Monday, June 13, 2011

I Hate [Blank]

Joe Posnanski with what I think is a great observation in his NBA finale post mortem

But in despising the Heat, I came to admire them, too. That’s how it can go with Sports Hate (what I have come to call Clemenate). I truly believe that in a weird way I admired John Elway more than any of his biggest fans, because I watched him gut my teams again and again and again.
Man, aint that the truth?

I kind of twonder how I feel like this in the context of my own fandom. I hate the Cowboys for all the usual reasons, but I reserve an additional layer of hate for them for becoming the team in the 1990s that the Lions didn't. I hate that people thought Emmitt was better than Barry.

I don't know that I ever hated Brett Favre, but I hated that he never lost a home game to the Lions. Not once. Something like 18 straight in Lambeau and another in Minnesota. I hate that. I hate that he beat the Lions in the playoffs a couple of times. Ultimately I guess I enjoyed watching him become irrelevant, watching him play one season too many, watching the cape come off.

Come to think of it, I did hate the Vikings. Not the now Vikings but the then Vikings. The John Randall/Henry Thomas Vikings that ruined seasons in Detroit. I was jealous of the Bears in the '80s but the timing wasn't right for any special kind of hatred, the Lions weren't good then anyway.

I hate the Yankees, again for all the usual reasons, for the same reason that the regular hate the entitled privileged, for the obliviousness to the idea that their position isn't deserved. I did root for them in 2004 but only because of that other special kind of hatred: schadenfreude. If there was one constant it was that Red Sox fans were more miserable - both collectively and individually - than me. So I rooted for the Yankees and hated them for choking. And I hated the Red Sox too, just cuz. And now I hate them both for being rich kids who purchase championships.

Schadenfruede. Now that is a special emotion. Questions of Lebron aside, I think it is felt more potently by football fans than anyone else. Perhaps more exquisitely by Lion fans who could really only root for the misery of others, a sharing and leveling of our own taste of frustration and futility. So the Ravens? I don't hate the Ravens, but I do enjoy that small burst annually when they lose their playoff game, usually to the Steelers. The Steelers? I also don't carry any special emotion for them other than the appreciation I feel when they torment Raven fans.

If I can't win then you can't win. Pyrrhic victories are better than none. Sure, someone has to win but better someone that perpetuates the shared misery of others than someone I don't particularly care about.

My team is out of it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Pyrrhic victories are not better than 'none.'


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