Things in Sports That Are OK to Hate
If you've got sports hate in your heart—let it out. That is, if you've got a legitimate beef.
Indeed, most fan-hate is overblown, reactionary and unwarranted. Every dropped ball and bad coaching decision doesn't call for a fresh hole in the dry wall.
That being said, there are times and occasions when angrily shaking a fist is your God-given right as a sports fan. You have to pick your targets wisely, however.
The following is a selection of my pet peeves in sports—the stuff I can yell about at B/R's annual "Player Haters Ball" and not feel like a towering jerk the next day.
Now, as I sip my soda that I'm sure somebody spit in, I'd like to introduce the 15 Things in Sports That Are Okay to Hate.
*Sees Roger Goodell's face. World goes red.*
Pick your poison, because there are plenty of options for this one. Every sports fan who pays attention to the game has at one point had an issue with the commissioner of one league or another.
And as commissioner, being hated is part of their job description. Their responsibilities include promoting the league, enforcing rules and absorbing all the criticism and fallout that incurs. As David Stern has proved, the friction between fan and commissioner can even be a friendly hate—if such a thing exists.
Go ahead and boo if you disagree with their policies. They signed up for this tour of duty, and never once believed they'd make it through without taking flack.
Your Fantasy Football Team
It might not be this week or the next, but at some point over the course of the 2013-14 season, you will lose your (bleep) over fantasy football.
It's okay. Let it out. Hating your team is natural, because you—you dumb jabroni—could've done so much better drafting and making roster adjustments.
One thing to remember: Don't hate the player—hate yourself for not managing your people correctly.
Warning: Video contains some coarse language.
Learning how to properly hate a lockout takes some time, but after an agonizing week or two of going without your favorite sport you'll be a professional (and potentially dangerous) lockout revolutionary.
Take it from NHL fans, who have mastered the art of despising their league's governing body and voicing their disgust with suspensions of play.
Consistently Missed Free Throws
There's no excuse for shooting under 50 percent from the free-throw line as a professional basketball player. Zero.
Hating the NCAA—so hot right now.
I could spend the afternoon musing over the library catalogue of injustices perpetrated by the NCAA, but time constraints force to leave it at this:
Between its botched investigation of the University of Miami (FL), dubious online search engine programming and grasping half-game suspensions of players without evidence, the NCAA isn't giving fans any reason to respect it.
The best athletes in sports don't always phone it in—but when they do—they do it during the all-star game.
Being selected as one of the premier players in your league is an honor, but playing hard and potentially injuring yourself during an exhibition game doesn't make financial sense for star athletes today.
Some all-star games have been tweaked to boost competition and viewership (see: MLB All-Star's home field advantage prize), but events like the Pro Bowl and the NBA Dunk Contest continue to be treated as an unfortunate but necessary preamble to a big celebratory dinner.
And no, wanting more out of all-star games doesn't make you demanding. You're just crazy because you want to see all-stars play like all-stars.
The BCS System
Why have playoffs when you can just run the numbers?
The BCS system is on its way out of college football, and in 2014 it will be replaced by a four-team playoff format.
The shift from the BCS to a playoff system is dramatic, but the change will only serve the fans, most of whom have been lusting for this day.
The BCS' methods of picking larger market programs with one loss over smaller market, undefeated teams might've been right most of the time—but in every case? We'll never know.
With that said, it's still popular to hate the BCS. No one would blame you for holding a grudge, especially if you're a fan of a program the system kept from a shot at a national title.
On the other hand, the BCS helped take college football to a level of fame and attention that it had never seen before. We'll all look back on it one day and chuckle.
'The Sandlot 2'
Sandlot 2 is a lot like the first Sandlot, if the first Sandlot was a straight-to-DVD movie that made you want to fall into a well.
The producers of Sandlot 2 literally recycled the same premise as the original movie, moved the date line forward 10 years and threw in a shiny model rocket ship.
Do not watch this film. Just don't.
Few things in this world are more worthy of your complete and utter disdain than the act of willfully feigning injury in the name of winning a sporting event.
Flopping has gone international. If it were a business, its stock would be rising precipitously, with little to no government supervision. Leagues have tried to implement anti-flopping policies, but they're not doing enough.
Consider it this way: The NBA, NFL and FIFA are companies selling consumers a product. Fans want the authentic goods—the genuine article. As such, we're afforded the right to hate any and every instance where an athlete attempts to defraud the game by flopping.
First Down Celebrations
It's a first down—not a cure for lupus.
There's nothing wrong with getting hyped over a BIG third or fourth down conversion, but when you're pointing the ball downfield and jaw-jacking after a nine-yard gain in the first quarter, you're trying too hard.
"Hate" is such a strong word, and that's why prima donnas love it.
Hatred—or perceived hatred—is the fuel that feeds the prima donna's soul. It's their life essence, their "chi" and their morning breakfast.
With that, hating a prima donna is a win-win proposition for all parties involved. They give you a voodoo doll to stab railroad spikes into, and your hate provides them with a sense of self-embattlement that will only propel them to greater heights of fame and d-baggery.
Pointless Fines and Bans
There are two kinds of rules in sports.
The first kind is designed to facilitate play, protect players from injury and make the game fair. They're not always the most fun, but they serve a purpose aimed at bettering the sport.
The second kind of rule, however, tells athletes what kind of shirt they can wear and/or which direction they can wipe while on the john. These rules are designed to enrage fans and put money in the league's pockets, and whoever created them should be chased into a ravine by jackals.
Stadium Food Prices
Beer, hot dogs and everything else.
Hating the inflated prices of stadium food and alcohol isn't just your right as a fan, it's an integral part of the stadium experience. It's like the tree falling in the forest phenomenon.
If you don't roll your eyes when you shell out $9 for a Budweiser, did you even go to the game?
Let loose the hate and don't indulge in debate with Skip Bayless.
ESPN's most polarizing personality makes a living by riling fans up, and if Bayless isn't actively causing you to consider hurling your body through your television screen, he isn't doing his job.
If you leave a championship game early because your team is down two baskets, you don't deserve to have a team.
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