It's Derby Week! That means hatred is in the air and it smells fantastic. Seriously, playing a hated rival may be my favorite thing in sports. Sure, you feel worse than ever if you lose, but if you win? Oh sweet glorious ecstasy. It's easily the best moment in your week.
But almost as good as winning is the heady feel of pure, unadulterated vitriol that comes in the hatred before. Now, before I sound like a monster, I don't want to advocate hate in general. We should love everyone. But hating a uniform? Hating a team? THAT, my friends, is the joy of sport.
Hatred of the
Birmingham City those losers The Scum is totally rational, however. So for this week's Friday Feedback, we decided to take a look at some of our irrational hatreds. Those are really the best. Be sure to give your say in the comments! I can't wait to read them all.
This Week's Question: What team(s) do you irrationally hate and why?
Aaron: With me, it's not so much that the hate is irrational; I can tell you pretty much exactly what it is about specific clubs that make me dislike them. I hate Birmingham City for obvious reasons. I hate Chelsea because many of their players are annoying and because I am jealous. I hate Real Madrid because they are Real Madrid, with all that that entails. I hate Rangers and Celtic for reasons that I will not go into, but they're likely quite apparent. It's the level of hate that's occasionally bizarre. I have no real rooting interest in Serie A, but I absolutely abhor AC Milan for somewhat esoteric reasons that have absolutely no bearing in today's world. I hate Real Salt Lake nearly as much as I hate Birmingham City.
I also tend to have a strong distaste for clubs that embrace any sort of sectarian or political affiliations, so there are teams playing in leagues that I could not possibly be less engaged in that I absolutely detest. I won't name names but it's a fairly universal feeling. Embracing regional identity is one thing, embracing polarizing ideology is quite another and while much of that is due to supporters groups there are plenty of clubs that embrace and profit from it. Sports are supposed to be at least partially about people finding unity in something shared, something outside of the things that so often drive us apart as a society. Even if people disagree strongly on "important" issues, they can find common ground in the teams they support. Any club that perverts that is likely to be despised by me to a certain extent.
Gareth: Well, if I hate them irrationally, there really is no "why," is there? (Ed: touché.) Anyways...
If we're including international teams, I hate the U.S. (sorry, guys! I'm Canadian and Clint Dempsey kind of seems like a dick!) Also, Italy are generally pretty loathsome, which made for some great schadenfreude when they couldn't dive their way out of the group stages.
Kirsten: Gareth already articulated my thoughts...it's tough to explain irrational hatred. I mean, hatred for Birmingham City? That's just ingrained. Or at least, it would be if I were born a Villan.
I don't know that I have irrational hate toward clubs as much as I have irrational hate toward players. In sports, most team hatred is based upon rivalries, but player hatred can be more free-flowing. Like Gareth, I also despise Clint Dempsey--pretty sure its just his visage, though. I can't stand Nemanja Vidić. He makes me go into rages. I wish I could cut Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman's hair with a weed wacker.
You want to know true irrational hatred? I call her horse-face. She's the other half of Frank Lampard and I can't stand the sight of her. It's not as though I live within attraction distance of Mr. Lampard, and let's face it, I wouldn't be running in footballer circles anyway. There's no reason I should be jealous of some news presenter just because she carries around little Chanel bags while prancing on the arm of a handsome man. Besides, it's not like he's any use in the bedroom right now. Yet seeing her in the stands at Stamford Bridge makes me throw stuff at the television.
Robert: Manchester City. Not through any fault of their own, I was lured into trying to follow them last season, and I found out what they were. Imagine it like this. You go to the store and buy yourself an apple. It's green/red/yellow (your choice), and there is a sign that says it is both juicy and delicious. In addition, there is fresh-squeezed apple cider there. "Well, this is the best day of my week," you think. And indeed it is. Or it seems to be. When you get home, however, you bite into the apple and find a razor blade that has cut the inside of your mouth to pieces. In some odd reaction you quickly drink cider to ease the pain. Sadly, the cider is colored carbolic acid.
That scenario right there is what it's like to be tricked by Citeh. I thought I'd be following a nice little club, and instead I end up following the Yankees of the East. They were my carbolic acid cider. Man City: you are nothing but a painted whore.
Hate them forever.