JARED: When somebody asks me, “Which is your least favorite hockey team?” I have the same answer lined up. In my seven years of being an NHL fan, I’ve harbored some animosity towards a few franchises, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders.
But there’s nothing that comes quite as close as my negative feelings towards the culture surrounding the Boston Bruins.
For starters, there’s Brad Marchand. If he simply wasn’t on the team, I’d have more respect for them. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a phenomenal hockey player with a knack for being at the right place and right time to pick up a haul of points. Yet his antagonizing nature just annoys the crap out of me.
He’s licked opponents’ faces. He’s jabbed tame players in the face repeatedly. He has imitated Conor McGregor’s strut during goal celebrations. I get that if he was on your team, you’d love him. But any time another player has to face off against Marchand, I feel sorry for them. He’s gotten tamer as the years pass, but he still bugs the hell out of me.
Then there’s the diehard Bruins fans. Do you remember that SNL skit where they portray a Dunkin’ commercial constantly interrupted by a loud Bostonian (played by Casey Affleck) wearing a beat-up Bruins cap? That’s how I picture most hometown Bruins fans. They may be loyal, sure, but they’re rough around the edges and have no qualms about boasting about their team with copious amounts of hubris.
Also, it’s angered me when P.K. Subban and Joel Ward, both Black players, scored against the Bruins during playoff games in overtime and were subsequently called numerous slurs on social media by some Bruins fans. It is incorrect and ignorant to assume all Bruins supporters hold these views, but the fact that it’s happened multiple times from the same fanbase is greatly disappointing.
Thus, all of these factors combined sour my view on the storied franchise. Nothing (too) personal, Bruins fans. I just cannot find it in me to support them at all.
EMILY: There are many reasons to have a least favorite sports team. One may dislike a team for their bad performances, or egos of the players. Someone else may hate a team based on a disliking of the city the team is based in. Many root against teams that consistently beat their favorite team.
As for me? My least favorite teams are based on a mixture of born rivals and bad sportsmanship.
For example, the Yankees and Red Sox are natural rivals and they have been for as long as I can remember. I don’t have any specific reason to root against the Red Sox besides the fact that I feel responsible to. With that said, considering that Jared’s team is the Sox, I’m not here to slander them. There are other baseball teams that have offended me more.
I’m talking about the Astros and the Rays. The Astros are definitely my least favorite team of all time, and I’ve sort of touched on why in the past. To recap: the Astros were accused and convicted of illegal sign stealing (AKA cheating) during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Baseball was impacted greatly by this. Many argue the cheating caused certain players to not get the recognition or awards they deserved, and others (myself included) will go on to say that the Astros robbed the Dodgers of a World Series Title in 2017.
The Astros basically got a slap on the wrist by MLB leaving many fans feeling a lack of closure. Had COVID-19 not caused fans out of stadiums, fans across all 30 MLB teams were prepared to punish the Astros themselves with booing or angry signs.
I don’t have respect for any team that has to defile the game itself by cheating to win.
As for the Rays, I’ll be honest, I just think they’re boring. I only watch the Rays-Yankee games so I could be wrong, but I’ve found the games always end in really low scores, or get dragged into many extra innings. I know this just shows that both teams are performing well defensively, but games that get one score the entire nine innings are why people say baseball isn’t fun to watch.