I’m talking about sports hate here. Not real hate. Don’t real hate anyone.
First off, the money quote:
“I don’t have any good thoughts on Xavier whatsoever.” - Bob Huggins.
That’s a strong statement to make. No good thoughts? You don’t like the city? You don’t like campus? You don’t appreciate what the program has done? You don’t grudgingly admire the passion of the fan base? No good thoughts at all?
What could the reasons for that be? It’s not like Xavier cut him off at the bar or something. Even if someone had, the man looks like he drinks out of a bag outside of the local gas station most nights anyway. No, the Musketeers haven’t curtailed Bob’s favorite habit.
What about shared heroes? “Early on, Pete [Gillen] and I didn’t get along very well.” Pete Gillen was probably the progenitor of the long run of success that Xavier is on now. In 1994, Huggins famously refused to shake Gillen’s hand because he didn’t appreciate the way that the Musketeers had conducted themselves during the game. Acting like that to one of the venerated coaches of Xavier’s program and a genuinely nice guy is just quintessential Huggins.
That’s rather odd given that Huggins himself chased the referees off the court in 1990. His behavior during the extremely heated years of the Crosstown Shootout was less than exemplary. He berated the refs, the fans, the opposing players, and the coaches on the other side. Back before he developed Body by Mad Dog, he was an energetic and obnoxious presence on the sideline. Think Mick Cronin, but with the body mass of an actual adult.
Maybe Huggins hates Xavier because they beat him twice when he had number one teams, or because they beat him again at Kansas St, or because they knocked him out of the NCAA tournament in the Sweet 16 behind BJ Raymond’s three pointers. Huggy Bear is 8-8 against Xavier as coach of UC and 0-2 otherwise.
So should Xavier fans hate Bob Huggins? Of course. Sports is here to serve as a microcosm of life in which some of life’s more extreme feelings can come out. I would never yell at 20 year old out in public unless he was wearing the colors of my favorite team. Screaming at a police officer or chasing one of them the way Huggins does with the refs won’t get you a stern lecture. And of course there’s plenty of room to despise John Calipari.
So hate Bob Huggins. Hate him because he drives drunk, and actual bad person thing to do, or acts like a complete wank on the sideline, or plays a brand of basketball that has only now started to catch up to this decade, or because he looks like he mainlines Big Macs and box wine. Hate him because he hates you. Hate him because he didn’t like Pete Gillen. Hate him because there’s no real reason not to.
Bob Huggins doesn’t like you. Remind him tomorrow that you don’t like him right back.