I’m always interested in questions of fandom.
For example, longtime readers will know that I’m a die-hard Giants fan (yes, new readers, I was probably insufferable in fall 2010 and 2012). Which means, almost more than anything else, hating the Dodgers.
So the big event for Giants fans this week has been discovering that it’s time to settle down and really learn to dislike Clayton Kershaw.
Sometimes this important work is easy. When I was a kid, I got to hate Steve Garvey, a task that was just incredibly easy. Tommy Lasorda, too; he practically begs to be hated by Giants fans. Other times, not so much…It was really hard, I thought, to hate Fernando Valenzuela during his run.
What about when the hated ones are traded? I always hated Garvey; I guess he stayed in the division, so that helped. But I often actively root for guys such as Paul Konerko or Edwin Jackson – Pedro Martinez! – who the Bums gave up on too soon. I was a Mike Piazza fan after the Dodgers traded him…but I never was able to reverse opinion on Orel Hershiser (no, don’t remind me, I’ve blocked it out).
The other thing is that I usually don’t need or want confirming information for my dislike of Dodgers players. I mean, I really, truly, dislike them as Dodgers. I don’t need also to dislike them as people.
I’m curious about how this works for other people, and for people with less clear team rivalries available to them.
Meanwhile, I really am building up quite a dislike for that Clayton Kershaw.