mitch albom says, “don’t be hatin!”

Yep...I've been reduced to bad Jamie Kennedy movie references

After I broke down Mitch’s wacky day off trip to the Apple Store, I was going to leave well enough alone for a while. I really truly was.  Then I made the mistake of going to the Free Press website to read some news on the Tigers and saw that Mitch had deemed it worthy to grace us with column…about sports!  I mean he is a “Sports Reporter” right?  At least that’s what ESPN says on that show…um…what’s it called?  I think it’s “Old People Complain about Stuff.”  Maybe not, oh well.  I’m sure it’ll come to me.  Anyway, in what I’m sure will be his “Parting Shot” on the next episode, Mitch has decided that we’re all a bit too mean when it comes to poor LeBron and the Miami Heat.  We can’t have fun because a guy who’s been a complete asshole fails miserably now??!?!  *Sigh*  Let’s do this….

Mitch Albom: LeBron shows hate is winning the day

You can always tell by the headline when Mitch is giving us one of his “in the good old days we were better” columns.  This is obviously going to be one of those times.

A Dallas basketball team won the NBA title last week, but to hear most people tell the story, LeBron James lost it.

Probably because he’s the biggest star in the NBA right now playing for a team that is one of the most polarizing in league history.  Just saying.

They say it with glee.

*Sigh* I’m sorry we are happy because LeBron James failed spectacularly.  Can we stop the column now?

“LeBron thought he was so great. Ha-ha. Look at how he messed up at the end!”

This sentence pretty much sums up what Mitch things about us.  Who says that?  Is there anyone really that bland and dumb when they talk about sports?  Maybe I should just forgive Mitch for this whole column since he apparently is completely out of touch with how an average sports fan actually talks.

All across the country, people rejoiced in the comeuppance of LeBron and his Miami Heat teammates, who had banded together through free agency to try to build a super team. It’s not exactly a crime. But the hubris they showed, people said, turned public opinion against them.

Amazingly enough, being colossal egotistical dicks turns people off.  Just let the irony wash over you.

So much so that far more people were rooting for Miami to crumble than were actually passionate about Dallas winning.

That’s probably because we’re a big country and not all of us live in Dallas and are Mavericks fans, so most fans didn’t care if the Mavs won or lost, so instead we rooted AGAINST the team we didn’t like.  Is this really that crazy?

At the same time, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner was embroiled in his sexting scandal. He tried to save his job. Apologized. Went to rehab. But as more naughty photos and racy messages emerged, you could hear the screams rising. “Quit! Quit! Quit!”

No mention here of the fact that instead of admitting to his mistake at first, he lied about it to the public?  The same public he serves?  Reminds me of some columnist who made up an entire column and didn’t really get punished for it.  Oh…wait…

Finally, under the weight of that chorus, he did. And today, just a few days later, nobody cares what he does with his camera or his crotch. It’s as if a thirst has been quenched.

I think the term you are looking for his is “justice was served.”  Hate to say this, but if you’re a public figure and get to benefit from it, you also have to deal with the drawbacks.  Not being able to send shots of your dick to random people on twitter, lie about it, and keep your job is apparently one of those drawbacks.

There’s a thread that runs through these two issues. Some call it “Hating On.” I call it “Rooting Against.” It seems this is becoming at least as popular as “Rooting For.” Maybe even more so.

Pretty sure Mavericks fans felt a lot more joy from their team winning than anyone did with LeBron and the Heat losing.  Except maybe Cleveland fans…

Tiger, Palin, A-Rod …

Do I really have to explain at all why people root against these three people?  HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE PHRASE YOU “REAP WHAT YOU SOW!?!?!”

Think about it. The passion to see people fail feels hotter these days than the pulling for a winner.

No, it really doesn’t.

After Tiger Woods’ scandal, you could feel the tide of public opinion hoping someone else — anyone else — won at the Masters, as long as Woods stumbled. (He did. You remember that, right? Now, ask yourself who won.)

Wait a minute…so you’re saying that some fans rooted against Tiger Woods because he cheated on his wife with a bunch of porn stars and turned out to be a bit of a sleazebag?  You don’t say?  You do realize that fans don’t just root for a good clean game right?  You did at one point write about sports for a living right?

I was actually rooting for Tiger at the Masters and I still don’t know who won.  You know why I don’t?  It’s golf and it wasn’t Tiger Woods.

Whenever Sarah Palin speaks, polls announce that the majority of people don’t want her for president.

That’s because those people are sane.  Apparently not wanting someone to be President is now “hating on” them.  HOW DARE YOU NOT WANT SARAH PALIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

Yet they can’t stop listening to her. There’s a waiting audience of critics, and the vitriol that comes her way almost always exceeds the praise.

I can’t stop listening to her because she’s constantly on Fox News.  Plus she’s, you know, TRYING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT!  I’m sorry if I choose to stay informed.  When someone who is running for the biggest office in the world says stupid shit, I feel like I should know.

The New York Yankees are the team personification of Rooting Against. Alex Rodriguez is the Yankee among hated Yankees.

Um, again…A-Rod did steroids.  Kind of made himself easy to root against.

Lindsay Lohan is a poster child for this trend in entertainment.

Do I even have to say anything here?  I love how this is all OUR fault for not liking these people when they’ve all done stupid shit and GIVEN US REASON NOT TO.

Even President Barack Obama seems to inspire a strong undercurrent of folks who delight in seeing him mess up.

We have a two-party system in this country.  Pretty sure the people who didn’t vote for Obama are happy to see him fail because they want their guy back in the White House.  What the fuck am I reading?

I’m not saying there aren’t things not to like about all of these people. But there also may be things to like. Or, at least, things you can ignore.

There are also GLARING THINGS TO DISLIKE!  Apparently that’s not good enough though.  Here’s your lesson kids…if someone does something that makes them unlikable, YOU’RE the asshole for not liking them.  WHY DON’T YOU LIKE LINDSEY LOHAN!  SHE WAS SO GOOD IN MEAN GIRLS!!! STOP TRYING TO TAKE HER DOWN!!

But we are drawn to Root Against. It has a seductive, burning appeal, a certain satisfaction we draw from another’s failure.

I’m still waiting for Mitch to name ONE person who hasn’t given us a reason to dislike them.  (Obama has a built-in group of haters…goes with the territory)

By the way, I am as guilty of this as the next guy. But lately, I’ve been wondering why.

It’s because most of these people have given you good reason to dislike them.  Call me crazy but being an asshole doesn’t deserve to be met with praise.

‘Get back to the real world’

Oh I wish….

After the NBA Finals were lost, James made these comments about the negative fans:

“All the people that were rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before. … I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live. …

“They can get a few days or a few months … on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”

Ok…after quoting this I’m pretty sure Mitch must see how little self-awareness LeBron has and why a lot of fans hate him.  I mean look at that quote!

Not surprisingly, he was vilified for this.


He apologized, said he wasn’t superior to anyone. Didn’t matter. The hate rained down.

Um…because he said it.  A guy ripped the people who make his life possible.  Don’t know if you noticed this, but the fans paying money to see him play are what makes his salary happen.  He decided to rip them and be a dick.  He’s and adult and accountable for his actions.  An “I’m sorry,” prepared statement doesn’t make up for continuing to be a dick to the fans.

I’m reading his comments, and although they were ill-timed, I’m wondering exactly what he said that wasn’t true? We all do get back to our lives. In fact, we never leave them.

There’s this thing in our language called “tone” and “inflection.”  Crazy that I’m explaining this to a guy who’s won awards for writing, but here we are.  Just because you’re saying something that is true doesn’t mean you’re not a dick for the way you said it.

Are we so unhappy in our own daily travails that we revel in the chance to see someone else fail? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to root for someone to win, or to do better, or to come back — and if they don’t, just shrug it off and try to find something else to pull for?

Are you so unhappy in your own daily travails that we revel in the chance to see someone else succeed?  IT’S THE SAME THING!  Either way you’re rooting for someone else.  THIS IS WHAT BEING A FAN IS!  Sports are rather trivial in the grand scheme of things.  We know this.  We use it to escape and enjoy something outside of our everyday lives.  Amazes me that rooting against someone is such an awful thing.  This is what makes rivalries.  Remember those?  You used to write about how awesome they are.

I know it sounds Pollyannaish.

You could apply this to any column you write.

But the temperature of this country has gotten hot, anger is far preferred to kindness, and when “Fail!” becomes our battle cry rather than “Succeed!” we should at least ask ourselves why.

You’re right.  Our generation has destroyed the amazing society that came before us.  Back in Mitch’s day everyone held hands and rooted for everyone else to reach their goals.  Yankee fans and Red Sox fans rooted for each other to succeed.  The United States and Russia were hoping they would both thrive.  People didn’t hate on Nixon because he broke the law and had to resign.  Nope…nothing of the sort.  This stuff NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!

After all, that old baseball song says, “It’s root, root, root for the home team; if they don’t win, it’s a shame.” There’s no line about cheering if the other team gets clobbered.

Um…if you’re rooting for the home team, then aren’t you therefore rooting for the other team to get clobbered?  DID YOU FUCKING READ THAT SENTENCE?!?!

[slams head against desk repeatedly]

I think that sentence pretty much sums this whole column up.  I mean…wow…just wow…

About Brad

I love what I love and I am who I am. I'm a nerd. Don't like it? Oh well.
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1 Response to mitch albom says, “don’t be hatin!”

  1. Justin says:

    i started to read albom’s article on sunday. i stopped after the first paragraph. people hate lebron, therefore they will root against him. it’s that simple. i can’t believe he’s just figuring this out now.

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