This was originally a response to the Fiesta Bowl What thread, but obviously became too long. It may be blasphemy to some and undermine what little credibility I may have around here but here goes nothing...
I must admit, I feel a sort of pity/sympathy for our Scarlet-haired stepchildren. Though we may beat them furiously from time to time, their unwavering obsession with the University of Michigan is somewhat flattering and has, over time, garnered a slight bit of empathy from me. After all, they would be nothing without us and so the question we must ask ourselves is basically, should we wish for the total humiliation of our ingrate, bastard stepchildren? This is purely a judgment call. Personally, I find it very entertaining to behold but simply cannot muster enough spite to actively wish for its occurrence.
In considering this, I am compelled to philosophize. Bear with me at your leisure. Is it not the lot of resentful, bitter losers to wish misfortune upon their enemies? In particular, enemies who happen to have had a recent victory? Consider: Having lost to Oohi U this year, a victory for them in the Fiesta Bowl would, in a small way, vindicate our loss (conversely, should we have won the day, their other successes also add to our glory). Despite gains in prestige and respect that would come from an Oohi U victory, shall we, in irrational contempt, invest our energies in hopes for them to lose? This may be the role of a fan, in the minds of some. But how, then, would we be different from Dantonio, in that case of his dismissing a Rose Bowl opportunity due to his hate, or the Browneyes themselves, who, throughout history, have been looking up at the mountainous glory of MICHIGAN with hatred and venom in their hearts, always guided by the will to destroy that which is more beautiful and powerful than they? Shall we too succumb to that fevered state of mind? Shall we reduce ourselves to petty herd animals, simply reacting to an increasingly adverse environment with hostility and resentment?
Though we may have lost significant games in recent history, I vouch that we should not let our pride, our dignity, or our sense of nobility diminish. That is the ultimate battle -- do not let ourselves be reduced to their level! The greatest victory for them would be to fill our hearts and minds with resentment and hatred; reducing us to their level of pettiness, that is, to perceive of ourselves as dependents, as subservients, as subjugated, as they do perceive themselves. That, I say, is the most crucial contest of all.
In these times I always remind myself of the ultimate truth: No matter what, WE ARE BETTER THAN OOHI U. We are superior. We, the mighty Michigan Wolverines, are ALONE masters of our destiny! Our greatness is self-sustained, outwardly-imposing, self-perpetuating and independent of favorable or unfavorable outcomes of specific contests. That is, ultimately, what separates us from the Browneyes, the Spartines, and the rest of the unworthy -- they depend on their tangible, short-term successes against US to determine their sense of self-worth. WE, on the other hand, generate our sense of self-worth for ourselves and from ourselves because we know in our hearts that WE are Wolverines, and no one else is (except in Helsinki, home of our noble Finnic namesakes who, at least, have demonstrated supremely good taste). At the very least, we have the option to take the higher path of power while the unworthy are forbidden from it, due to their inherent ...unworth. And why, then, should we opt to trod upon the path of smelly herd peoples who are only able to react to the will of the strong?
One final point; I hope that my condemnation of hatred is not understood as a condemnation of a feeling more befitting men of power and wisdom, which is cruelty. Indeed, though I do not actively wish ill toward our quasi-educated and unhygienic bastard imitators from the southron valley most foul, I still delight in their suffering as they get their asses handed to them by the likes of Florida, LSU, USC, and so on. Cruelty, in moderation, allows us to enjoy the failure of our enemies without lowering ourselves to their level; for to hate something is to give it legitimacy because in hating, you invest energy and concern in a particular outcome. Cruelty is neutral in this regard, as there is no need to feel threatened by or even hostile toward something to savor the sweet fruit of its ruin. And if its ruin is prolonged for another day (until our next encounter!), then so be it. Our greatness remains.
And now let us return to the original question: To hate or not to hate. Specifically, "should we wish for the total humiliation of our ingrate, bastard stepchildren?" Alas, though we have traversed through many considerations, I fear many shall divide over the answer to this. Thinking of "hatred" as a state in which cruel desires are dominant, a question of simple economics can reveal a great deal. What is the worth of gaining prestige from an Oohi U win compared to the sheer entertainment value of their loss? How much do you value pride, and how much do you value cruelty? Although my delight in the misfortunes of the god-forsaken Browneyes is truly enormous, personally I find myself following my ancestors' way and seeking greater pride. Cruelty will just have to wait ... until the 2009 football season.
So, either way, I will be smiling tonight. It's a good way to be. Whatever your valuation may be in this regard, I urge you to be mindful of our overall position as Wolverines. That position, in a word, is simply this: Superior.