Who Do We Hate?

A recent e-mail exchange with our Dean raised the following question: What team is a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers supposed to hate? This was the provocative statement: “My distaste for the Cubs meant that, even if the White Sox had lost to the Brewers this weekend, I could have seen something good in the matter.”  Surely, to hate like this is to be happy forever. But who can we despise? And who will detest us?

The easy answer is the Cubs, but I have bad news. They are just not that into us. During last July’s four game debacle at Miller Park, I overheard a Cubs fan say that it would take years before he could hate us like he hates the Cardinals. Ours would be hate unrequited. Oh, sure, they might call and ridicule us when St. Louis isn’t around. We’d be just any port in a storm. 

So what about the Cardinals? Here are the facts of life. Earlier this month, I spoke on a panel in St. Louis. For my obligatory ice-breaker, I shamelessly stole from our Cubs fan and said I felt comfortable there in the middle of a pennant race  because I knew it would take generations before they hated us like they hated the Cubs. That room full of Card fans laughed and applauded. They could never hate us like we could hate them.

Face it. The prom is next week and pickings are slim. We could hate the Pirates. I heard the Phillies left them for the Mets. But it would be like dating the head of the AV Club. There are the Astros, but I don’t think we can hate them as long as Cecil Cooper is the manager. During that magical summer of ’82 . . . with Coop . . . we had something. Something real.

Do you know the Reds? Cincinnati is something like Milwaukee — only with rednecks. There’s not much history, but we could make memories, couldn’t we? Does anyone have their number?

Cross posted at Shark and Shepherd

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mark Kapocius

    From a geographical and cultural level, I propose that the team to hate should be the Minnesota Twins. The Twins, much like the Brewers, are a fairly recent addition to Major League Baseball, they lack a true geographic rival, and in the western and northern regions of Wisconsin, there is a split of fans (similar to Cards-Cubs in downstate Illinois). MLB has deemed the Brewers-Twins to be rivals, at least from a scheduling perspective. As evidence, the Metrodome was packed with Brewers fans last month for the Brewers-Twins series. The problem, outside of the Twins’ link to the American League, is that the Twins are somewhat likeable and you can’t really despise Minnesotans, whereas arrogant Cubs fans make it rather easy.

  2. Richard M. Esenberg

    The Twins are interesting. I think its ok to hate Minnesotans. It’s worked for Packer fans.

    But, as you say, they’re in the other league. We’d see each other only twice every year. Long distance hates just don’t work out.

  3. Matthew Fernholz

    The main rival for the Cubs will always be the Cardinals, but it is a rivalry born more out of respect than animosity. However, the issue of our second biggest rival is an interesting question.

    As a Cubs fan, I faced the conundrum of whom to root against last weekend when the White Sox played the Brewers. Ultimately, I sided with rationality over passion and rooted for the White Sox, because the Brewers pose a divisional challenge to the Cubs. I think this nicely illustrated the difference between Cubs fans and Sox fans. Over the years I have observed that Sox fans are happier when both Chicago teams lose than when both the Cubs and Sox win. The only way to explain this Schadenfreude on the part of the White Sox fans is a South Side inferiority complex. So while the White Sox have a seething hatred of the Cubs, we Cubs fans are too aloof to share the cross-city enmity. (Incidentally, Dean Kearney, if you are reading any of this. please notify me and I will promptly drop out of Advanced Civ. Pro. before the semester begins.)

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