Whether it’s the Giants and the Dodgers, Raiders and the Broncos, or Duke and North Carolina, rivalries are a treasured part of sports.
But does the joy come from watching you team emerge victorious or is it seeing the team you despise the most lose? Is it because you’re not a fan of the Celtics moldy green uniforms? Or maybe Kobe Bryant’s standoffish personality rubs you the wrong way? Are you rooting for your team to win? Or do you just want your rival to lose?
What does that say about your personality? Does that make you a good fan, but a bad person? Some say that sports fandom is based on a shared experience. Others say that it is rooted in tribal times when we were warriors protecting their own. One thing is certain; sports fans love to hate.
Aaron Rochlen, Associate Professor in Counseling Psychology, University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Past President of the Division 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity) of the American Psychological Association
Josh Levin, Slate’s executive editor; host of Slate’s weekly sports podcast “Hang up and Listen”
Frank Cruz, USC alumni and avid fan