Last night I was privileged to attend my first All-Star game, which was really fun, and the game was better than I expected, and I was happy to see the National League win for a change. But I was surprised at the negativity displayed by some of the fans, when some of their team's rivals were introduced or came up to bat. Since this was Angels Stadium, the loudest boos were reserved for their hated rivals the Yankees of course. I understand that sports presents a great opportunity for national and local pride. I think it's great that fans get excited about the performance of their national team in the World Cup. I have no problems with feelings of local pride that bring fans out to cheer for their city's baseball or basketball team. And maybe it's harmless good fun to hate your team's rivals, as when the Giants come to play in Dodger Stadium, or the Celtics play the Lakers. That hate is the flip side of fans' devotion to their local team.
As I said, I'm all for national and local pride, and enthusiasm in sports, politics and life. I'm not trying to be a killjoy. I just like to see all that enthusiasm channeled in a positive direction.