Friday, January 26, 2007

Hate Muscles

While some may be spending the off-season on the banquet tour and making personal appearances or shooting guest spots for "Ugly Betty" (which by the way I will never watch just for the pure fact that the population of Queens is inaccurately portrayed as a bunch of high-haired Jersey stereotypes from Wildwood) or the Jerry Springer Show (like our friend A.J. Pierzynski), your blogger is pulling a Clubber Lang, pining away in a dingy basement dripping with toilet condensation, flexing his hate muscles in preparation for the upcoming season. I've learned, much like players have learned years ago, that you can't use spring training to get in shape, you have to hit spring training in your prime. That's why I'm sitting around continuing to yell at the television months after Busch Stadium was littered with red and white confetti.

Because you see, while others are flexing muscles of the physical persuasion, the muscles I work on are the catharctic muscles of the soul, the ability to channel my passion into well timed expletives at the television screen, pretending they can hear other words, hate muscles. I very well can't go through October through March being a nice decent human being, and then all of a sudden perform and instant morph into, with apologies to Pat Verbeek, the little ball of hate that I usually am and heckle the tee-vee when Tony La Russa shows up on it...I could pull a muscle.

What I am learning this winter is that sometimes, hate makes strange bedfellows. Take this past weekend's disaster involving the New England Patriots. Those who know me well know that the Pats have become the NFL's answer to the New York Yankees when it comes to teams that I root against on general principle. There are many similarities when it comes to both franchises: each team with a Golden Boy that hawks Movado watches in his spare time. Both with head coaches that are classic cases of "good turns evil" (although one merely plays the part on television, the other is an honest to goodness classless imbecile.) One resides in my backyard, one resides in my division.

So imagine my surprise not only when the Colts finally vanquished the Patriots, but when the people that came up to me telling me how happy they were that the Patriots and their sparkling tooth quarterback Brady were finally eliminated were...

Yankee fans?

Wait a second, the same Yankee fans who go around Las Vegas and cheer audibly when the house wins...the same Yankee fans who have the sparkling tooth shortstop to go along with the sparkling tooth quarterback...are happy to see their NFL counterparts die?


Yeah I know, some Yankee fans are probably frustrated Jets fans as well, but does anyone see the irony in this?

Bill Simmons, a diehard Boston sports fan, wrote a great column which not only drew the parallels between the Yankees (who he hates) and the Patriots (who he loves), but also wonders if we, in our vacuum of sports, hate too much? Well I'm not going to advocate hating any less...but hating for the sake of hating can probably be hazardous to your health. After the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993, I can remember being sick of those guys, hoping that their run would come to a swift and painless end the following season (which it did, along with an entire round of playoffs). But then as the Yankees were winning championship after championship in the late nineties, and capping their run off with me in attendance, you know what I thought?

Damn...I miss the Blue Jays.

These are the kinds of things I learn through my off-season hate training program while I find new things to complain about. And yes, after the Mets did the right thing and kept Willie Randolph from touching down at Port St. Lucie as a lame duck (for which I give full marks), I do need to find new things to complain about (Aaron Sele...maybe?) Rest assured that I'm in my dingy basement working on my "hate pecks", finding that new and exciting thing to be hateful about...but know that I will do so selectively and thoughtfully, so as not to pull a muscle.

Now what did you say, Jimmy Rollins? I'll beat you like a dog...a dog! You hear?

(Oh, and P.S., Since Rex Grossman admitted that he didn't really try in that last Bears game against the Packers, and in the process cost me an extra $400, I don't think I would put any of my hate muscles in danger by pulling for the Colts on February 4th to end the Bears' season miserably. However I have no doubt that the Bears will cover the spread just to piss off anyone who would lay the points. Colts 29, Bears 24)


elliot said...

I know that it's the offseason, soothsayer, and your hate muscles are admittedly not in full form. Still - how can you leave Jeff Suppan off of the hate list? Jeff Suppan who winked at our guys before striking them out? Just thinking of him is giving my hate muscles a workout.

Anonymous said...

Metstra - Like you, I try to keep my hate muscles in shape. The Patriots help. As do the Rangers. And I keep re-reading the stroy of Braden Looper leading the "Jose Jose Jose" chant in the Cardinals locker room after Game 7.
Oh how I hope they make him a starter. Could you imagine the joy of battering him around in the first inning?

Metstradamus said...

Braden Looper is the Ellis Hobbs of major league baseball.

Jadier said...

Loved the Simmons article. Its funny how sports fans idolize the dynasty (dominant) teams such as the Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Yankees, Reds, Duke, UConn but at the same time rail against them because they are "sick" of their success. How about appreciating great games and great teams? How about appreciating the underdogs that win and the favorite teams that fulfill expectations? There's also a little too much hate in the world to let it spill over to something as trivial as sports. Root for your team and let it go.

Vicki said...

There is nothing wrong with keeping the hate muscles in shape - I am in Tampa, FL and we still love Tony Dungy, so hating the Pats is easy and normal.

On a high note, I was able to get tickets to see the Mets play the Sox in Ft Myers. The Mets don't usually come on the west coast to play during spring training. They are playing the Devil Rays and I have those tickets too, but they were pretty easy to get.

I am ready to start this season, already.

Anonymous said...

As a Giants fan, I never had a problem with the Pats growing up. I actually rooted for them against the Bears and Rams. It wasn't until that first victory parade when I heard Massholes chanting "Yankees Suck!" That I grew to dislike them.

To be honest, I still don't hate the team, although Belichick is a classless boob and "me against the world, noone believed in us" chatter is a little old. My hatred stems from never wanting Red Sox fans to be happy. Ever.

I hate the Mets, but I like the Jets even though most Mets fans are Jets fans. I need a break from the Hate Wars and the offseason is a perfect opportunity.

Hate is kind of like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to do it.

OJisQuiteGuilty said...

OJ cut his wife's head off and liberals just keep crying about Ethical Relativism! Go back to franceyou commies!

Anonymous said...

"Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating."