Here at the Empire, we're a friendly lot. C'mon, we're Midwesterners, and we're imbued with common decency, Minnesota Nice, and I would bet that if I took a poll among the staff about our childhood, if we didn't say ‘yes sir/no sir' or ‘yes ma'am/no ma'am' when addressing adults we got our ears boxed by our Dad. And if we complained about it to Mom, she showed about as much mercy as the Spanish Inquisition.
And one thing I think we do better than anyone is hate our rivals without getting hateful. OTE is an eclectic place where fans from 12 (and soon to be 14) teams can come to one place and defend your team while handing out friendly barbs to others.
Like, ohhhhhhhhhhh I don't know...it's 7:02 CT and MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS!
Sports rivalries mean so much to so many, and we all rightly feel that ‘our' rivalry is the best one. And you know what? It is. Whether you're playing for the Floyd of Rosedale, the Old Oaken Bucket, or you have an intense rivalry with no trophy affixed to it, your rivalry is the most important, and everyone else can take their rivalry and suck it. You were raised to dislike your opponent since you were in diapers, you've nurtured that hate as you grew into an adult as you've gotten older, and you've refined that hate into an art form.
And we've hung some fantastic art in our OTE Rogues Gallery during our weekly preview series for each team. For those of you that are new to OTE or the Big Ten (hi Maryland and Rutgers!), since 2010 we've dedicated week long previews to each team. On Friday we let a fan of that team's primary rival write a piece on why that team is so awful, and honestly, those are some of the best pieces in this blog's history.
We've collected some of our best to share with you. We hope you enjoy.
First up, we know Indiana football has been, is, and probably will be terrible. That doesn't stop Babaoreally from telling us why it's still okay to hate them.
When it comes to hate, Iowa and our friends at Black Heart Gold Pants do it better than just about anyone else. In 2010, guest writer Hayden Fry's Moustache Ride somehow combined the Karate Kid, a baked potato, and a wizard into a piece about hating Northwestern.
Long before Mark Emmert and the NCAA brought the hammer down on Happy Valley, Jon Franz succinctly put Penn State in their place, using an online poll, Saved By The Bell...and facts, something generally not used on the Internet. I did a double take when I saw those.
Former OTE Wisconsin blogger Ricardo Efendi managed to wrap his hate into an inordinate amount of pity towards Minnesota, and enough links of painful reminders to last a lifetime for Goldy fans. Everybody Safety Dance!
Somebody penned a little diddy about their irrational dislike for Michigan, and compares the Maize and Blue with gonorrhea, Jim Bakker, the Unabomber, and the WNBA. And a bunch of other things.
Who hates Iowa? JDMill hates Iowa, that's who. And he does it with a casual indifference that it caused the comments section to blow up much like the USS Maine must have in the port of Havana.
But the reaction JDMill got was nothing...NOTHING...compared to the reaction over our first Nebraska hate piece. We didn't really know enough about the Cornhuskers to hate them when they were getting ready to start B1G play in 2011, so Graham outsourced the hate piece to TB the Kansas State SB Nation site Bring On The Cats. This worked out so much better than the AT and T call centers in Calcutta.
If you travel a lot, you'll notice that there are a lot of nice things in many places, except in Champaign-Urbana. Our Northwestern blogger Chad Bell tells us why Illinois can't have nice things, citing Anakin Skywalker, smallpox-infected blankets, and heavy construction machinery buried below Memorial stadium. It also started one of the more popular memes on this site. Well done, Chad. Well done.
Entering the 2012 season, Nebraska had never beaten Northwestern in conference play. Ever. Jesse Collins, our Nebraska blogger, had had enough and took to the Internet to properly put
Iowa State Northwestern in their place.
MSUlaxer27 has a history with Purdue fans,and when his now infamous 1-11 prediction for the Boilermakers in 2011 didn't happen, he didn't back off on his disdain, he doubled down. You see, for MSUlaxer27, Purdue will always be 1-11 to him. Always.
And finally, no matter how good Michigan State might be, it's always going to be about how they're compared to Michigan, isn't it, random MSU fan we'll call Jimmy Spartan. Isn't it, MSU fan?
We hope you enjoyed our walk down memory lane. Now, get out there and hate your rival.