Hating Properly

SP Dumbfans 020by Tyler Hobbs

Due to a recent social media altercation (for those who witnessed it,it was awesome, wasn’t it?) I have decided to write about rivalries across fan bases. I have been in countless arguments with all fan bases over various topics. I am not proud of it, well actually that’s not true, I am. It is a part of who I am as a fan.

The term “hate” is brought up too frequently, being exchanged back and forth through fan bases. I’m not referring to things like “Louisville Hate Day” because that is just awesome (thanks Kentucky Sports Radio). I am referring to the phrase “I hate ___ fans”. We far too often forget that united we are a great population, the sports fans. We tend to always take it over the top, turning innocent, back and forth banter into a personal cheap shot death match. I am as guilty as anybody, and I tend to forget that the rival fan bases I am arguing with are just like me, they just choose to cheer for another team. The friendly jab at the other fan base for losing a random game in November is what we live for, but it often becomes an uppercut that mentions the opposition’s girlfriend/mother. Two of the writers on this site are Giants fans and it has become an unspoken tradition for the winner(s) to text the loser(s) and say “Good game.” The loser(s) will then reply with a friendly “Go to hell” or “drop dead” and we move on with our lives. That is the way it should be.

Far be it for me to mention the annoying phrase our better halves or parents say “It’s just a game,” because we are way past that. However, it is important for us to realize that through our passionate yelling at the T.V. and “live-tweeting” games that we all may participate in the cheap shots. The important aspect is to remember, after a few days of smack talk and constant yapping, we all need to become friends again.
Basically, what I am trying to say is to hate the team, not the fans. For most of us die-hards, we were raised to cheer for our favorite teams. We were born as fans, and we will die as fans. Our rivals were raised the same way. What makes the rivalries fun and exciting is the playful banter and the reward of the right to talk smack when, God willing, your team pulls out the W. If we create personal vendettas between fan bases, it takes the fun out of the game. We all need to step back and realize that we are all sports fans, cheering on our teams against their opponents. Let’s create an olive branch between our rivalries, here I will start:
Louisville fans, Heat fans, Red Sox fans, and Giants fans: I don’t hate you, just everything you stand for. Just kidding of course, but not really. In all seriousness, good luck during these upcoming and current sports seasons, unless you are playing my favorite teams, then I hope you lose by 100.
*NOTE: This does not include “those” kinds of fans, and you know who you are. If you are encountering a fan who has no dog in the fight, then this article is null and void and you have every right to rip them a new ass!
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