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Del Olaleye: Sports hate is healthy, so (bleep) Tom Brady and the Patriots

Del Olaleye: Sports hate is healthy, so (bleep) Tom Brady and the Patriots
It's easy to hate Tom Brady. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

F--- Tom Brady might be the most used phrase across Philadelphia the next two weeks. With the Eagles in the Super Bowl, Philly fan will be at full tilt as their city becomes one of the epicenters of the football world.Their what I like to call “sports hate” for Tom Brady stems from a past on-field result and a possible future result. He was the QB of the 2004 Patriots. The same Patriots who beat the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. He just so happens to be standing in their way again as the Eagles attempt to become Super Bowl champions for the first time. That is entry-level sports hate. Player A has a chance to ruin your season. They hate him because they should.

My sports hate for Tom Brady is at an elite level. I don’t think I’ve rooted against one player longer than I have Brady. As a Dolphins fan, Brady’s career includes countless victories against my favorite team. Not really countless. There is a record of it somewhere. I just refuse to look it up. The victories number so many that he has helped turned the Dolphins into merely a road bump he has to run over twice a season as opposed to a legitimate threat. The Dolphins have done enough to crater their own chances that I don’t really hate the Patriots anymore. They play a brand of football that is so far superior that I don’t even get mad when Miami loses. I’ve been in this stage of acceptance for about a decade. With that being said, I still root for Tom Brady to lose every time he touches the field. I told you I was at an elite level.

I know I’m not alone. There is at least one player, coach, referee or owner for everyone that no matter the situation, you hope they die a slow and painful sports death. I proposed this topic on the Raheel and Del show in mid-December and phone calls flooded the show. From Bud Adams to Matt Schaub to Nick Saban to Drayton McClane, everybody had someone they wanted to fail miserably. You continue to root for their failure long after the adverse effects on your team that they’re responsible for have worn off.

College football is the perfect place to cultivate your sports hate. Your school has the same opponents every year. Sometimes those opponents are in your home state. Opposing coaches, players and fans say things to hype up their squad by denigrating you and yours. I was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. So were several of my cousins. Our family football allegiances are divided amongst the big 3 schools in the state. Florida, Florida State and Miami. I have family who love Florida State and Florida. I will never root for the Seminoles or the Gators. I hope they lose every time they touch the field, court or pool. When people tell me they root for FSU or Florida I immediately begin to have thoughts about them as human beings. I can tell you those thoughts aren’t complimentary. Watching FSU catch an L on a Friday night in October at Boston College was better than watching Miami beat UNC the next day.

Like I said, I’m elite.

Spending a perfectly good 2.5 to 4 hours watching a sporting event you have no emotional connection to just to root for the downfall of a person you don’t know means your sports hate has reached Super Saiyian. Embrace that. When your teams are mediocre or flat out terrible you need something to give your sports life meaning. No better way to find meaning for an otherwise empty sports existence than to revel in another’s misery.

The Patriots have a chance to win their sixth Super Bowl. Nobody needs that. I’ve got no connection to the Eagles besides Eagles Fan Holly but I know who I’ll be rooting against in Super Bowl LII.

F--- Tom Brady? You're damn right, F--- Tom Brady.

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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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