The Good Hate

Hate is a tremendously powerful emotional feeling. It?s high up there in the power stakes and sits along nicely beside Love. Hate cannot exist where there is no Love.

We?ve all heard of romantic love, brotherly love and motherly love. For every love there is an equal hate. ?Hating? is a fundamental given amongst all supporters and is commensurate to the feelings of love, loyalty and passion one feels for their own club team.

Footy Hate fits somewhere between the hate we reserve for Mondays and the ugly hate we are capable of as humans to be at our most evil and destructive. Interestingly, Footy hate does have a tendency to produce an ugly side that we rarely read about in our newspapers compared to say, English Soccer League. Nor do I believe us Aussie League supporters will ever let it get that bad.

So what is this Footy Hate and where does it come from? The answer is as complex as it is simple yet intrinsically difficult to explain. Much of it is bluff, trend, misconception and transference of feeling for lack of any decent explanation for your team?s slump but there?s more to it than that. On face value that?s a glib answer to some real hate out there which magically disappears or gets upgraded at State and National Test matches where we collectively love each other and display some hate to the common enemy.

Balmain supporters have generally hated Souths supporters ever since the 1909 premiership. Saints supporters hate Souths supporters because you just have to. Roosters supporters claim Souths supporters hate them because of their current success which doesn?t explain why we also hate Manly. Sharky supporters have always had it in for the Dragon Fans. Parramatta versus Penrith. We start to see a pattern and a lot of it has to do with tradition.

Tradition is taught, regurgitated, sowed, passed on and promoted. You become conditioned to dig up long gone incidents to win a point in an argument. At the same time instilling even deeper love as you are embroiled further into your club?s traditions and roots. Thusly, developing a one-eyed fanatical outlook where your club, in your mind, remains righteously and Godly superior to all others. Super League brought many a traditional based argument tumbling down; giving Souths the biggest edge ever. Lose tradition and it?s going to take a heck of a long time to get it back.

Let?s face it; Footy Hate is a display of the one-eyed love for your team. In combination it puts bums on seats at the grounds and keeps us interested because it?s the emotional pledge we put into our club colours that keeps us coming back for more. Footy Hate is surreptitiously marketed by the powers that be. The traditional Saints versus Souths at the SCG, Anzac Day Games stir the colloquial emotions and any game promoted as the Local Derby are meant to get those tribalistic emotions stirred into action. At its highest levels we have the State of Origin and the stolen Ashes Test Series concept. All designed with just the right amount of Footy Hate to entice families to the game.

Footy Hate is alive and well. It should be embraced, coveted and carefully nurtured. Its growth means more Footy Love. The flow and movement of these emotions conjuring pagan symbols of Ying Yang, Gnostic dualism and cosmic confluences as natural as the waning and waxing of the moon. Footy hate is organic. It touches something within and gives the supporter, in many cases, a life long anchor that makes us feel steady and comfortable through the troubled waters of Real Life

Footy Hate is proof that you are a real supporter. Especially when you can recount the minutiae of a long gone incursion and recite it with an air of rightful dignity smiting all retorts in one fell spray. Footy Hate is gorilla chest beating at its best, bringing us closer to our primeval instincts. Wise men spend years meditating to reach what us Footy Hate enthusiasts achieve in eighty minutes of heaven.

There?s no place in footy for that hippy pseudo-philosophical proposition that Footy Hate has no room in the modern era of the game. A tough sport deserves some tough emotional stakes and nothing is more emotionally charged than the Adam and Eve of emotions? Footy love, along with Footy Hate. There?s nothing darn wrong with it.

Footy Hate is the Good Hate.

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