Friday, April 1, 2011

Fighting Words

There's a word in the German language that so perfectly expresses my feelings while I watch Sportscenter that I'm almost upset there isn't an English equivalent. The word is schadenfreude, and it quite literally means "the pleasure taken from the misfortune of others". Watching Lebron and Wade lose to the Cavaliers? Schadenfreude. Watching the Yankees not make the playoffs and seeing their fans shocked beyond disbelief? Schadenfreude. But the thing that gives me the most Schadenfreude is whenever the Dodgers do anything that brings shame to the city of Los Angeles.

Growing up in San Francisco has taught me to hate anything Dodger Blue and White. While I won't get into the history of the rivalry here, it is one of the best rivalries in sports. I know, I know, it doesn't get as much airplay as the Red Sox-Yankees, or Duke-UNC. But living in either of these two cities for a single season, one comes to realize that Los Angeles is the birthplace of heathens and doomed souls. It simply is a way of life. And I'm sure anyone who lives in Los Angeles would say the same thing.

The best part about the rivalry though? It's fun. At least it's supposed to be. I love that people wear shirts with various insults to the Dodgers and their fans. I love passing by a guy in a Dodgers hat, saying "Go Giants", and knowing our mutual hatred for one another has just been acknowledged. It's what drives the fans throughout the long summer and into the chase for a ring.

So when I hear something like this:
Los Angeles police are looking for two men who beat and critically injured a San Francisco Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the opening day game.
I get upset. Physical violence in a parking lot after a rivalry game is not the way to celebrate a rivalry. Heckling people. Good. Altercations in a parking lot after a game that sends a man into critical condition. Not good. And I'm not just saying this because its a Giants fan that was injured, even though it might augment my rage more. I would hate to hear on the news that a Dodger fan was beaten to a pulp by a Giants fan. Not only that, I would be embarrassed. Embarrassed to be associated with a man like that.

Like I said, rivalries are fun. Go out and heckle a few opposing fans, boo the other team mercilessly, and speak ill of the locals who live there. It's your duty after all. But please, the only thing that I want beaten to the point of embarrassment is the Dodgers.

1 comment:

Matt Schwarz said...

Well put sir, as a life long Padres fan, I believe that you and I could get along based on one simple common denominator... Hatred for the Dodgers. I can also say that this type of indecent highlights one of the many reasons I hold such a disdain for everything Dodgers... including the fans. I know it is not all of them that do so, however, this is how you get a reputation.

again, a great article and Happy Baseball season

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