored Chicago sports fan Frank Weinheimer.
“I created about 18,000 different Gmail accounts,” Weinheimer said. “Then I went ahead and made a unique commenter screenname for each of those accounts. Every article comment you see on Chicagosports.com is mine. I have some free time.”
Weinheimer likes to mix it up with himself on the site because “it is kind of fun, I guess.” His screennames range from ‘erniebanksfan14’ to ‘CUBZSUK69’ to ‘DiitkasPolishSausage.’
“It is actually harder than it looks,” Weinheimer said. “Each commenter has his own unique backstory that is a window into his personality. Take ‘KonerkoSoulmonster24121,’ for example. Why did he choose Konerko and why add ‘soul monster’ at the end of it? And why 24121? When I post as this gentleman, I picture a man tormented by the dichotomy of good and evil, wishing he could vanquish away the demons with the power of a Konerko homer. He wishes he could hit the ball 24,121 feet.
“So now it makes sense when he calls Cubs’ fans ‘worthless terds that will suk 4eva,’ Weinheimer concluded.