Watching Super Bowl week without a real dog in the fight reminds me that one of my principle motivations in sports is to hate certain teams. The Colts title last year was the first by one of my big four (Colts, Pacers, Reds, IU) since 1990, and only the 4th of my lifetime (81 and 87 Hoosiers as well). That means that most post-seasons, I’m left hunting for reasons to care. That reason is typically because I hate one of the teams involved. This year, I’m partially motivated by Eli’s presence, but mostly, I just hate the Patriots.
The primary season is sort of that way for me too. I grew up extremely political. My grandparents are staunch Democrats; my folks are Republicans. I used to care deeply. Since then, I’ve come to believe that politics are not the best method to change society and have moved my life and my interests in a different, and I think more productive direction. Most years, I don’t have a dog in the fight since no one out there really cares about the issue that is most important to me personally (poverty and immigrants’ rights). Last election, I participated in the traditional Latin American protest vote of voting “en blanco”. I went to the poll, voted, and left the ballot for president blank.
This year has been different. I still don’t have anyone that I want to vote for. Ah, but I have people to hate! For specific policy reasons that I’m not going to go into nor defend (save your emails telling me why I’m wrong; we aren’t going there), I HATE Hilliary Clinton and Mitt Romney. Violently, violently dislike them; I mean Patriots level hatred. Obama and McCain could be the reincarnations of Filmore and Nixon, and I would still be rooting for them; should either one go up against Clinton or Romney next fall, they have my vote. If they go up against each other, I’m lost. I’ve paid more attention to politics in the last three months than I had in the last three years combined. And that’s entirely driven by my hatred of two of the major candidates. I don’t really care who wins, but I sure care who loses.
Sports comes full circle. If you can’t have someone you love be in the big dance, having someone you hate at least keeps you interested.