The genesis of this article came last Monday night. Lady E worked late. I breathed easily after a local news piece on my company that could have gone either way turned out largely positive. The Rockies sat 12-3 with the best record in all of baseball, and the buttfucking World Series Champion San Francisco Giants rolled into town for a little old school baseball bloodmatch. The team that had it against the hot team that wanted it. Fuck yeah! Baseball time!

Then Esmil Rogers promptly exploded and spotted five runs in the first inning to Tim Lincecum, giving up a 3-run homer to goddamn Pat Burrell who was hitting .190 at that point and one epic shot immediately thereafter to Nate Schierholtz who, despite being someone I have never fucking heard of, became the first one to put it in the right field upper deck this season. Christ…

This reminded me of just how much I hate the fucking Giants. Granted, I don’t hate them enough to beat one of their fans into a coma, but then I’m not a Los Angeles psychopath. I sporthate the Giants an appropriate amount. This led me to think about who else is at the peak of my sporthate.

As you might imagine, there’s a list that follows. Feel free to chime in with the teams you hate in the comments section and why they deserve to lose every game this season, and badly. First, here are the honorable mentions with a brief explanation of why they’re (almost) the worst teams ever.

  • ·         The New Jersey Devils – Jacques Lemaire should be treated to a daily hot lava enema for foisting the neutral zone trap on the world and making 90s and early 2000s hockey 60% more boring.
  • ·         The New York Mets – Who cheers for the Mets? Wall Street cockwanks, and non-Wall Street cockwanks. Also, fuck 1969.
  • ·         Duke Blue Devils – Entitled, elitist twats who have perfected the art of subtle racism better than anyone outside of Fox News anchors.
  • ·         Chicago White Sox – Hawk Harrelson (He gone! Guh.) and Ozzie Guillen are reason enough, really.
  • ·         San Antonio Spurs – I irrationally hate Manu Ginobili way more than I should. I hate his big, stupid nose, I hated his long hair, I hate his current bald spot, I hate that he only goes left and still no one can stop him, and I REALLY hate his constant flopping. Also, Bruce Bowen was the filthiest player ever.
  • ·         The Arizona Diamondbacks – Can’t sell out playoff games, overpaid for irritatingly self-satisfied Eric Byrnes, have a remarkable intangible quality that makes my skin crawl.
  • ·         The entire SEC football conference This. Ick.
  • ·         Vancouver Canucks – Fuck Todd Bertuzzi. A should-be felon who cannot possibly get hit in the face enough for my liking. Also, Steve Moore still isn’t playing because of Bertuzzi, yet Bertuzzi is. There truly is no justice in the world.

And now it’s time for the Main Event. Here are E Dagger’s least favorite teams in all of sport.

5. Colorado Buffaloes Football

I’ll admit that I grew up a CU Buffs fan. I was 8 when they beat Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl and won (half of) a National Championship. I was 13 when Kordell Stewart’s prayer was answered by Michael Westbrook against Michigan. Unfortunately I was in the bathroom at the outlet stores in Silverthorne when it happened and felt like a jackass missing one of the coolest plays in the history of college football, but that’s life, right? There’s a semi-horrid photo of me somewhere in my parents’ house at Christmas when I was 12 wearing a giant Buffs sweatshirt and a black and gold matching hat. This photo makes me shiver just thinking about it now.

And why? The Rocky Mountain Showdown. Specifically: The 2002 Rocky Mountain Showdown when that filthy CU shitstain chased Bradlee Van Pelt into the endzone looking for a late hit even though he’d already scored. So BVP did what BVP does and spiked the ball into this dickhole’s face. No reason to stand for that. Chump got what was coming to him.

You’d think BVP raped Ralphie while pissing on the school symbol judging by the amount of bellyaching and whining CU fans did after that play. BVP’s a dirty player! He’s a thug! He has a mullet! Waaaaahhhhhh! This only set up what I’d come to learn later anecdotally (and quasi-scientifically) – CU has the worst fans in the Big 12.

Before we go any further, I’d like to make an acknowledgement. I went to Colorado State, and remain very proud of my time there. But I’ll admit that our when our own fans weren’t busy acting more fair-weather than the mannequins at Miami Heat games, they could be just as loudmouthed and obnoxious as any other fans in the league. With that said, they don’t hold a candle to Buffs fans.

This is a fanbase that’s bad enough when the team is actually good (becoming more and more of a distant memory after what had to be the dreadful Hawkins era), and insufferable when the team is merely mediocre. You’d think this team was fucking UCLA basketball in the late 60s with the amount of ugly trash talk and petulant elitism that happens every game besides Nebraska’s annual buffalo gangrape. And even there CU fans won’t shut up as they slash Nebraska fans’ tires.

Example: Our friends get together every year for the Rocky Mountain Showdown with a fairly even divide between CU alums and CSU alums. A fair amount of good-natured ribbing is to be expected, but man alive can CU fans escalate things quickly. Despite hailing from a school in the thick of Betsy Hoffman, Gary Barnett, Ward Churchill, and a bunch of other ugliness, CU fans took the fun of an Evite and littered it with bitter invective, name-calling, and lots of other charming rhetoric you’d expect from residents of the People’s Republic of Boulder.

If CSU were such a pissant little school, what’s with getting so worked up? I suppose that’s all part of the fun of being a CU Buffs fan. That, and you get to throw batteries at opposing players and light couches on fire in the street whenever your team wins a meaningless football game. Also, you get to go falsetto in your school fight song and remind your team not to roll over and fucking die right in the middle of it. Good times!

*Exceptions for any CU fans I actually like, such as my brother-in-law, buddy Keith (not Keithage, a different one), and sister-in-law CassieB who holds the unique distinction of actually getting booed during a wedding toast. Her crime? You guessed it, concluding her speech with “Go Buffs” to a room full of CSU graduates.

4. Every other team in the AFC West

I tried to narrow this down to just one team. I really did. But as I would lean to one team or another, a different part of my brain would fly in and go “Wait, what about Schottenheimer?!” or some shit, and I’d have to reconsider the whole argument again. I really, really hate all of these teams. This is one area where the NFL is clearly superior to every other sport– divisional rivalries.

When the Avalanche play the Wild or the Oilers, I say meh. When the Cubs play the Pirates, whatever. But Broncos VS Any of these three fuckhead teams? LET THERE BE BLOOD! The best thing about this division (and I suspect is true of most divisions in the NFL – especially the NFC North, AFC North, and NFC East), is all of the teams think their rivalry with all the other teams is the best. I always figured Broncos/Raiders was the best rivalry considering all the “Raider Hater” stickers around here, but then I found about a hundred pages like this and an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the Raiders/Chiefs rivalry. Then I remembered how much I loved watching Shanahan and Reeves kick Schottenheimer and the Chiefs in the teeth in the playoffs year after year. But I then I thought about how recently (barring last year, of course) both the Chiefs and Raiders have sucked the meat missile and how much I wanted the Broncos to put their boot in Philip Rivers’ fat mouth. So I decided to hate them all equally and bash them with equal voracity. Here goes:

San Diego Chargers: If anyone has a more punchable face than Philip Rivers, I have yet to find it. Just a screaming, sarcastic, sneering, preening jerk if there ever was one. I keep waiting for one of his wide receivers to go completely postal on him after Phil condescends to him for failing to catch a horribly thrown ball. LaDainian Tomlinson was a snot-nosed, limpdicked quitter. And Norv Turner is an incompetent pantywaist who chokes every year in the playoffs despite having the most talent. In summation, there’s a lot to hate about this team, which is what makes it so much goddamn fun.

Kansas City Chiefs: Remember the Broncos first Super Bowl victory? Of course you do. The playoffs that year served as the Broncos’ Revenge Tour as they defeated basically every team that beat them in the regular season en route to winning it all. To this day it’s the most satisfying playoff experience I’ve ever had as a fan. One of the things that made it all the sweeter was watching the Chiefs go down in flames with inexplicably bad clock management and worse execution as Marty Schottenheimer stood on the sidelines looking he was just made to watch amputee porn after I read one of the most blatantly inflammatory articles in sports journalism history where some jagoff from Kansas City referred to our players with quaint nicknames like Ed “Tackling Dummy” McCaffrey and Neil $mith. He jabbed at Elway’s weird teeth, and probably Mike Shanahan’s too. It symbolized everything I ever hated about the Chiefs. Hell, it’s fucking 14 years later and I still want to find that guy (I can’t for the life of me find the article archived online anywhere) and give him the finger right to his face after beating him that year. That’s tasty Hatesport!

Oakland Raiders: The worst for last. Al Davis is basically a hobgoblin who disdains his fanbase enough to move the team away from its home and back without even being smart enough to get a new stadium out of the deal. The fans dress like cartoons and root for a team that for the better part of a decade has been fucking terrible. And if there’s a dirtier team historically, that team would have to include Ty Cobb. Everything about the Raiders and their fans is objectionable. Criminal behavior, gang affiliation, Howie Long… the list goes on and on.

And then there’s this little gem. Flying back from DC, Lady E and I were in the same row as some youth leader. In front of us were three adolescent little shits who couldn’t sit still. When we landed, the little head fuckface announces to everyone within earshot, “I hate Denver. The worst football team in the NFL…” Turns out he’s a Raider fan, which he doesn’t shut up about for 5 goddamn minutes. “If we would have had to travel like two extra hours not to land in Denver, that’d be worth it. I hate Denver.” Your young Raider fans, ladies and gentlemen!

3. St. Louis Cardinals

Born out of jealousy more than anything else. The Cardinals are generally a well-run franchise that employs good players, savvy management, and has a knowledgeable and largely classy fanbase. This is basically the antithesis of my first favorite team ever, the Chicago Cubs. Number of Cubs championships in my lifetime: 0. Number of Cardinals championships: 2. Guh. And hooray, these two teams are huge rivals with each other, so you can imagine how much fun it is to stare at these assholes several times a year directly in front of you reminding you of everything you’re not. Whee!

Four exceptions here: 1) Tony La Russa. We’ve covered him at length before, so no need to beat a dead horse here. 2) In 1989 ex-Cub, and noted jerk, Frank DiPino tried to bean Mark Grace with an inside pitch during a June Cubs/Cardinals game. Grace charged the mound, got a few shots in on DiPino, and ultimately ended up with a separated shoulder in the scuffle. I always hated DiPino after that. But he sucked, so the universe took care of that one. 3) David Eckstein never annoyed me more than when he played for the Cardinals. This is still hilarious. 4) Ryan Theriot can choke on a cock and die. When he was traded to the Cardinals this year, he said “I’m finally on the right side of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry.” We hope St. Louis is enjoying his status as 3rd most in the league in errors and constant caught-stealings. This says it better than I ever could. Fuck Ryan Theriot.

2. Detroit Red Wings

Scroll down to the Sergei Fedorov section of this piece and you’ll get a nice hate lather going again for the Red Wings. There’s a line between sporthating someone and that ugly part of your soul where you secretly think awful things about real people. The way I feel about the Red Wings rides that line like Phillipe Petit crossing that wire between the Twin Towers.

For instance, there’s the fact they gainfully employ Todd Bertuzzi, perpetrator of probably the worst act of on-ice terrorism this sport has ever seen. I boo Todd Bertuzzi as if my life depended on it, but when I see him skate, I don’t feel the same as when I boo a Ryan Theriot at-bat on the Cardinals. I actually get angry at Todd Bertuzzi because of how profoundly he affected another man’s life – a man who played on my favorite team, which has given me a bevy of great sports memories. I think Todd Bertuzzi should be a convicted felon.

Then there’s Vladimir Konstantinov who I can’t even discuss rationally. I’ve tried writing this section a dozen times and it never comes out good. Let’s just say he’s in a wheelchair now and I don’t know how to feel about it. That’s intentionally vague, so whatever.

But before this whole article turns into a Debbie Downer piece, let’s get back to the fun.

Namely: Goalie fights! A hockey rivalry ain’t really a hockey rivalry until the goalies go at it. I want Patrick Roy to go at it with Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood, and Dominik Hasek! I want to see equipment littered throughout the rink! I want some haymakers from guys wearing giant leg pads, dammit!

The best thing about the Avs/Red Wings rivalry was how easy it was to hate the opposition. I’m not even going to pretend to know who Red Wings fans hated on the Avs (outside of Claude Lemieux), but I can sure as hell tell you how much I hated Kirk Maltby, Dino Ciccarelli, Fetisov, Larionov, Konstantinov (as well as all the other KGB criminals the Red Wings employed in the ‘90s), and especially Darren McCarty. I loathed Darren McCarty so much, he’s probably #2 in my all-time most hated list. That list looks like this: 5) Antonio Alfonseca; 4) Manu Ginobili; 3) Howie Long; 2) Darren McCarty; 1) Will Clark (who we’ll get to in a second).

But that’s exactly what you want out of your enemies – guys easy to hate. It’s boring that I respect Albert Pujols, but don’t hate him. I wish I could work up a lather for anyone on the Chiefs, but I don’t think I could I name three of their players. What am I talking about? I can’t even name one. But those Red Wings teams of the 90s? Hell yeah. I knew their roster up and down with dreams of Adam Foote putting ‘em in the boards. Hard. I still wish that. Mostly I just want the Avs not to suck anymore… and for the Red Wings to lose. Always.

1. San Francisco Giants

Nothing hurts you like it hurts you when you’re a kid. That’s why I hate the San Francisco Giants with the power of a thousand suns. They made little Dagger cry, and for that I can never forgive them.

When I was a kid, I was fiercely and irrationally loyal to the choices of my family. Whatever we bought – those were our brands and the other brands could fuck off and die. My family drank Pepsi, therefore I hated Coke. Wherever we shopped – the other stores were to be regarded as terrorist cells. We shopped at King Soopers, Safeway was for fuckers. No one taught me to be this way – it’s just that I loved my parents very much, so I thought it necessary to defend their choices by immediately demonizing the nearest alternatives. (I realize how little sense this made, and in retrospect, we probably shopped at King Soopers because there wasn’t a Safeway near us and King Soopers just happened to be closest. I was a strange child).

But where this still holds true is sports. We were die-hard Cub fans (both parents from metro Chicago), and in 1989 the Cubs were finally good in my lifetime. It was also the summer when I really started to understand baseball. I played a little bit, I was in the highest reading and math groups in elementary school, and the game finally started to make sense. So I followed the Cubs all summer.

I remember watching them clinch the National League East in Montreal in September because I pretended to be nervous and rock back and forth with one leg on the step like Paul Kilgus in the dugout (I do this involuntarily when I’m nervous now). I also remember my dad letting me celebrate with a pop on a weeknight (Pepsi, of course). I knew I was happy, but didn’t fully understand why. Division championships are sort of abstract when you’re 8.

Then came the Giants, and more specifically, then came Game 1 of the NLCS. Will Clark turned Greg Maddux into his personal bitch by going 4-4 with 2 HR, a double, and 6 RBI. His OPS for the game sat at a tidy 3.750. This kicked off my lifelong hatred of Will Clark. The Cubs won Game 2, but then fell short in classic Cub fashion in games 3,4 & 5. Naturally, Will Clark singled to plate two runs in the bottom of the 8th in Game 5 to break the Cubs’ backs just further cementing my desire to see him die miserably and lonely (metaphorically, of course… I think).

I had a babysitter pick me up from school the day of Game 5. He was a Giants fan for whatever unholy reason. When we came home, we turned on the TV and the game had just ended. The first image I saw was of some asshole pouring champagne all over Will Clark. My babysitter playfully taunted me and celebrated mildly, which made me forever hate him too. He wasn’t even obnoxious about it, but knowing what you know about my fierce animosity for the things that opposed my favorite things, you won’t be surprised to find out he never babysat me again.

I don’t think I ever recovered from this defeat and have hated the Giants ever since. It was perfect when they signed Barry Bonds because it made it so much easier to put your dislike in one place. The bloodless, joyless, dour pursuit of the home run record could be ignored by me on the first team I ever hated. Perfect. It was an efficient system.

I hated Will Clark. I hated Kevin Mitchell. I hated these guys when they moved onto other teams because they had that San Francisco Giants stink on ‘em. I hated Jeff Kent. I never hated Robb Nen, oddly enough, even though he used to kill the Rockies. But it continues. I hate Kung Fu Panda. I hate Brian Wilson and his shoe polish beard. I hate the grim concentration of Matt Cain. I don’t hate Lincecum even though he kills us too – he’s far too entertaining to watch. And I loved when the Angels’ Rally Monkey threw feces at the Giants in 2002 and rained on their parade in the World Series.

This is what sports is all about. I hate the fucking Giants with all of my being, and because I hate the Giants, I feel good about my life. Because in life I hate almost nobody. I’m generally a happy guy and don’t carry any genuine hate in my heart. I don’t even really hate the Giants. I hate them on the field, but would be happy to meet them, shake their hands, and wish them the best in person.

Because that’s one of the great things about sports. Whatever primal urge you feel, you get it out in a safe environment. When I see Antonio Alfonseca on TV, I get to yell, “Fuck you, you fat slob!” from the comfort of my own couch, which opens that release valve that prevents me from doing that to some poor asshole on the street.

I’m not a hateful guy, and I don’t endorse hating anyone. Unless it’s Will Clark or whoever broke your heart as a kid. So let’s hear who you sportshate. Give it to me in the comments.

Until next time…

edagger@crujonessociety.com