Just What's in a Rivalry?

Paul PreibisiusAnalyst IDecember 4, 2009

While I normally attempt to keep my articles to a more journalistic (amateur that they may be) perspective, 135 miles worth of daily commuting makes for a many “what ifs” and “I wonders” to tap dance through my skull. 

Occasionally this means something with a more directly opinion/curiosity over hypothetical/analysis leaks through.

The concept of the hyper-rivalry, and an intrigue over it, is one of those such times.  I am a fervent Chargers fan, enough that a loss will equate to at least one broody, sullen day (which I suppose is better than flat-out angry).  So when it comes to my own team, emotions can run quite strong.

To spend just as much emotional effort hating another team escapes me.  I get the idea of rivalry, and any division win is just a little bit sweeter than a ‘normal’ game. 

Yet on the converse, I can’t actually dig up the same passion against the other team as I have for my own.

I am more knowledgeable on a game by game/play by play basis when discussing my choice of favorite team, this is undeniable. 

Yet I still enjoy going into a Raider or Bronco forum and playing with hypotheticals and conjecture about what is going on with a given team, what might be done to improve, etc.

It baffles me to go to an article about a rival team, just for to lambast and trash said team.  What is the allure of that strong of a disdain? 

It is not pure jealousy, as some argue.  I have seen too many fans of ‘good’ teams bash a struggling rival, or a fan of a middling team bash a rival team of similar performance/quality (and every variation in between). 

Sports are about strong feelings and support.  No one expects a valium-hazed lot to sing kumbaya in the parking lot before a game.  But why not put that energy into doubling support of one’s own team?

This is not a rebuke, it would be hypocritical to pretend to tell folks how to be a fan.  It is, on the contrary, curiosity.  What is the attraction of it?  Why do you enjoy it (if ‘enjoy’ is the right word)? 

Could you ever bring yourself to take a third-party look at a rival team?  Please fire away with comments on either side of the fence.

Related

    Julio Jones Isn't Drinking the TO Kool-Aid

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Julio Jones Isn't Drinking the TO Kool-Aid

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report

    Brady Hints at Retiring at 45 with IG Comment

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Brady Hints at Retiring at 45 with IG Comment

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Jameis Braces for Suspension

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Jameis Braces for Suspension

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    Eric D. Williams
    via ESPN.com