It's hard for some people to hate things that are pathetic. The most-hated teams in sports are usually winners: the Yankees and Blue Devils are good examples of this (the Fighting Irish are not a good example of this).
On the other hand, most casual fans don't really gravitate towards teams that consistently put out an embarrassing product. Discounting the Chicago Cubs and their self-hating fans, nobody cares much one way or the other for bad teams.
An excellent case in apathy has been our focus all week: the Indiana Football Hoosiers. If they were good, their fanbase would be just like IU basketball fans: populous and annoying. As we all know, they are very far from good.
Since they are the worst team in the conference, those who would be IU fans find something else to pass their time during football season. Like trying to concoct a brilliant plan to steal anhydrous from the co-op, for example. Perhaps they're watching and re-watching Bob Knight jab his hand into Neil Reid's throat like the Zapruder film in order to figure out exactly how the dastardly Reid managed to run into the hand of "The General", who surely didn't do anything wrong. More likely they are re-watching the Kentucky, Ohio State and Purdue basketball games from this year and burning incense in front of their homemade Cody Zeller idols.
I think I may have gotten a little bit off-track here. This is not about what IU fans do during their spare time. It is also not about a lot of other things, maybe enough to make a list.
Some Indiana football related things that this post is not about:
- The little kid field behind the South End Zone, where kids can run around during the game. It gives fans something to watch other than another lopsided IU loss.
- Those billboards they had up last year all over the state that said, "Win today." - Kevin Wilson.
- The beginning of Antwan Randle-El's senior year when Cam Cameron put him at wide receiver.
- Darius Willis and his night of professional wrestling
- Last year when the punter kicked into his lineman's back against Wisconsin
- Indiana only has a winning record against one Big Ten school: Nebraska
- Even though they were last in the first year of Big Ten Divisions, they are still technically "Leaders"
- Gunner Kiel
This is about hating the Indiana University "football" team, which is something that I enjoy doing. No matter how helpless and inept they seem, IU can't be likened to a cute, harmless little kitten that just can't quite take care of itself. IU is more like a forty-year-old never employed guy who still lives with his parents. They are pathetic, but they are not helpless.
I'm not trying to advocate hating all losing teams just because they are losers. I am also not in favor of liking teams just because they win a lot (I am a Purdue fan, after all). Wins and losses should not affect how much you like or hate a sports team. The rules of sports should determine that.
I hate Indiana's football team. I do not hate them because they are a sad imitation of major conference college football team. I do not hate them because I don't like their coach or their fans. I do not hate IU because they brag in last season's media guide that Assembly Hall was turned into a set for CNBC's "Mad Money Back to School Tour".
I hate them because they are IU, and I am a Purdue fan. Those are the rules and I have no problem following them. Life is complicated, but college sports fandom is not. You pick a school and you hate their rivals. I am a Boilermaker due to my upbringing and the common sense that God saw fit to bless me with. Because of that, hating Indiana is like breathing: it's not something I even have to think about doing.
I would like to conclude this rambling incoherent mess by saying that I hope IU loses every one of their games this year and forever. They almost did it last year, but thinking about that South Carolina State game still makes me mad. The Bulldogs should have capitalized on IU's hundred or so penalties. I obviously do not share the opinion of those who think that it would be good for the Purdue-Indiana rivalry if IU wasn't in the basement of the Big Ten every year. Or maybe you think that a rivalry that is too one-sided is not a good rivalry. You may be right about the rivalry thing, but I don't care if it is a good rivalry. If the Hoosiers of Indiana University are playing a football game, I hope they lose. I would like to thank them for almost always coming through for me.
TUESDAY | Smartest Men in the Room
WEDNESDAY | Hoosier State Potluck
THURSDAY | Indiana's Path to Six Wins
FRIDAY | Keeping the Enemy Close