The NBA playoffs are underway. Who do you like?
That's what I thought.
Is it just me, or do you find yourself cheering not so much FOR certain teams as much as you are cheering AGAINST certain teams?
Sports: Enjoy a good grudge.
Take the NBA playoffs (and keep them), for example. Does it even matter who the Lakers are playing.
Why? Let me count the ways:
1. Kobe Bryant.
2. Derek Fisher.
3. Phil Jackson.
4. Ron Artest.
5. Jack Nicholson.
6. All the other constant and annoying TV crowd shots of the "celebs" (memo to TV networks: pu-leeze, is this Entertainment Tonight or a basketball game?)
I rest my case.
Every self-respecting, grudge-holding fan cheers for Whatever Team is Playing Against the Lakers.
Or the Miami Heat.
Robinson, you're overdue for a rant against LeBron.
Then let's get on with it. Who wants to see the narcissistic James succeed after stiffing his hometown during an I-Love-Me TV appearance and then promising to win multiple championships — "Not one, not two, not three, not four. Not five, not six, not seven. ..."
How about not any?
(By the way, these playoffs cannot end too soon for Jazz fans, who are forced to watch the Chicago JazzBulls — who hijacked a trio of Jazz players to get to the second round — the Lakers and the Heat (see above).
Robinson, what do we do if the Lakers and Heat meet in the NBA Finals?
Leave the country. That's like choosing between Rosie O'Donnell and Roseanne Barr.
Is it too much to hope for an Oklahoma City-Atlanta matchup in the Finals?
It's a full-time job holding grudges in sports. It's difficult to keep track of them all, but let's do our best. Just try to cheer for these guys:
Lance Armstrong — We're supposed to believe not only that Armstrong is one of the few top cyclists who didn't use performance-enhancing drugs, but he beat all the other guys who were using them? Sell that one next door, pal.
Rex Ryan — Loud-mouthed, profane, confrontational, this man never closes his blowhole.
Usain Bolt and the other Jamaican sprinters — Suddenly, three of the four fastest men in history — and three of the seven fastest women — are from a tiny impoverished island with a population of 2.8 million, all of them coming along in the last three seasons. Nah, that's not suspicious.
The NCAA/BCS — Now in year 14 of holding football fans hostage.
Terrell Owens, Chad Ocho-Whateverhisnameis, Brandon Marshall, Steve Smith, Antonio Bryant, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes — What is it with NFL wide receivers?
The Denver Thuggets — Is this a circus or an NBA team?
Al Davis — Three guys and a duck could run the Oakland Raiders better than Al.
Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush — First they burn down USC, then flee to the NFL with impunity. Nice.
Carlos Boozer — The ultimate basketball mercenary, he misses every fourth game but never a paycheck.
Tom Coughlin — Ever seen those sideline shots of the New York Giants' coach; he always looks like he's undergoing a colonoscopy without sedation.
Ben Roethlisberger — Would you want your daughter going out with this guy?
Albert Haynesworth(less) — He refused to attend mandatory practices and team activities despite his $32 million contract, explaining, "I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but ... that don't mean I'm for sale or a slave or whatever."
Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and the rest of baseball's steroid-boosted sluggers — They ruined the record book while Bud Selig slept.
All teams from New York — The national media treats them like the hometown team, and there isn't a likeable team in the whole city — Knicks, Jets, Giants, Yankees, Mets.
CarMElo Anthony — Just what the league needs: Another punk on a big stage. Someone get him a Jarvik 7 — the man's got no heart.
David Beckham — Overpaid and overrated, he hasn't delivered for the MLS and the L.A. Galaxy because he's too busy with endorsements, primping and dying his hair, living the celeb life, posing for photos and playing in Europe.
NHL goons — There are a lot of anti-heroes in the NHL, but who's watching?
Meanwhile, let me know who your un-favorites are. So many grudges, so little time.