I've learned something about myself this week. I enjoy hating things much more than I enjoy loving them.
I know this because I enjoyed this year's Super Bowl, when my least favorite sports team this side of the 2004 Lakers lost, much more than last year's Super Bowl, when my favorite team won the championship for the first time ever.
Now, there may be some extenuating circumstances. First, last year, the big game was the AFC championship against the Patriots, which I enjoyed more than either of the Super Bowls, obviously. The Super Bowl was sort of a let down after that.
Second, the Colts' Super Bowl opponent was the Chicago Bears. I have a small collection of friends who are Bears fans. They're nice and friendly. The Bears were a respectable enough team without any major personality flaws, and I sort of commisserated with the agony of following Rex Grossman every week. And they posed no threat to the Colts outside of Devin Hester, so the win was pretty much expected, unlike in the Pats game two weeks earlier that was totally in the air. That takes a lot out of the celebration.
This year, I had pretty much written the Giants off along with the rest of the world. There is no way possible they can stop the steady stream of 7 yard passes that the Pats would call and cover Randy Moss at the same time, I reasoned, so the Pats should win in a blowout, and I will hate the NFL just a little bit more. I did not foresee Tom Brady utterly sucking for four quarters, with Wes Welker being his first, second, and only option. The surprise factor added to my joy at seeing the Pats lose. Furthermore, the Giants were without their more toolish elements, Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, and the thought of the Pats losing to a Manning two years straight made me happy.
But, in retrospect, the fact remains that I like watching teams I hate lose more than I like watching my team win. During my senior year at Wabash College, I got a column for the school paper. I covered DePauw University football for the Entertainment section. Since most of my knowlege of football comes from years of playing Tecmo Super Bowl, my column consisted of a third of a page making fun of them and laughing at their ineptitude, even though they were a legitimate team. And a lot of people complimented me on it, even to the point that people would complain when I would skip their away games because I didn't feel like driving to Hope, Michigan or suffering through their student-run webcast. It was simply more fun for me to hate DePauw than it was to cheer for Wabash more often than not.
That was 2004. I spent the NBA season inexplicably watching every Lakers game with Nando and making jokes about Kobe Bryant being a rapist, Karl Malone and Gary Payton being tools, and Shaq being an obnoxious jerk. I think they had a fifth starter that I also hated (Rick Fox, maybe?), but I can't remember what we said about him. Oh, we also made fun of the TV announcers that spent every second of every game, whether or not the Lakers were playing, talking about how the Lakers were one of the best teams of all time, even though the Minnesota Timberwolves sported a better record and the best player in the league. This was while the Pacers were still title contenders, but I was really looking forward to the Lakers losing more than anything else.
So, yes. I'm hate filled, as it turns out, which probably explains my recent obsession with the Judge Parker sandwich watch. In my defense, it's at least a very quiet hatred most of the time. Anyone surprised?
*and while I'm on Star Wars quotes, "Oh Ani, hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo," was chosen as one of the worst lines ever in a Yahoo! front page feature. I have a difficult time not clicking on those things, even when I'm not interested in the subject matter. Whoever designs them deserves a raise.