There is a list that every sports fan has. It may not be something that we think about, or that we even acknowledge, but we have it. It is the Irrational Hatred List. This is not a list of teams or people that we hate (like the Yankees) for reasons connected to our favorite teams, or even reasons of past slights. They are teams we hate because it just feels right. Often they are in sports or leagues that we don’t even love, like college sports for me, or hockey for 90% of Americans. We don’t go out of our way to buy shirts or express this hatred, but there is a genuine pleasure in watching (or even just hearing about it) when they lose.
"Oh, God. I Just Pooped"
(I want everyone to close their eyes. Now raise your hands if you wait every march for the day that Duke loses in the NCAA tournament. Now open your eyes. See?)
For some it is teams that have players they hate (StartMattCassel loves the Packers all of a sudden). For some it is teams that they hate due to continued success (the Bulls of the 90’s). For some it is because they don’t like the fans, or colors, or stadium, or where they are from. It really doesn’t matter why, we just hate these teams irrationally. They don’t even need to be good.
This came to a head for me on Saturday night when I found myself actively rooting against the Ohio State Buckeyes in their loss (awesome) against Penn State. Now, I don’t have a particular team in college football that I care about. I don’t watch it on a regular basis (though I do follow the highlights on SportsCenter so that I know what’s up and who to watch for the draft), but I have always hated Ohio State (and only in football; I actually rooted for the Greg Oden team in the Tourney a few years back).I loved watching them get taken to the woodshed in the “National Championship Game” the past two seasons. Watching the game, I could not think of a reason why I should root against them, I am not a Michigan fan, I am not a Penn State fan, I just hate Ohio State Football for some reason.
So without further adieu, here is my IH list (note: I don’t give reasons for why I hate them because it is an Irrational Hatred list):
1. Ohio State Football. (See Above)
2. Texas anything. (Just so you all know, the “hook ’em horns” gesture means “someone is banging your wife” in Italy.)
3. Duke Basketball.
4. The Kansas City Royals.
5. The Detroit Red Wings.
That’s it for now, but I’m sure others will pop up as time goes on.
Some quick notes on the World Series:
The Rays added our old friend Eric Hinske (and the only Ray that I root for) to the roster before last nights game, and he homered as a pinch hitter in the loss. It was good to see him have some success, and I will always welcome him back to Boston because of the catch he made in right where he smashed his face on the right field warning track. It was also cool to see Joe Blanton hit his first career Home Run last night. The Phillies have Cole Hamels ready for tonight and a rested Brad Lidge in the pen for tonight, this could be it for the Rays if they don’t come up with something special. Finally, The Beard That Should Not Be was voted the AL Hank Aaron Award winner as the best offensive player in the league. Congrats Youk.