Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is it okay to “Hate” Sidney Crosby?

A good friend and fellow blogger (actually she's female - so technically not a fellow at all - but you get the idea) took great exception to some of my posts recently.

She didn't like it when I wrote that my hatred for certain other hockey teams is my main interest in the Stanley Cup playoffs now that the Rangers didn't qualify.

And there more: She said I was immature for feeling this way..


Now I've always suspected that my blogger friend is a little more mature than I am (But I'm an inch taller - so there!). Of course - since my 16 year old is already embarrassed by some of my day-today antics - while my 11 year old still likes them - I guess that shows I'm not the most emotionally advanced tool in the shed (Editor - huh?) (Pucks: you know what I mean).

But - this is sports. We're supposed to like the team we root for. And we’re supposed to not like our long time rivals. Maybe even hate them.

Aren't we? I mean - I know the players come and go - particularly with Glen "revolving door" Sather at the helm. And I know that we're rooting for - and against uniforms. We’re rooting against laundry if you really want to get down to it.

But rivalries make it more fun. We have to have a rooting interest - or we're not rooting. And Sports are cathartic. That means we see two players collide and we feel like we've collided - and we release tension and it helps us avoid violence in our own lives. Our exaggerated emotions about Sporting events are a release – a safety valve that keeps us from acting out on those around us. (If you work at the post office – the preceding sentence may not apply to you)

And when we watch a player like Sidney Crosby take a dive – cheating - it is natural for us to dislike him for it. So we can observe and form opinions - even negative ones - about players - and by extension their teams.

But maybe the H word is the problem. There's a lot of hate in the world and maybe I shouldn't be fostering that language here. Even in a sports context. Even in fun.

So - when we root tonight for the Canadiens in game seven (Editor - finally some hockey!) we will mention that we dislike - not hate - Alex Ovechkin and his team.

Besides - if the Caps end up as the only team that can stop Sidney Crosby from the Cup finals - well - we'll start like them a whole lot more in a hurry.

I think I gotta think about this some more. (Go Habs.)

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