Plus the 11 most hated sports franchises in the country.
Being a die-hard fan of a sports team bonds you with other fans. But that bond pales in comparison to the one you can form by loathing a team instead.
The police in Columbia, South Carolina got a call in the middle of the night back on September 10th about a man who saw sitting on the ledge of a bridge over a highway. He was crying, and he was suicidal.
And when they got there, one cop took the lead on trying to talk the guy down.
He brought up the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team quite a bit, trying to get the guy excited to watch their game later that day, but it wasn’t getting the guy off the ledge.
Then he learned the guy was a Washington Redskins fan. And the cop noted that he’d be rooting for the Redskins whenever they played their rival Dallas Cowboys because, quote, “I hate Dallas.” And literally seconds after he said that, the guy let the cop take his arm and help him back to safety.
Just like that, a man’s life was saved thanks to the near-universal truth that everyone hates the Dallas Cowboys.
(The Cowboys went on to beat the Redskins on Sunday, by the way, but as far as I know the guy didn’t head back for the bridge.)
The story leads to an interesting paradox for Cowboys fans: Yes, the burning hatred for their team is the crux of the bit here… but it must be emboldening to love a team powerful enough to save lives with its mere aura.
And I was curious which other sports franchises also inspire enough passionate vitriol to, potentially and in a roundabout way, perhaps save another life one day.
These are the 11 I came up with, plus some that could join the list soon and some teams that would’ve once made this list but have now fallen too far…
1 | New England Patriots
2 | New York Yankees
3 | Dallas Cowboys
4 | Boston Red Sox
5 | Los Angeles Lakers
Impressive to maintain this spot, considering how far they’ve fallen.
6 | Notre Dame football
7 | Denver Broncos
8 | Duke basketball
9 | San Antonio Spurs
Even though the narrative has transitioned to “gotta respect them,” there’s still a certain level of disdain that comes with yet another Spurs playoff run.
10 | St. Louis Cardinals
11 | Pittsburgh Steelers
Knocking on the door: Kentucky basketball… Golden State Warriors… Alabama football… Ohio State football… Green Bay Packers… San Francisco Giants… Cleveland Cavaliers… Michigan football… Seattle Seahawks… Los Angeles Dodgers… Roman Reigns.
Used to be on the list but then got bad and couldn’t sustain the hate: Boston Celtics… USC football… San Francisco 49ers… Florida State football… Miami Heat… University of Miami football… Soviet Olympics… University of Texas football… Detroit Pistons… University of Florida football… First Take.