At some point, people are going to realize that the New York Yankees are no longer very fun to hate. So just like NBA hate has shifted from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Golden State Warriors, or in the NFL from the Dallas Cowboys to teams like the New England Patriots & Seattle Seahawks, Baseball should, at some point, start hating on the Chicago Cubs.
At this point, much like the Warriors in 2015, the Cubs are still lovable, but much less than before. Yes, it’s been 108 years since their last World Series championship, and 71 years since they even made the World Series. But they were very good last season, making it to the NLCS, and are excellent, maybe on a historic level this season. They’re 7.5 games ahead of the next best team in the majors (Texas Rangers), 8 games ahead of the next beat team in the National League (Washington Nationals) and 13.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, their closest division rivals. The Cubs haven’t won the NL Central since 2008.
And it seems like they’re over their slump. They had a rough time heading into the All-Star game, even losing the best record in the majors to the San Francisco Giants for a short time. But while the Giants have been dreadful since the AS game, while the Cubs are 28-10 since July 15. They’re 18-4 in August, and with six games remaining, they could end up having their best calendar month since September, 1935.
However, it takes winning a championship to be truly hated, and the Yankees, even if they have just one title in the last 16 years, are still #1 on everyone’s list. The Dallas Cowboys don’t even have the most Super Bowl titles, but they remain a team everyone loves to hate. Some ballclubs, in every sport, just rise above everyone else when it comes to the attention and focus they draw.
The Patriots were a nice, sympathetic team once. They’re not hated just because of their success and dominance over the last 15 years. There’s the cheating, there’s a head coach who seems to be a Star Wars villain in real life, and a quarterback who probably isn’t the most relatable or people outside the football stadium.
the Seahawks were never too sympathetic, and even when winning a Super Bowl, players like Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson make it difficult for neutrals to root for them. But it’s obviously a lot more powerful these days, and the joy people had while seeing the Seahawks lose in the playoffs to the Carolina Panthers explains how the combination of success and a level of unlikability goes a long way.
The Golden State Warriors had everyone rooting for them to beat LeBron James in 2015. A year later? They became too good with their 73 wins. They trash talked too much. Arrogance became a part of their M.O. along with referees helping them out (illegal screens and such), Draymond Green taking the enforcer role too far, Stephen Curry and his wife (Curry, Wilson and J.J. Watt seem like three players you should like but somehow they all rub a lot of fans the wrong way), Klay Thompson lacking class; it all adds up. The Cubs would love to win a World Series and start receiving that kind of hate, but just ask Kevin Durant, who still hasn’t won anything: It takes a toll.