Irvine, we are so Good that we Have More than One Rival. Check it
The Dodgers have already won. I say that because at the end of any season, whether the Dodgers win the World Series or come in second to last in the division, as long as they finish better than the Giants, I am happy. They finished way ahead of the Giants this year, and as far as I am concerned, that is a success. Anything else is just icing on the cake.
My hatred for the Giants stems from one thing: rivalry. The Dodgers and the Giants are the consummate example of rivalry, and I love it. Having a rival makes every team better. It automatically becomes more than just about a win or loss. It becomes a contest of heart and toughness. Pride being the fuel behind any good rivalry.
One thing UC Irvine students like to think is that we, as a school, lack a rival. Schools like USC and UCLA hate each other. Cal and Stanford kids do not talk to one another. So, who are we supposed to hate?
We are not really close to any other UCs except UCLA, but they already have USC, so that does not really work. Long Beach State is close and is a substantial opponent in most sports, but at the same time they are not a UC school, that doesn’t work, either. UC San Diego is close and a UC, but almost all of their sports are Division II, which makes them really not that relevant in our sports realm. UC Santa Barbara is very similar in both athletics and academics and is probably the most relevant candidate for where our hatred should go, but at the same time, it is hard to hate a school almost two and half hours away.
That is why, as a student body, we just need to leave it up to the teams to tell us who to hate. Geographically, we don’t have a cross-town rival and as such, all of the programs have their own rivalries. Case in point:
The men’s soccer team played UCSB on Saturday, and I guarantee that before that game, all they thought about was how much they hated UCSB. Over the last few years, UCSB has overshadowed our program on the national level even though both programs have similar levels of talent. I hate that.
Now, think about a sport like golf. Over the last couple of seasons, the UCI golf team has had UC Davis nipping at their heels. The two schools have developed a slight hatred simply based on how close Davis comes to beating us. But they never do and now we have to keep it that way. See, a rivalry is born.
However, it is different for a sport like baseball. In retrospect, two schools in the region are very good, and it is always a priority to beat either Cal State Fullerton or Long Beach State.
However, ever since the Irvine program exploded a few years back and Long Beach began to struggle, Fullerton was added to the shit list, especially since former UCI baseball coach Dave Serrano left us for Fullerton last season. The players now make it a point to hate Fullerton.
Then you take a program like swimming. They hate UCSB. Why? Because they are good, and out of all the schools UCI competes against, UCSB students live the most similar style of college life. It is annoying how similar they are to our swimming program and how they have beaten us a few times in the last few years. UCI swimmers can’t help but hate them.
So now let me tell you who I hate. ASUCI has developed the “Black and Blue” rivalry with Long Beach State, and I agree with it. That rivalry works very well because two of our big sports, basketball and volleyball, would probably consider Long Beach State their biggest rivals.
Yet, I take it a step further and just hate any state school. Every time we play a state school, we chant, “UC REJECTS! … clap, clap, clap. UC REJECTS! … clap, clap, clap.” I love that chant. Still, overall, my main hatred goes to UCSB. They think they are so cool. Pisses me off.
Don’t believe the hype; believe the Hypothesis.