One thing you pick up on really quick if you sit anywhere near the Dog Pound at Agganis Arena is how much the BU kids really don't like BC. While no one in Hockey East really likes the Eagles, I can't think of another fan base that is this specific. PC fans as a rule do not like UCONN, Syracuse, or Georgetown in basketball. But we don't add "Huskies suck" to our chants like BU fans do to BC. The college kids in scarlet not alone: "Clarkson still sucks" at RPI and SLU and "Tech still sucks" at NMU. And of course, we have the endlessly insipid "Yankees suck" merchandising spree outside Fenway Park. But the Grandfather of all mutual antagonism is Scotland's Glasgow derby which has religious as well as sporting dimensions. In one form or another, obsession is rampant in sports.
And let's be honest with ourselves: it gets a little silly. Here's some examples of obsession getting well out of hand.
-In the Globe sports page, why are there Lakers fans on the Celtics blog? The two teams play each other twice all year. It doesn't make sense. It also makes little sense for the aforementioned trolls to continuously put down the Celtics as "irrelevant" when they seem to spend more time commenting on the blog than actual Celtics fans. I feel bad for the people who write these blogs. Some good reporting is getting muddied by garbage.
-I've mentioned this before, but the Providence Journal's message board is dominated by a handful of URI fans who seem more interested in public financing for the Dunkin' Donuts Center than they are in what the Rhody basketball team is doing. I'm not sure why they begrudge the Providence Bruins a chance to play in improved facilities just so they can screw over PC basketball. Seems kind of petty to me.
-This one really gets me: Start with a ridiculously prejudiced conceit (the Steelers are a dirty team). Add in a fan base that has never been able to cope with the idea of losing to the Patriots in not one, but two AFC title games. Then add a dash of ESPN fueled conspiracy theories that are exceeded in lameness only by the idea of Elvis still being alive. You would come up with this.
Hoo boy. The obsession here is multifaceted and quite insane. On both sides. I don't have a problem with Mr. Molori's writing (he's been giving props to the Emmy Award winning John Carchedi for years). But writing about how dirty the Steelers are? Maybe he thought his blog needed some web traffic. And it worked too well.
Steelers fans come across just as poorly as Mr. Molori. Actually, they come off worse because they just make the same moronic points over and over again. Sad. Very sad all the way around.
So I guess the lesson here is to be really really careful at how seriously you take these rivalries. Because if you go too far, you'll end up looking quite deranged and I'll make fun of you.
-Hey, with a seven game winning streak - punctuated by convincing results over the Suns and Magic - I believe the Celtics are no longer in "a rut". Now if only we can convince people that Stephan Marbury would not be a good pick up, we might get through this.
-Speaking of insanity, the Red Sox literally have no better options at catcher than Jason Variteck. And Mr. Variteck has no better option that the Red Sox - despite Satan Boras' delusional attempts to portray the opposite. So why the endless trade rumors on WEEI? Well, it's either that or whine about President Obama some more.
-Speaking of insane situations, the full scale rumble last Friday at Lawler (that just feels wrong. It will always be the Volpe Complex to me) that saw two BU players get injured, a parade of Merrimack players going to the penalty box, and Jackie Parker's angry post game diatribe about the refs not protecting his players has led to yet another half assed attempt to get Merrimack kicked out of the league. When are Hockey East fans going to give this up? The league isn't kicking anyone out. What might happen is that Merrimack might get sick and tired of finishing in the basement every year and drop hockey. And I'm sorry, that doesn't help anyone. Someone has to finish in last place. Umm, I hope not PC.
-Aside from Merrimack, is there any more depressing group of fans than Mainers? Even PC fans were convinced they could win ONE game. Despite a record that's much better than PC's, the Black Bears are "cursed" and need to get rid of Tim Whitehead post haste. Maine has been crappy for about a year and a half. PC has been stumbling in the dark wood for about 7 years. Yet we're the optimists. Go figure.
-Two shootouts for the Bruins this week are two too many.