Sports News


news Sports Opinions arts variety interact Wildcat On-Line QuickNav

Death to the dynasties

By Chris Jackson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 13, 1998
Send comments to:


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Chris Jackson

America is a funny country.

We are the dominant nation in the world, no one but the French and Chinese will dispute that, but we still have some sort of complex regarding that domination.

It extends into the world of sports more than anywhere else.

It's seen in our strange, innate hatred of successful teams.

I was asked recently who I was rooting for in the baseball playoffs. My response was "whoever's playing the Braves and Yankees."

While my dislike of Atlanta goes back to 1992 and a guy named Francisco Cabrera (yeah, I'm a long-suffering Pirates fan) my dislike of the Yankees is a little harder to pin down.

But I'm not alone. How many people out there hate the Yankees, or the Chicago Bulls, or the Dallas Cowboys or the Nebraska Cornhuskers?

I could raise my hand for all four. Well, hate is too strong a word for the Bulls and not strong enough for the Cowboys, but moving on, it is a fascinating thing as to the nature of this hatred.

I don't like any NBA team, so why do I dislike the Bulls? Why dislike a team that has won six titles with a style and grace that the joke of a sport has been lacking?

Maybe because Jordan and company have taken all the suspense out of the NBA season. The only vaguely interesting thing to predict before an NBA season of late is whom the Bulls are going to beat and whether or not Jordan is going to retire.

I think the root cause in most cases is the fact the team that is winning isn't one's own, and therefore the team you cheer for isn't.

The Cowboys (and free agency) snatched the Steelers' only chance at a Super Bowl since I got out of diapers. That and growing up in Albuquerque, N.M., means you either are a Cowboys fan or a Cowboys hater. There's no in-between, trust me.

As for the Cornhuskers, well, I'm not a big fan of any university that produces such upstanding citizens as Lawrence Phillips and the rest of the "America's Most Wanted" cast.

While journalism department head Professor Patten is plotting my GPA's demise for saying that, the dislike of winning teams is universal among everyone who is not a longtime fan of that team.

Lots of people rooted for Green Bay when it knocked off Dallas and San Francisco, but last year Broncos' fans dominated the country at season's end. This year a similar backlash is hitting Denver.

We are a country founded by underdogs, and that underdog mentality causes us to always cheer for the little guy, not the monolith going for a four-peat.

It's why 57,000-plus people were at Arizona Stadium last Saturday night, rooting for a team that was outmatched from the start (and just needed one minute to finally show how outmatched it was).

It's why there will always be fans of the little teams, like the Pirates, Florida Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Wildcats.

And if nothing else, we can all band together and stick our tongues out at Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones and the rest of their ego-maniacal ilk.

At least until people are doing it to our teams.

Chris Jackson can be reached via e-mail at