To truly understand what this article is about, I think it's necessary to go over some of the "unwritten rules of sports."
Here are just a few of the rules:
1. Don't "pimp" your homer, especially when winning
2. Don't showboat to end an NBA/WNBA/NCAAM/NCAAW game
3. Don't shoot the puck toward the goal after a whistle
4. Don't bunt to try to break up a no-hitter or perfect game
5. Don't cross the pitcher's mound
6. Accept defeat
7. Don't steal with a big lead
8. Don't talk to another player's golf ball
Now take all of those and throw them out the window when it comes to rivalries.
Rivalries, especially the great ones, run so deep that there is genuine hate. Heck, Georgia vs Georgia Tech is literally known as "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate."
So when you hate someone, why pull the punch?
At some point, your rival will probably get you back for the disrespect, but don't worry about the disrespect in the future because you'll be celebrating now.
I'm a Boston Red Sox fan, and I saw us beat the NY Yankees 16-1 in one of the largest blowouts in postseason history. What gets forgot in that is that we once beat the Yankees 17-1 and they once beat us 22-1 back in 2000. The point being, when you're presented the opportunity to blowout a rivalry, you take that opportunity to send a message.
Ask fans of some of the great sports rivalries, and they'll probably tell you the same.
Ask Ohio State and Michigan fans about "The Game" and they'll tell how much they hate each other.
Ask older Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens fans about you'll bring up bad blood that extends beyond sports.
Ask almost any futbol (football or soccer if you prefer) about Real Madrid vs Barcelona, and they'll tell you why that game is called "El Clásico," and fans of the teams, especially the ones in Spain, will tell you why they hate each other, and the players will show it.
I could go on and on about all of these great sports rivalries, but the point is that there are a lot of them, and there's usually bad blood involved.
While the unwritten rules of sports should be followed in almost every situation, rivalries are a different story. There are some sports rivalries that have lasted for centuries, so sometimes teams have to unleash centuries of hate on a team in one game.
Some people may hate having the score run up on them or being disrespected, but if you don't like teams or players styling on you, don't let it happen.
When you beat your rivals, it sends a message. When you annihilate your rivals, it tattoos the message to them until the end of time.
And if you're responsible for breaking the unwritten rules of sports on a rival, you'll be famous and infamous. Your fans will love you and your rivals fans will hate you. Especially if you hope over a fence to fight someone's trainer, but that's an article for another day.
Either way, you'll be a legend. And legends never die.