Earlier this week, we had a post discussing rooting interests, when it's okay to jump on a team's bandwagon, and if it's okay to have multiple allegiances. It drew some of our best comments yet with great reasoning and a wide variety of schools. From Fairfield to Rutgers, Stanford to the U, with even UConn getting some love (I know, right?).
Now we task the fun question.
Rivalries are great, and even though BC might not have a true "rival" on par with the Iron Bowl or the Army-Navy Game, we all have that one school we all despise with all of our well-being. We will never root for them, no matter how likeable the team, and we may actually openly root for someone else simply because they're playing them.
What defines "hatred" or "dislike" for a team can come from liking one team or from simply being turned off by a team's actions. As a Boston College fan, I hated Notre Dame growing up. With the rivalry subsiding thanks to the Irish scheduling arrangement, I'm not sure I would count them among the teams I flat out hated over the last couple of years. They weren't even on my radar last year, not with UMass and Florida State occupying me. With this year's special game at Fenway Park, I'm looking forward to rediscovering my special hatred for the Fighting Irish fan who takes those tags off their sweatshirt right as they're walking into the stadium. After all, like the song says, there's a magic in their name, and I'm looking forward to hopefully defeating that name in November.
Even with that hatred, there's elements of Notre Dame I outright respect. As a history buff, their place is forever secure. So the reason I dislike the Irish may be different from yours; I dislike the fan base who treats the past like it's still the present, even as ND approaches 30 years since its last championship. I don't, however, disrespect the past since I do have a healthy respect for history.
That's substantially different from other dislikes. We all know about my general dislike for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. For the most part, the feeling is mutual; it's not like I'm on any Christmas card lists from their fans. That "hatred" is something completely different for different reasons. I outlined that at length last year, and I admitted that playing the Minutemen meant something totally different to me than it did to others, including others who write for this site. It was a personal thing with personal reasons, built for me on something growing up that was exclusive from someone growing up in, say, New York City.
Then there are the teams that just kind of rub you the wrong way. Last season, I said some things about Florida State that was, well, what it was (I honestly don't want to get into what and why). I simply disliked the team. That was one iteration of Florida State, and as teams progress through their future, I always could wake up and talk about how much I like a certain FSU team's style of play and attitude. You may not like anything about them, and you may never like them. That reason is entirely yours.
My personal favorite type of team, though, is the team that is simply "loved to be hated." In the early 2000s, during the height of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, there was no team I hated more than New York. The 2003 American League Championship Series was, at the time, the absolute low point for me as a fan, only redeemable by what eventually happened in 2004 (the whole season leading up to and including the ALCS).
As the years went on, though, I grew to have a respect for when the Yankees and Red Sox really were that good, similar to how my dad developed a respect for Magic Johnson after the height of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry in the 1980s. As the Yankees retired or departed one by one, as the "Core Four" began to reach the twilight of their careers, I grew to appreciate what they accomplished. I long for the days when the Sox and Yankees would turn in 19 regular season battles along with seven intense playoff games. I miss how low I felt watching Mariano Rivera stride out of the bullpen and how high I felt when the Red Sox actually defeated him. Most importantly, I miss having that team with that type of rivalry running that deep. I almost find myself rooting for the Yankees, just so I can have a team to root against. Then again, I could never root for the Yankees.
Then there's the last group - teams with virtually no redeemable qualities. For me, that's the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Jets. When I was younger, I once said, "I would feel bad if any team had to fold financially unless that team is the Jets." I don't care about history (clearly...I hate the Jets, who haven't won squat since Joe Namath was their QB). I simply don't like the team, the colors, or anything about them. I have friends who root for those teams, and we find it's just easier not to talk on game day.
The only redeeming quality? Without them, I'd be happy, and who wants that?
So like we did earlier this week, weigh in with the teams you find positively reprehensible, despicable, and downright bad. Tell us why, and let us know. This one could probably be a little bit more emotional, so whatever you do, just remember to keep it clean!