Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome, once again, to Rutgers Hate Week. What's that you say? You aren't all that familiar with Rutgers Hate Week? Well then, a quick background:
UConn doesn't exactly have a rich football tradition to draw a rival from, but we make do with what we have, and what we have is Rutgers. Even though neither side will willingly admit it, both teams are on just about equal footing. Both started playing decent football at about the same time, they both cover the same recruiting ground and both have a coach who is likely to leave in the next couple of years, setting the program back. Rutgers beat UConn to national prominence (or at least what counts from prominence for a Big East team) by about a year, and I get the sense that a lot of UConn fans are a little jealous of the outsized national attention that Rutgers can get. Likewise, I feel Rutgers is jealous of the fact that our men are stronger, women are prettier and our campus less smelly than their counterparts in New Jersey.
So yeah, Rutgers is the rival. As for the hate? That's easy, because it is almost completely supplied by Kevin Meacham. Meacham hails from New Jersey and hates Rutgers, so when this site gave him a platform to express that hate, he did. Over and over and over and over again.
This year, I'd expect to see much more hate, especially since UConn's last two meetings with Rutgers have been hideously painful losses (be sure to note the timestamps in those last two links. The first one went up as Tony Ciaravino lined up for a game-winning field goal. The second is pretty self-explanatory.)
As you may be aware, yesterday was Rutgers' homecoming. They scheduled Tulane for an easy win. They did not get it. So to kick off Rutgers Hate Week in style, I'll leave you with the stream of messages Meacham left me as Rutgers collapsed. Take it away Kevin:
3:41 PM Kevin: oh this is goddamn deliciousi can't see it, but the rutgers game is on espn360but i am listeningand there's about 4:30 left and tulane has a 3rd and 3up 17-143:44 PM oh also rutgers' qb is hurtif we don't roll this team by 20 on friday, i will be very upsetOH DO I LOVE WHEN RUTGERS RUNS THE WILDCAT3:47 PM 4th and 7 from the 361:46 leftfor rutgersincomplete! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA