All over the world sports fans religiously follow their favorite teams. Newborn children are photographed next to the hat of their parents’ favorite team and retirees tune in to watch each event.
There’s something special about pledging your allegiance to your favorite team. You become part of the team’s ‘nation’, ‘state’, or even ‘family.’ Some go as far as to claim to bleed the team’s color.
Part of this allegiance is distaste for their team’s rivals. Rivalries may be historic, geographic, or inexplicable, but that’s not what I’m writing about.
I want to know why some people choose to hate other teams for no reason.
Seriously. What’s up with all of the hate?
In the last week I’ve had several encounters with sports fans who disparaged teams other than their own for absolutely no reason.
Two of these people, who I spoke to separately, even said they hate teams simply because others like them so much.
I know society lacks values more and more every day, but I was still flabbergasted to hear this.
What prompts someone to despise something just because others take joy in it? Maybe I’m transcending sports here, but I’m not going to start discussing psychology.
Let’s stick to the point: I don’t see any excuse for someone to hate a team just because others love them. Don’t be that person who lives your life with the sole intent of raining on someone else’s parade. Instead, have the guts to stand for something. Put that passion into love for your own team.
Yes, it’s going to hurt when the team you invest so much time in loses in the first round of the playoffs every single year (not that I know anything about that). And YES it’s going to feel like you’re personally being betrayed when your team’s owner cares more about money than the city that supports the team (I need to stay focused here).
But the benefits greatly exceed the pain.
Being a fan is about the moment they win the game in overtime, the night they upset the juggernaut opponent, or when they simply give you something to look forward to after a long day.
One can’t truly enjoy the jumping-out-of-your-seat moments without living through the nights they don’t come through.
Put your passion into supporting your favorite teams. Rivalries are part of the fun, but don’t hate without a real, truthful reason.
In the end, you will always gain more from supporting your team than cowardly hating others.
Cheer through the highs and sweat through the lows.
Because that’s what being a fan is really about.