During football season, the state of Texas flies many flags.
Game day is (mostly) about good-natured ribbing. Some go beyond that, of course, to authentic repugnance.
Who can forget the police report in which the Oklahoma fan tore off — with hands doubling as vise grips — the Texas fan’s...Well, let’s just say he wasn’t exactly a man in full anymore.
There is some well-known football hate in Texas. Take a look.
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The Cowboys universally make the list of most hated, but their fans are not without a list of animus.
If you’re a Cowboys fan, you must despise...the Philadelphia Eagles. Once the Redskins were the most hated, but in this era it’s the Eagles, whose running back, Wilbert Montgomery, ran over the Cowboys en route the NFC Championship in 1980; whose loud-mouth coach, Buddy Ryan — with his bluster, bad swagger and gin blossom — went all El Chapo on Luis Zendejas in 1989, and whose fans cheered wildly as Michael Irvin lay motionless on the field in 1999. Now, as if the name alone doesn’t already stir up a cupful of bile, the Eagles stand in the way of all the Cowboys’ hopes and dreams, which start in the NFC East. There is no winning friends in Philly. Hate meter: 10.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Have you ever heard of this fable about the Steelers being the first to be offered the brand “America’s Team,” but owner Art Rooney turned it down? Dream on, dreamer. Hate meter: 9.
New York Giants: OK, it’s true. The Giants’ football brand boasts success the Cowboys could only dream of a few short years ago. But a dynasty? They’re dwarfs needing the shoulders of giants to see what true generational greatness is. Hate meter: 7.
Washington Redskins: Once the most hated, now they have an owner who resembles a garden gnome guarding the earth’s treasures underground. Cute. Keep spending, Danny. It’s like trying to cure a bad golf swing by swinging the club harder. Hate meter: 5.
DeMarco Murray: You’re a good guy, DeMarco, but we’re keeping a close eye on you. Hate meter: 2.
The Horned Frogs are in a good place as the hunted. That means you’re doing something right. You’re winning and generating hostility with a super-competitive coach who enjoys friction. Davey O’Brien would be most pleased.
If you’re a fan of the TCU Horned Frogs you most despise...Art Briles, who took every opportunity a year ago to remind fans and committee members alike — in his down-home way — that in the race for a spot in the CFP playoff, Baylor, not TCU, was deserving, and for one reason: The Bears beat TCU head-to-head in the regular season. “You know what? What country do we live in? I think it’s America,” Briles said. “You know, that’s always kind of been the American way. If there’s a conflict or a doubt, you put two people in a ring, they fight, there’s a winner.” Briles managed to get a kidney punch in at Big 12 Media Days when asked what he thought about TCU being picked to win the conference and Baylor — champion and co-champion the past two seasons — picked second. “I guess we’ve got to win it three years in a row to be picked first,” he snarked. Hate meter: 10.
Texas: Don’t you think you’re special? We know, we know...the world revolves around you. You bullied and practically ignored TCU as an afterthought for almost 50 years, which will make taking a butcher to Bevo for a cookout Oct. 3 all the more sweeter. See you then, yesterday. Hate meter: 9.
Baylor: The Bears got in the original Big 12 more than 20 years ago because of who they knew in the state house, leaving the horned lizards out in the desert for a figurative 40 days. And, make no mistake, they now treat Froggies like the stepchildren from Dad’s third wife. Hate meter: 8.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are TCU fans’ Niagara Falls. “Slowly I turn...” These West Texas cousins are natural rivals, and if you’ve never heard the “F” word used to disparage another, be in Lubbock on Sept. 26, especially after dropping 82 on Raider Red last year. Har-har-hardy-har-har. Hate meter: 7.
Oklahoma State: 5.
West Virginia: 4.
Kansas State: 3.
Iowa State: 2.
Only George’s is more tasty than the resentment some feel for the Bears football team and Briles, who has made the nation take notice of Waco. Yes, Waco.
If you’re a fan of Baylor, you most despise...TCU. It’s difficult to turn the other cheek on this topic. Who do you think you are, TCU!? While Baylor suffered through almost 20 years of futility playing with the big boys under six coaches, TCU pranced into the ballroom four years ago and is now living the charmed life of a Frog Prince. Baylor still remembers — and won’t let you forget — the whining tears that filled the Brazos to the banks last year. Hate meter: 10.
Texas: A challenge for children of the Lord, but everybody hates the entitled children of Texas. The Longhorns represent the locked gate Briles talks about. Baylor wants in where the privileged people play golf. Hate meter: 9.
Texas Tech: No matter how the schedule makers have tried, this game has yet to become one in which the National Guard needs to be on high alert. Still, this is a game between teams envious of the other’s position; though instead of Baylor being jealous, it’s now Tech who longs for Baylor’s fruited plains. And it’s in Arlington...cool. Hate meter: 8.
Oklahoma: Like their feelings for Texas, Baylor fans want to measure up. And there’s no measuring stick like the Sooners, winners of seven national championships. Baylor broke through last year, defeating Oklahoma on its home turf for the first time in the Big 12. Hate meter: 7.
Oklahoma State: 6.
West Virginia: 5.
Kansas State: 4.
Iowa State: 3.
The South Plains begin to itch this time of year and it’s not just because of the dust. It’s football season and the heirs of E.J. Holub have a chip on their shoulders and some bad blood.
If you’re a fan of Texas Tech, you most despise...Texas. Despite misadventures last season and the last half of 2013 — and more forecast — the dreams of Red Raiders fans are as far and wide as the eyes can see on the South Plains. That’s big, and that circle on the calendar is Thanksgiving night, the date of the Texas game with ambitions of knocking Kong off his perch. Hate meter 10.
TCU: The Horned Frogs took Texas A&M’s spot in the conference and stepped right into the juicy rivalry Tech once had with Aggie and his all-boys cheerleading club. These two share history and, after TCU gave Tech a big knot on the forehead last season, this is reaching a boiling point. Dignity is now on the line. Hate meter: 9.
Baylor: This was once an automatic “W” on the way to an 8-4 or 7-5 season, but the tables have turned. If Baylor can be a perennial top-10 program, why on God’s green earth can’t Texas Tech? Losing this game now sends Tech fans into a vulgarity rage not seen in these parts since Mike Leach sent Craig James’ kid to the dark room. Hate meter: 8.
Oklahoma State: 6.
Kansas State: 5.
Iowa State: 4.
West Virginia: 3.
The Longhorns, like the Cowboys, are the hated and hunted. But they loathe, too — don’t kid yourself — especially in an era of drought in Austin.
If you’re a Texas fan, you most despise...Oklahoma. Nothing leaves Longhorns fans with a case of the reds like a loss to their archrival in the Red River Rivalry at the actual Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Sooners have owned the series in recent years, having lost only once in the previous five seasons. Much more than pride is on the line here, most notably recruiting. The hate has endured for more than a century. Carry on. Hate meter: 10.
Texas A&M: This has cooled in recent years because, as any good Longhorns fan will tell you, the Aggies ran scared. But the two still compete fiercely on the recruiting battlefield. Hate meter: 9.
Arkansas: This dates to the old SWC days and was renewed last year in the Texas Bowl. The Razorbacks jumped Texas 31-7, leaving Texas fans with bad memories. Hate meter: 8.
Baylor: The Bears’ new status as national power has put this game on the map of Football Hate. Texas fans long for the day their Longhorns can put the Bears back in their place. Hate meter: 7.
Texas Tech: Leach poured some chili powder on this game in the 2000s and Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree stuck it to Texas with a victory in the closing seconds of the 2008 faceoff. Instability in Lubbock, however, has since cooled the rivalry. Hate meter: 6.
Oklahoma State: 5.
Kansas State: 4.
West Virginia: 3.
Iowa State: 2.
The Aggies left a lot bitterness behind when they took off for the Southeastern Conference. They’re building new ill will. They’re Aggies, after all.
If you’re an Aggies fan, you most despise...Texas. Still. That hasn’t changed even though the two have cut off diplomatic ties. Call it a cold war. They’ll be back at it in due time. In the meantime, they snipe off the field — most recently, Texas trying to steal A&M’s prized QB recruit. Hands off. Hate meter: 10.
Alabama: The Ags and Johnny Manziel made an immediate rival by going to the backwoods of the heart of Dixie and giving the Tide a little Texas football know-how in 2012, A&M’s first season in the SEC. Hate meter: 9.
LSU and Arkansas: These two are new SEC rivals closest to College Station. Both poke their noses in the Lone Star State looking for talent. That makes these games important. Hate meter: 8.