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Sports Hate is the Best Hate

Hating teams is okay. No need to apologize.

Wearing a Bill Cosby sweater doesn't help him appear more friendly
Wearing a Bill Cosby sweater doesn't help him appear more friendly
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

If any of you watched the MLB All-Star Game or Home Run Derby you probably saw, and heard, Reds fans booing current and former members of the St. Louis Cardinals. These fans caught some flack for this on social media saying that they should show a bit more respect for all stars and put aside petty team arguments. With all due respect, that's a load of bull. I may be biased based on my Reds fandom but I was glad to see those guys booed, especially Molina, because it's part of what make sports so much fun. There's an animosity between these teams and if that were to go away it would take so much away from the game.

I hate a lot of teams. I hate a lot of players. Heck, I even hate some coaches. Let me clarify here though when I say hate I mean sports hate. I don't ACTUALLY hate these people. If I saw an IU player on the street I wouldn't go up and cuss them out and say I hate them. I hate them on the court only. Some, I assume, are good people off the court. I don't guarantee that though. There's nothing wrong with sports hating as long as it doesn't roll over into the real world. That animosity and yes, perhaps, even anger and vitriol make the games have meaning. If we all liked each other it would be tough to get into each and every game. We can all admit that games against teams we hate are so much more fun. If you say otherwise you are straight up lying to yourself. Purdue games against IU and Notre Dame are just more interesting regardless of sport or team records. Now, you might not use the word hate to describe how you feel about a team, player, or school but that's exactly what it is. You dislike them for no logical reason and dislike them constantly and consistently. There are of course exceptions to this rule. Let's investigate a couple of these quickly. These are merely my observations and don't represent Purdue fandom as a whole or even the entire staff here at your friendly Hammer and Rails.

  1. Bobby Knight- I just happen to be of the opinion that he's a terrible human being. Regardless of the racist undertones of some of his remarks and actions that you can perhaps write off as unintentional he's just a bad dude. The Puerto Rico issue stands out as well as his childish behavior on the court. Throwing a chair onto the floor? Come on bro. Sure he graduated players but I honestly have no respect for this man.
  2. Floyd Mayweather- I think this one is self-explanatory. Despite his confidence in Purdue football he's just not a great dude.
  3. Aaron Hernandez- Again, self-explanatory here. The guy was convicted of murder. Enough said.
Now let's take a look at the other sports stars that I hate and put that into perspective when you compare it to the above folks who have actually done despicable things.
  1. Jordan Hulls- I really hated this guy on the court for IU because he could hit a shot from anywhere on the court. Do I hate him off the court? Of course not. He always came across as a good guy.
  2. Aaron Craft- All fans hated him just like everyone hated Chris Kramer. Sure Craft got away with a lot, flopping especially, but as a person he always seemed to truly carry himself with respect and dignity. He also seemed to love his family if the Journey is any indication.
  3. Coach K- I know this one might be unpopular but I've never liked Coach K. I just think he comes across as arrogant and whiny, perhaps for good reason, and that's not something I enjoy in a coach. Now, he's led the USA back to Olympic gold medals and seems to do quite a bit of good in the community. If I met Coach K off court would I yell at him that Duke sucks and that he's a jerk? Not even close.
I think the difference here is respect. I respect the folks at the bottom of the list while the folks at the top would have a long way to go before earning that same respect. The hating of teams and players give watching sports that extra little spark that keeps all of us entertained and coming back for more. The thing I would caution about though is letting sports hate impact your real life. Don't be that guy or girl who yells at players or coaches off the court. Don't be the guy or girl who gets in a fight with an athlete if you seem them in a bar. Playful banter? Sure, that's okay, but just remember just because someone plays for the "wrong" team doesn't mean they are a bad person. That's true in real life and should be true on the internet as well. A little civility never killed anyone. So let's treat each other with respect but also allow for some sports hate every now and then. It's therapeutic.