To start off, I want to clarify something. Hate is not OK. Hate is bad, hate is strong, and I try to never use that word in my day-to-day vocabulary. However, “sports hate” is completely different. Sports hate is great because, like sports in general, it allows the passion of “hate” without the anger behind it. For the rest of this post, any time I say “hate,” it will be in reference to sports hate.
That being said, I hate the University of Arizona.
There always seems to be that one person, place, school, thing, pet peeve, memory, or feeling that just makes you jumpy. It makes you feel like something is wrong with the world. That “team down south” does exactly that for me. I know part of that is attributed to my background — both parents graduated from ASU and I did as well. I think one of the first phrases I ever spoke was “The Wildcats stink on ice.” (I still don’t really know what that means, but I think it effectively conveys the right message.) Even though I was bred to hate them, my hatred has increased throughout the years.
This Saturday, ASU plays UA in the annual “Duel in the Desert” for the chance to win the Territorial Cup, the nation’s oldest rivalry trophy. ASU won 30-29 last year on 2 blocked extra points in double overtime, in one of the more exciting games of the season. In just three days we renew this rivalry, and I can just feel the hate beginning to boil.
In no particular order here are some things I hate about them:
Their colors: unoriginal as possible. Yeah, red and blue have never been used at another school before, real creative. Their mascot: Wildcats…yeah, you and 10,000 other schools have that one. The insistence on being a “basketball school:” You know that the University of San Francisco has twice as many titles as you guys have all time in basketball, right? As good as Lute Olsen was, you guys were a constant disappointment. You’re not a basketball school like Kansas or Duke, and you never will be. The fans: Rude as possible. Any time that a 60-year-old man decides to shove my girlfriend to the ground in line for a soda just because she was “in the way,” it sends a bad message about your fans. (There are many more stories; I’ll share some on next week’s ATB after the game) Mike Stoops: While he made me laugh (seriously, the guy was a joke), and he sucked as a coach (enough to get fired) and was just someone who I loved to hate. Possibly most of all, they tried to keep ASU from even becoming a university in 1958, wanting to be the only university in the state. To this day they hold on to the “Arizona’s first university” motto. First doesn’t always mean best, kids. Those are some major self-confidence issues.
I could go on for about 10,000 words on all the reasons I hate them, but I think the message is out there strongly. Rivalry week is here, and it’s time to let the hatred flow.
(Yeah, they’ve never made a Rose Bowl. They hate when you mention that.)
Bonus hate: I hate what the ASU team has done these past two weeks against lesser opponents. ASU is, and always will be, my team, but this has just been pathetic. ASU had a chance to go “to places we’d never been before” (in Coach Erickson’s words) and then they crapped all over themselves. This team needs to make the Rose Bowl this year, or Erickson may be out of a job. I don’t know if I subscribe to that feeling quite yet, but my hatred level is growing. All of that said, I think the Sun Devils come out and dominate on Saturday, and win convincingly.