Cheering for your rival?
Do you want to see your rival do well? I know I don't.
It's different here at the high school level. There are family connections and friendships that connect from town to town. The stakes aren't as high.
At the collegiate and professional level, though, those connections don't exist and those stakes are at an all-time high. When your rival is competing for national championships and you are bathing in mediocrity, you should loathe that team and its fan base that much more.
Competing for championships is what you want your team to be doing. Instead, you are forced to watch the team you despise the most do that very thing. Is it OK to like your rivals' coach or maybe even a player or two? Sure. But to want to see them do well is unheard of. You can talk about conference loyalties, state loyalties, etc. I don't care.
If you cheer against a team for an entire season, why should you start cheering for them as the season draws to a close and they have a chance to win the national championship? That logic has never made sense to me. I think the conference did well if they made it to the Final Four and I don't think my loyalties to a state would be damaged because I didn't cheer for a team in a sporting event.
For those of you who don't know, I'm from Oklahoma. I graduated from Oklahoma State University and have been a lifelong Oklahoma State fan. As many of you may know, the University of Oklahoma has made a trip to the Final Four, and the Cowboys had a terrible season. It was bad enough, they hired a new coach, thankfully. The University of Oklahoma has a great coach in Lon Kruger and a better player in Buddy Hield. I tip my hat to the both of them. With that being said, watching them make this tremendous run in the tournament has been disheartening. Now the tables have turned. We used to be the team competing for Final Four berths while they were staying home in March.
I will always dislike my rival. Until things get back to the way they used to be, I will dislike them more than ever for the simple reason that they are the ones in the spotlight, not us.
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Ty Loftis is the sports editor for the Carroll County News. His email address is CCNSports@cox-internet.com