This is the word 'hate' as described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury." Dictionary.com says: " to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest." If you look at Wikipedia it describes hate: "a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against a certain object or class of objects."
And with examples like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, or Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, it does stand that the true sense of word, indeed, does exist in sports today.
Hatred usually involves a bit of danger, as well. If a man hates another man, he'd have no problem doing bodily harm to the hatee. In places where fans mix to watch games we've seen this as well via harassment, and fights that can even lead to death.
But this word has found itself in the middle of a sports craze that's running annoyingly through the world of fandom.
Fandom has taken over the word, 'hate' and changed the definition to: "If you say anything anywhere from, slightly objective, to opposing, about my favorite team—true, false, or otherwise—you're a 'hater.'"
Often, the average fan has their opinion on various situations. Whether they're wrong or not is a gray area. So many times, some crazed fan will predict something silly like: 'Cliff Lee will re-sign with the Phillies' and…well…yeah.
The ridiculous ramblings between fans usually fog up the ability to decipher between when someone is being realistic or biased. Often, the word 'hater' comes from fans who have grown accustomed to defending their team—especially if they're the favorites.
Other times, it's a team the locals have been watching for a long time through the thick and thin. This allows the local fans to know the true strengths of their team. Likely, when the team finds a measure of success, their loyal fans are not surprised by the team's sudden potential. In a lot of cases, the locals may have an over-inflated view of their team in this case.
Outsiders with a more objective opinion may determine that the local fan base is a bit over-reactive to their new team and may offer a word of opinion, as sports fans do. They may say things like: "It's a long season." Or a more harsh: "They're not as good as they appear." Or something even more harsh than that (as some don't have the brain-power to express intelligently. Rather, they prefer to insult.)
Either way, when the local fan can't refute, they spout out of their mouth: "You're a hater."
While this isn't really a new phrase, last NBA season, (and I'm sure I'll be called a 'hater' for this, too) Miami Heat fans, arguably, used the word more than any living thing in existence.
I said I think LeBron James is selfish. And even though no one disagreed, I was called anywhere from an 'Uncle Tom', to a 'bumbling idiot.' Every time, I was called a 'hater' in the process.
I don't believe I hate LeBron James. I don't want anything bad to happen to him. I'm not jealous of his money as some of you may have suggested. I don't think anything else other than: he's selfish, and any byproduct that comes from selfishness.
Do I hope he succeeds? Absolutely.
Some may not even want that for him. And some, may indeed, actually hate him.
Al-Qaeda hates America. Cain hated Able. The Devil hates us. I have no clue who hates me, but I hate no one.
Please, sports fans, let's cut the overuse of the word hate. It's highly annoying.
Vincent Heck is a life long resident of the Philadelphia area, and is a Philadelphia sports freelance blogger. Follow him on Twitter: @HeckPhilly
View Vincent Heck's article archive.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.
Updated Jul 11, 3:00 pm EDT