You donâ€™t hate Tim Tebow, Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant or even Tiger Woods.
For most sports fans, this shocking revolution will cost you thousands spent on shrinks, wondering where all of your built up frustration comes from if itâ€™s not elite athletes.
My guess: you werenâ€™t loved enough as a child.
It is virtually impossible to walk into a sports bar and watch a game without hearing some idiot â€œAh! I hate (insert the name of the opposing player who just hit a home run) so much!â€
The truth is, you donâ€™t hate them. Youâ€™re jealous. Hating someone for being good at a sport makes zero sense whatsoever. Itâ€™s completely irrational.
Red Sox fans actually wish A-Rod batted cleanup in Bean Town, the Cubs secretly want Albert Pujols more than Derrek Lee and anyone in their right mind would love to sign LeBron James.
The two athletes we hear people hate the most recently are Tebow and Woods. One didnâ€™t do anything to deserve it and the other, nothing until recently.
Tebowâ€™s career at the University of Florida was remarkable. Two national championships, the first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy and he finished the season ranked in the top five nationally in terms of quarterback rating â€“â€“ best in the NCAA FBS in 2009 â€“â€“Â all three years as a starter for the Gators.
I will go so far to say heâ€™s is the best competitor the game of college football has ever seen. And what does he get for it? Nothing but hate outside of Gator nation, millions of fingers pointing and laughing because he cried in this seasonâ€™s SEC Championship game when Florida lost to Alabama and flak because heâ€™s a Christian.
In laymanâ€™s terms: jealousy.
Anyone who made fun of Tebow for crying after losing against Alabama clearly has never played organized sports at any sort of competitive level. Or if they have, they were too apathetic to put in an effort.
Tebow lost a shot at another national championship. Whatâ€™s wrong with being emotional?
Oh, and did you know Steve Young is Mormon and Sandy Koufax was Jewish? Is there any reason to hate them? Tebow didnâ€™t ask to be placed on a pedestal, we did that to him.
Iâ€™m a Christian. So is the majority of this country. Why not hate us? I mean if the Civil Rights Movement in the United States has taught us anything, itâ€™s that we should definitely hate someone because what he or she believes or what they look like.
Like I said, donâ€™t be irrational.
But one athlete that takes even more heat, especially in the past six months, is Woods. Possibly the greatest golfer of all-time, he has become the New York Yankees of the PGA Tour â€“â€“ you either love him or hate him.
If you love him, itâ€™s because you also love the game of golf. If you hate him, well, in light of recent events, you might have a scapegoat.
I canâ€™t count the number of people following Thanksgiving Day last year who said, â€œI knew it! I knew something was up with that Tiger Woods. He just never sat right with me.â€
No you didnâ€™t. Shut up. Iâ€™m not asking, Iâ€™m telling you.
Woodsâ€™ personal life has given fans a semi-legitimate reason to hate him. But if you do hate Woods due to his escapades when the wife isnâ€™t around, itâ€™s because you donâ€™t like cheaters.
Iâ€™ve never cheated. Iâ€™ve never been cheated on. But I still think that, next to suicide, cheating is one of the most selfish acts one can take part in. Itâ€™s just ridiculous, showing no regard for your loved one.
Even given the circumstances, unless Tiger slept with your wife or punted your cat, you still have no reason to hate him. But you do have a scapegoat to think that heâ€™s a giant tool â€“â€“ or any other adjective used to describe poor excuses for men on VH1 reality series.
So stop saying you hate everyone. The fact is you just wish you could be as talented.
No matter which rival athlete, unless thereâ€™s a personal vendetta, always remember that your anger problems stem from issues with mommy and daddy, not David Ortiz for jacking one over the right field wall at Yankee Stadium.
Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.