I just read this great article on Sports Illustrated called The Joy of Rooting Against LeBron ( http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/03/05/the-joy-of-rooting-against-lebron/?xid=cnnbin&hpt=Sbin ) where he introduced a new word to me called Clemenate.
Clemenate: (KLEM-a-nayt), verb, to hate an athlete (or a team) in an entirely healthy, fun sports way (rather than hating them in a crazed, stalking, loaded gun, insane sort of way)
I love watching football, both college and pro, more than any other sport. I will watch March Madness but I have lost a lot of my previous love of pro basketball. There are just too many baseball games during the season to get excited but I do watch the playoffs.
I have strong feelings about players and teams. I love, LOVE the New England Patriots, Boise State Broncos, WVU Mountaineers, and Boston Red Sox. To watch a game, I have to choose a side. Sometimes my husband tells me I am irrational in my absolute disgust in certain teams.
Some players I Clemenate are based on somewhat rational reasons, others because of things they have done whether on or off field. But I am absolutely passionate in my Clemenatia to the point that I have irritated people who are not used to watching a game with me.
This past Super Bowl had me at an impasse because I clemenate Ben Rothilsberger (I have never liked him and his off field problems have only added to my dislike of him) and the Pittsburgh Steelers in general and I clemenate Aaron Rodgers (I dislike him because I get sick of the announcers talking about him as if he equals Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, or Terry Bradshaw; he has a long way to go before being added to that illustrious company).
Ultimately, it was pretty easy, I just could not root for the Steelers, so my only choice was to root for the Packers. I can not watch a game without rooting for one side or the other. An added impetus for rooting for the Packers is because I picked them to win the game in my fantasy pick’em. And I probably picked the Packers because I didn’t want to have any reason to root for the Steelers. I know, it is irrational, but that is the fun.
Who do I passionately clemenate?
- As already mentioned, Ben Rothlisberger. I have never liked him, I think he is a jerk. Also not helping his case has been the arrogance of the Steelers early in the 2000’s thinking they were going to trounce the Patriots in the playoffs and getting trounced themselves.
- I have never liked the Jets, entirely understandable considering the are a division foe, but Rex Ryan just took it to another level. And anyone who says Mark Sanchez is a great quarterback has been sniffing glue. Having moments of brilliance does not make you a great quarterback.
- Dallas Cowboys, I never liked the Cowboys, but if I hear them referred to as America’s Team one more time, I think I may stroke out. I had such delight this past season as they completely let Jerry Jones down. And Tony Romo, please refer to what I wrote about Mark Sanchez. He has played for seven seasons as the Dallas starting quarterback and what does he have to show for it in the playoffs? 1-3, pretty pathetic.
- New York Giants, I have never liked them and I have difficulty coming up with a game where I would root for them.
- LaBron James and Kobe Bryant because they are talented, arrogant jerks.
- BCS Conferences in general except the Big East, with the arrogant SEC at the top.
- Cam Newton, who I think will fail in the NFL and who I personally believe had full knowledge of his father’s actions and had Auburn not been rank as high as it was, I believe he would have been suspended. I don’t think the BCS wanted either TCU or Boise State in a position to argue their place in the Championship game.
- New York Yankees, hey, I am a Red Sox fan and it is in our DNA.
- New York Mets, 1986 World Series which we lost more so than they won. And no, I don’t blame Bill Buckner because he should not have been put in position of that play being significant if not for the relief pitching that put him there.
Teams or Players I clemenate but could find instances to root for when playing against above teams:
- Chicago Bears, all I need to say is Super Bowl XX
- As mentioned before, Aaron Rodgers
- San Diego Chargers, classic underachievers loved by announcers who are perpetually putting them in the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season
Of course there is temporary clemenatia for any team playing a team I love.
So which players or teams do you clemenate?