Most of us here are passionate about sports and especially passionate about the teams we follow. If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that we wear blinders when it comes to the flaws of the teams we love which of course is not nearly as fun as pointing out the flaws of “that other team”. Yes, being passionate about sports often includes not liking certain teams and their collective fan-base.
There are the regional rivalries like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos and more nationally understood rivalries such as the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Then there are the teams that outside of their own fan-bases create universal disdain. I would like to explore some of the teams that most all of us love to hate and throw in a few of my own personal “favorites”.
We will start with two teams most fans universally understand to be the sports equivalent of Emperor Palpatine and the Dark Side Of The Force. In baseball it is of course The New York Yankees and in football The Dallas Cowboys. The Yankees and Cowboys are hated for many of the same reasons. They are arrogant, flashy, have flamboyant ownership, have mocking conceited fan-bases, and mostly just win. The Yankees have won more World Series Championships than any team in baseball and the Dallas Cowboys are tied for second in Super Bowl victories with the San Francisco 49ers.
There is the media factor as cameramen and reporters follow certain teams around like paparazzi waiting for the next Lindsay Lohan panty-less car exit. Even in down years these two franchises in particular are the darlings of the media and seemingly get more attention than Kate Upton at public photo shoot. The list of players who so widely irritate is nearly endless from Michael Irvin, Derek Jeter, Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Deion Sanders, and Terrell Owens.
I understand this love-hate dynamic better than most given I am an avowed hater of the Yankees and a passionate life long fan of the Dallas Cowboys. For the record we of the Evil Empire revel in your hatred and jealousy of us! Hopefully my beloved Cowboys are even more hated by my fellow Kansas Citians after they take a victory from the Chiefs in Arrowhead this year.
The Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers both deserve mentions in this article as they are much like basketballs version of The Cowboys and The Yankees. The have controversial players, play to the media, have long winning histories, and just generally irritate. A nod also needs to go North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, and Kentucky especially after the arrival of Coach John Calipari.
As promised here is the short list of teams I personally love to hate and I would love to hear about yours as well!
The Kansas City Chiefs.
This one might come as a surprise given I write for a Kansas City based site but there is no professional team outside of the Yankees I despise more. I know. How can I be such a loyal Royals fan and hate the Chiefs you ask! As I shared earlier, I am a lifelong Cowboys fan and to say I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst my Chief loving family is an understatement to say the least. Being a child of the 70’s and living on a central Kansas farm where we received three clear T.V. channels on a good day my sports viewing choices were pretty limited. The only teams ever playing on T.V were the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Couple that with the fact my best friends uncle brought us cool memorabilia from the Cowboys games he regularly attended and there you have it. A Cowboy fan was born.
I clearly remember the Thanksgiving Day I announced to the family I was a Cowboys fan as the played the Detroit Lions. You could hear a pin drop in the room and from that day forward the razzing was relentless but it only made my passion for the Cowboys stronger. When I moved to the KC area for College I discovered that not only was my family delusional over a team who had not sniffed a Super Bowl since before I was born and talked themselves into believing Joe Montana might enter Canton as a Chief but here was a whole city blinded by Arrowhead pride!
The hatred grew even stronger as I had to hear about the Chiefs non stop all year around. I try to be objective about the Chiefs I really do but I would not be telling the truth if I did not say I was absolutely delighted in last years 2-14 team. Long live Peyton Manning and God bless you wherever you may be Scott Pioli.
The Washington Redskins.
I am a Cowboys fan. Not much else needs to be said except for the love that is football please get that obnoxious Joe Theisman off the airwaves! In a cruel twist of sports fate one of the greatest Kansas Jayhawks of all time was also one of the greatest Redskins of all time. John Riggins why did you have to be a Redskin? Oh the angst!
The Missouri Tigers
Being a life long Jayhawk my hatred of Missouri, or Mizzery, as I like to call them, began long before I ever stepped foot on Mt. Oread. Even before Missouri tucked tail and ran to the SEC for football mediocrity and for less money than they received from the Big 12 no team, including the Chiefs, have I hated more. A black cloud seems to follow this jinxed University and I revel in each and every rain drop from the infamous 5th down game vs Colorado to the coast to coast drive of Tyus Edney keeping Missouri’s perfect record of never reaching a Final Four intact.
I can honestly say I do not miss Mizzou and outside of their own fans hardly anybody in the KC sports scene seems to really care about them since the move. I really thought I might miss the rivalry but I just don’t and apparently neither does most of Kansas City. But thanks for ruining what was the best rivalry west of the Mississippi Mizzou!
Honorable Mention…I guess.
I want to list Kansas State here. Really I do but I just can’t bring myself to get emotional about the Purple People in Manhattan. I want to despise them but how can I despise what amounts to the clumsy but well meaning little brother to KU whose biggest aspirations are to be like Big Brother Jayhawk?
Yes, I know in recent years they have whipped the pants off Kansas in football, but the all time record still favors the Jayhawks 65-40-5, and that is after Kansas State’s so called rise to dominance. Sorry Power Cats, it is just hard for me not to be a bid indifferent toward you. As former Wildcat basketball coach Bob Huggins said,
“Somebody told me one time to have a rivalry you have to win once in a while, otherwise it’s not much of a rivalry.”
Really, what is not to like about a Grandfatherly figure of a football coach who will sooner than later step back into retirement and likely leave KSU with another Ron Prince. I will not even talk about Bruce Weber as my fellow Kansans to the west deserve far better, even if they did run off the very animated but likeable Frank Martin. At least State fans can take solace in the fact that one school really dislikes them as Iowa fans still have not forgiven Kansas State for ripping off their logo!