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Why I Hate the Steelers -- Writer's Poke #171

The first Super Bowl I can remember watching was Super Bowl XV. The Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles, and it wasn't even close. After that game, I inexplicably became an Eagles fan.

I grew up in a small town in central Illinois, and all of my friends were Chicago Bears fans. But even in first grade, I didn't understand why people felt obligated to support the team in their region. Yes, I liked the Bears, but the Eagles were my team.

But why didn't I become a Raiders fan? And what explained the negative reaction I had to other teams? I hated the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the silliest of reasons -- I just didn't like their uniforms.

Other teams, though, I simply hated without cause. One of those teams was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An Eagles fan might hate the Redskins or the Cowboys, and that is easy to explain as they all played in the same division. Explaining a hatred of the Steelers is not so easy. Not only did the Steelers play in a different division, but they played in a different conference, and it wasn't likely that they would even play the Eagles most years, unless both teams made it to the Super Bowl.

So why hate the Steelers? Perhaps I hated them for being such a dominate team in the 70s; I've always rooted for the underdog, and if a team is too good, a lot of fair-weather fans join the bandwagon. I've never liked that.

Is that really why I first started hating the Steelers? Probably not, and "hate" is probably too strong a word to use for disliking any sports team. Nevertheless, let's just say I strongly dislike the Steelers, and in the end, I don't need to rationalize the reason. It's part of the fun of being a fan.

What do you hate? Do you ever try to rationalize or justify why hating is okay?

"I hate quotations." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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