It’s A Thin Line Between Love And Hate

There’s an old proverb that states, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Clearly this was said eons before the advent of the 64 team NCAA basketball tournament. 

Last night my wife, a Duke grad and fan, and I were watching Sweet Sixteen games at a local watering hole over a meal and a martini. I went to Nevada and picked Michigan State to win my pool so for all intents and purposes I never had a dog in the fight. Her Blue Devils lost the night before so I thought she was now teamless too.

“I’m not sure who I want to win,” I said between bites.

“In these games (Saturday night) or to win it all?” She replied after a sip.

I have friends who pledge allegiance to Notre Dame and Oregon, two of my children and one of my best friends attended the University of Wisconsin. I bear no grudge toward the Orange and harbor no ill will for Iowa State. I have nothing against the Hoosiers or Wahoos and I almost attended Gonzaga. So for whom should I, could I cheer? The only thing I knew for sure was, because of my marital allegiance to the Blue Devils, that I COULD NOT, WOULD NOT become a Tar Heel fan, not for two measly weeks, not for two seconds. As a Duke alum I was convinced my bride felt the same, until she didn’t.

“I guess I’d like to see Carolina win it all,” is what the person to whom I’m married, the one I thought I knew, said. 

I nearly choked on my bite of lump meat crab and asparagus mac and cheese. Was this some form of Stockholm Syndrome? Was the love of my life suffering from some sort of actual March Madness? I guessed she was going to say Oregon because they beat Duke and, you know the reasoning, if they go on to win it all it means Duke could have too. Any other team would have made more sense to me than the hated in state rival. But she said it and she meant it. After regaining my composure I asked the only question that made sense to me,

“Why?”

“If Carolina wins, it’s good for Duke,” was her brilliant, obvious, seven word answer but it didn’t sink it right away. Then she added “school first, conference second.”

I am a life long SF Giants fan and because of that, even though they are in the same division, I could never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ahh heck one more ever for good measure, root for the damn Dodgers to win anything and I told my wife so.

“I get it,” she replied trying to assuage my confusion, ” but that’s apples and oranges.” I said nothing about the fruit salad so she continued, “if the Dodgers win it doesn’t help the Giants financially. It doesn’t get better players to come play for San Francisco.” If Carolina wins a national championship it’s also good for Duke.”

I understood her reasoning but that didn’t mean I had to like it. Roy Williams is not my idea of a great coach, or even a good one for that matter. His team’s win in spite of him not because of him. I told my wife that.

“All true,” she said, “so it’s Virginia.” Maybe if Zach Auguste didn’t act like such a punk she would have said Notre Dame, I thought.

Like I said, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

About Keith Hirshland

My name is Keith Hirshland and I am a four decades television veteran who has spent time both in front of and behind the camera. During nearly forty years in broadcasting my path has crossed in front of, behind and alongside some of the best in the business... And some of the worst. Many of those people I count as friends while others wouldn't make the effort to spit on me if I was on fire. This television life started early watching my Mom and Dad found, fund and run a local affiliate TV station in Reno, Nevada. As a teenager approaching adulthood I worked for them, first as an on-air sports reporter/anchor and later as a director and producer. Jobs in the industry took me across the country and then to many places around the world. Sports is my passion and putting it on TV has been my business. Production credits include auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, college football, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and water polo but the majority of my time "in the chair" since 1990 has been invested in the game of golf with both ESPN and The Golf. Channel ( I was one of the first forty people hired by TGC in 1994 ). I am a fan and I watch TV sports as a fan but I also have hundreds of thousands of hours watching from inside a production truck. I think that makes me qualified to comment, my hope is you agree. I have written two books, Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat), a memoir that is a tribute to my parents, the hard working, creative people who started ESPN2 and The Golf Channel and a look back at my life in television. My second book is a novel, Big Flies, and is a mystery that tells the story of a father and a son with four of the world's most notorious unsolved robberies as a backdrop. I look forward to sharing new thoughts about golf, golf television, sports in general and the broadcast industry with you. The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are not connected to nor endorsed by any other person, association, company or organization.
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One Response to It’s A Thin Line Between Love And Hate

  1. Brett Torvinen says:

    I want to be at the next alumni event she attends! I am imagining the readers comment section in SI following the swimsuit issue. Like her gumption though!

    Liked by 1 person

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