By Cookie "Chainsaw" Randolph
Ever been watching a game on TV when a particular athlete comes on and you find yourself saying "I hate that guy"?
I contend you don't genuinely hate that guy. But you definitely "sport-hate" him.
Genuine hate is reserved for people like the bully who used to beat you up in school, and because you haven't had the opportunity to pity what an incredibly pathetic douchebag he grew up to be, you still hate him.
Or the dictator, terrorist or a-hole that wipes out a busload of innocent civilians and then offs himself (note to that type: off yourself first).
Granted, we sports fans acknowledge the systemic hate in the European soccer culture where fights between hooligans of rival teams are set up before and after matches at locations away from stadiums to avoid arrests; and random, pre-existing hate looking for an outlet, such as the coma-inducing fan attack during the Dodgers/Giants opening day game; or the wide-spread mayhem at the Raiders/49ers pre-season game this past summer.
My brand of sport-hate is strictly verbal, non-violent. Harmless, except to the ears of a girlfriend/wife trying to watch her DVR of Glee in the other room.
Example: I sport-hate Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez . Yet, do I genuinely care that he took steroids, cheated on his wife, has a painting of himself as a centaur above his bed, kissed himself in the mirror for a Details magazine photo or was seen at the Super Bowl being hand-fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz?
No, not really. Certainly not in the way that I care about my family, my job or the way the light shines off my ever-expanding forehead.
I don't even hate the Yankees, even though they swept "us" in the '98 World Series.
But I totally sport-hate A-Rod, and admittedly, it's not rational. The other day I was listing off all the reasons why I sport-hate A-Rod and actually said out loud, "I don't like him and he's an ass"-as if those qualified as reasons. Very mature.
This is all a sobering reminder that "fan" is short-form for "fanatic," synonymous with insane, lunatic, demented, deranged and Michele Bachmann.
But I'm usually not sober when I'm watching sports anyway, so screw that reminder.
Without further ado, I present a partial list of athletes I sport-hate, and the irrational reasons why:
Tiger Woods: He's mean to trees: first with his Escalade, and now with an endless barrage of errant golf shots. Plus he's a notorious cheapskate, claiming he doesn't tip because he doesn't ever carry cash. Hey, Tiger, that line down there on your Visa tab isn't for writing down the phone numbers of the Applebee's hostesses. It's to add 20 percent for the hostess who helped you cut to the front of the line.
Tom Brady: He's too good at football, he's too good-looking, he's too rich, he's beaten the Chargers too many times, and mostly, hear me out-I sport-hate the way his hair dangled out the back of his helmet last year. Troy Polamalu , yes. Tom Brady, no.
Kobe Bryant: The only people he disdains more than opponents, coaches and fans are his teammates.
Peyton Manning : The way he pouts on the sidelines. However, I "comedy-like" him (completely different category) for his funny commercials and the SNL skit in which he curses at kids playing touch football.
My number one sport-hate isn't an athlete at all. It's The Fan Behind Home Plate On The Cell Phone, waving at the friend watching at home.
My number two sport-hate is the friend back at home, prompting, "OMG, Amber, you're on again!" pitch after pitch after pitch.
San Diegans who sport-hate Cookie "Chainsaw" Randolph don't listen to him weekday mornings on The Dave, Shelly & Chainsaw Show at 100.7 JACK-fm.