Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 20, 2011 / 18 Sivan, 5771

LeBron Shows Hate Is Winning the Day

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A Dallas basketball team won the NBA title this past week, but to hear most people tell the story, LeBron James lost it.

They say it with glee.

"LeBron thought he was so great. Ha-ha. Look at how he messed up at the end!"

All across the country, people rejoiced in the comeuppance of LeBron and his Miami Heat teammates, who had banded together through free agency to try to build a super team. It's not exactly a crime. But the hubris they showed, people said, turned public opinion against them.

So much so that far more people were rooting for Miami to crumble this past week than were actually passionate about Dallas winning.

At the same time, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner was embroiled in his sexting scandal. He tried to save his job. Apologized. Went to rehab. But as more naughty photos and racy texts emerged, you could hear the screams rising. "Quit! Quit! Quit!"

Finally, under the weight of that chorus, he did. And today, just a few days later, nobody cares what he does with his camera or his crotch. It's as if a thirst has been quenched.

There's a thread that runs through these two issues. Some call it "Hating on." I call it "Rooting Against." It seems this is becoming at least as popular as "Rooting For."

Maybe even more so.

Think about it. The passion to see people fail feels hotter these days than the pulling for a winner. After Tiger Woods' scandal, you could feel the tide of public opinion hoping someone else -- anyone else -- won at the Masters, as long as Woods stumbled. (He did. You remember that, right? Now ask yourself who won.)

The Yankees are the team personification of Rooting Against. Alex Rodriguez is the Yankee amongst hated Yankees. Lindsay Lohan is a poster child for this trend in entertainment. Even President Barack Obama seems to inspire a strong undercurrent of folks who delight in seeing him mess up.

I'm not saying there aren't things not to like about all of these people. But there also may be things to like. Or, at least, things you can ignore.

But we are drawn to Root Against. It has a seductive, burning appeal, a certain satisfaction we draw from another's failure.

By the way, I am as guilty of this as the next guy. But lately, I've been wondering why.

After the NBA Finals were lost, James made these comments about the negative fans:

"All the people that were rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before. … I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live….

"They can get a few days or a few months … on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."

Not surprisingly, he was vilified for this. He apologized, said he wasn't superior to anyone. Didn't matter. The hate rained down.

I'm reading his comments, and while they were ill timed, I'm wondering exactly what he said that wasn't true? We all do get back to our lives. In fact, we never leave them.

Are we so unhappy in our own daily travails that we revel in the chance to see someone else fail? Wouldn't it be just as easy to root for someone to win, or to do better, or to come back -- and if they don't, just shrug it off and try to find something else to pull for?

I know it sounds Pollyannaish. But the temperature of this country has gotten very hot, anger is a far preferred to kindness, and when "Fail!" becomes our battle cry rather than "Succeed!" we should at least ask ourselves why.

After all, that old baseball song says, "It's root, root, root for the home team; if they don't win it's a shame…." There's no line about cheering if the other team gets clobbered.



Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2011, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles