Every Saturday I sit down to watch my College Football team play. I’m a Wolverine fan, not sure why. I wager at one point in time I asked “what team do we root for?” and my Dad said, “the blue team” and that was that. Maybe at one point I floated the idea of rooting for the green team instead and my brother said I could if I wanted to sleep outside from now on. And then it was finalized, I would root for Michigan forever. That probably happened around the age of 8, you know, at a point in my life where making permanent decisions about your future are famously unresearched. I also wanted to be named Max and thought being a garbage man would be super cool. Those other opinions didn’t stick with me, but rooting for Michigan did. I’m not sure Michigan could do anything on the field to make me lose my fandom, (believe me they tried) and I’m not sure over the course of my life if I have cared about anything quite as much. The groundwork that I am trying to lay here is that, I deeply care about Michigan, and it’s for basically no reason at all. It’s all Tribalism. I’m fully aware the University of Michigan does not need my fandom in any way. My love for Michigan is mirrored by only one other thing in this mortal world. My hatred for your team.
Why do I hate your team so much? It is a list of completely unfair, often arbitrary, always petty, grievances. Does your team deserve for me to hate them as much as I do? Yes. Would I hate Michigan if I wasn’t a fan of them? Also yes. I feel insane sometimes having to defend my fandom, it is easy for you alumni. You’ve got a very overpriced piece of a paper on your wall stating how much you love Michigan. What do I have? A poster when I was 12, and a couple of 2 for $14.95 shirts from Campus Den. How insane is it that I was thrilled to hear my sister-in-law was going to UofM-Flint for a bachelors in dance? That it somehow validated my fandom for future proofing? As if I was going to go against a fan of an other school and we were going to compare who deserves to root for their team more, and I could use that as ammunition.
You see at noon I sit down to root for my team. But I watch a lot more than college football than just Michigan. Do you know what I do when I watch two other teams play? I pick the team I hate more and then root against them. Often it is easy to pick, if team X losing is good for Michigan then it is an easy choice. I want you to lose. But how to pick who to hate more when Utah plays UCLA this weekend? (An obvious choice- IYKYK.)
I’ve decided to quantify my hatred. So you can know what goes on inside my mind when I sit down to watch football. I want to reiterate one more time, none of this makes any sense, and you shouldn’t feel bad that I hate you.
Lets take a look at who I will be rooting for this week. The lower your score, the more I hate you, and hope your team loses miserably:
As you can see here. It is an easy choice. Brian Kelly takes a somewhat likeable SEC team and makes them one of the easy hate watches of this week. It’s a good year to hate LSU, and while Tennessee is doing their darndest to be “back”. As in, back to me hating them a lot, they haven’t done anything besides exist within the SEC for a couple of years, keeping that number manageably low. I’ll be rooting for LSU to lose miserably, with a whopping -75 on the hatred meter.
Kansas vs. TCU is a hard match-up to hate on, but as they say: Hatred will find a way. And while Kansas football has done absolutely nothing wrong to deserve my ire they are still Kansas. I am also deathly afraid that College Gameday will have Bill Self as the guest picker and that alone is reason enough to hope Kansas will never be relevant enough to have Gameday come to them ever again. I kind of like TCU, not sure why. I like every Texas school.
Some would say it isn’t fair that I am letting basketball results leak in to all my feelings about football. And to that I would counter, it isn’t fair that Johnny Juzang scored 28 points against us on the biggest stage and then choked in OT vs Gonzaga(-55). Not a lot to hate here other than the State of California, but that is surprisingly enough to make me hate you. Even you San Diego State (-16).
I really appreciate people who are altruistic enough to root for Michigan State as Michigan fans, “except for when they play Michigan”. You are a good person, you want to see your neighbor, your friends, and the people around you happy. I however enjoy a Michigan State or OSU loss almost as much as a Michigan win. So if you were really nice, you’d care about my feelings as well. I call this game a meteor game. I am not rooting for either team to win, I am rooting for a meteor to hit the stadium. Wow Mr. Notes aren’t you overreacting? I use to call it a sinkhole game, so give me some credit. A meteor would be way cooler.
I previously hated Alabama so much more. But giving them the emotional energy only to be sad when they win has left me drained of hatred. I think I gave some of that energy to Georgia (-65) as well. I want them to lose every game they play but only because they are so good and I wish they weren’t. College football would be better if Georgia and BAMA and Clemson didn’t have ALL the best players. But it isn’t really their fault. I would be BAMA if I could be BAMA.
I actually like Washington State. They are so far removed from my Michigan fandom way over there that I can root for them with ease. They gave me the 1998 Rose Bowl too, which is drastically affecting their still positive score. They could beat USC by 21 or lose by 42 this week and I think that makes them a fun watch. USC is going to be great soon, and even though they aren’t there yet, it feels inevitable. I am “pre-angry” about losing to them in October in a road game in California in 85 degree heat sometime in 2028. This is normal human behavior.
See? Beating Indiana will only give me a total of 99 feel good points. And a total of 15 hatred points. When/if Michigan wins I will only get a total emotion score of 114. Which is of course a very high score, but compare it to a Washington State win over USC in the matchup above, I stand to feel a total of 87.5 on the emotion meter, which is a pretty darn good day. Of course, beating OSU or MSU has the chance to deliver that elusive perfect 200, but we’ve got to wait a few weeks before that chance.