Hate Week: Don’t ask why

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November 24, 2017 by jessepell

Stanford football holds longstanding rivalries with the University of California, USC, Notre Dame and San Jose State. (Courtesy of Bob Drebin/StanfordPhoto.com)

Written by Jesse Pelletier

Here at The Nosebleeds, we’re concluding our Hate Week tomorrow on some of the most hate-filled days in sports: Rivalry Weekend. Your favorite college football team is squaring up against their arch rival and you know this weekend is either going to be better than Thanksgiving or worse than Black Friday shopping. You’re repping your team, you’ve got your calendar blocked off, and you’re ready to hate your rival’s guts.

Ohio State vs. Michigan. Alabama vs. Auburn. The hate in these rivalries has been brewing for years as their histories have decided countless championship titles and years of bragging rights. An ebb and flow of heroics and heartbreak have sent your emotions to new highs and lows for years, and you’d have it no other way. This is Rivalry Weekend. This is the one-game season. This is all or nothing.

As a fan, the passion you feel in a rivalry game is two-fold: you love one team and you hate the other team. That touchdown on the opening drive not only means your team is winning, but it also means the other team is losing. And that, folks, is sweet. But that’s your rival. Most of us hate other teams or other individuals in sports as well. And the reasons behind it aren’t always as clear.

I went to a college with a Division 3 football team. Our most hated rivals are Union and Clarkson. You may have never heard of either of those schools before, but if you ask anyone in Troy, NY what team has won the Dutchman’s Shoes trophy for the last five years, they know it wasn’t the Union Dutchmen. No, it was the RPI Engineers. And while you may not care, this is the oldest college football rivalry in the state of New York. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

The Dutchman’s Shoes is a trophy awarded to the winner of the annual college football game between the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers and the Union College Dutchmen since 1950. (Courtesy of Peter Barber/The Daily Gazette)

So like I was saying, I went to a school with a D3 football program. I don’t have a dog in any of the Rivalry Weekend fights. But I sure as hell hate some college football teams. Why, you ask? Uh, how about does it really matter? This is Rivalry Weekend. This is the one weekend where it doesn’t matter. Give me one weekend to not have to explain it to you, alright? I just want one week of inexplicable hatred and then we can get back to our everyday lives.

If you’re like me and you hate some teams or players for reasons you can’t always explain, know this: it’s perfectly normal. There’s nothing wrong with it. It makes being a fan more fun. You can hate a team because they’re your rival, because they beat you in that championship game last year but had previously never played your team before, or because you hated Steve in high school and that’s Steve’s team. All of those are fine. But hating a team for reason’s you don’t always know is totally fine too.

I don’t know why I hate Notre Dame. Or Penn State. Or Florida State. And aside from sort of liking Michigan, I don’t know why I hate Ohio State (sorry Marlon). But it doesn’t matter. This weekend, I am rooting for Stanford, Maryland, and Michigan more than I ever have before. This is Rivalry Weekend, people. It may be the end of Hate Week, but the time to hate starts now.

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