Why The Haters?
by Brian North

This past weekend featured some emotional and memorable moments in sports. Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR race in Martinsville just months after a plane crash in the area killed 11 members of Hendrick Motor Sports (the company that owns Gordon's team). It was a great tribute to those who died, yet there were many people who booed Gordon and his Hendrick teammates in victory lane.

Tiger Woods had a dramatic win at the Masters, and dedicated the win to his ailing father who's health has been in consistent decline for some time. Yet Woods victory turned the stomachs of many fans who root against him every time he plays.

Why the hate? In my advancing age, I am losing touch with my youth, but I believe it's called "player hating" when fans root for an athlete or team to lose, more than they root for their favorite player or team to win. Maybe they want those who are successful to be more like themselves, losers. Or maybe its to mask their own insecurities.

I can understand why some baseball fans dislike the big market teams (the Yankees have more money to spend, and can pay higher salaries to high profile players), where the system gives some teams an advantage. I can understand ECU fans hating the BCS, because it is non-inclusive and it gives a select few universities an unfair financial advantage. Those are things that need to be corrected, but you can't blame the teams who take advantage of the rules. Unless of course they are the ones who put the system in place.

But why hate on those who are talented and work hard? I can understand being dissatisfied with those who have talent and squander it, we see those examples every day. But why not appreciate history in the making? We are lucky enough to be alive in a great sports era. We are watching perhaps the greatest golfer and race car driver in the primes of their careers.

Sometimes in this era of "smack talk" it seems that hate is in, degrading opponents is king. We already have enough hate in the world, I would rather appreciate greatness as it unfolds and cherish the memories.

Brian North