In Greek mythology, before the gods of Olympus, there were the Titans, a group of siblings who came to power by overthrowing their dad, Uranus, and chopping off his dick. The Titan Cronus, who took the throne from his castrated father, was then himself defeated and imprisoned by his own son, Zeus.
The dick is a metaphor. The story is a reminder of power’s cyclical nature. A dynasty takes the reins, hungry and with a killer instinct, only to grow complacent, lose a step, and fall to a young upstart. So it goes in American sports, where the pantheon of famously hateable franchises has looked something like this for a generation:
- New York Yankees
- Boston Red Sox
- New England Patriots
- Dallas Cowboys
It’s been sleepy times lately for those four. The Yankees are years removed from being consistent enough to hate, and without a Tom Brady or Curt Schilling these days it’s mostly just the city of Boston that’s odious. And the Boys? They haven’t won a thing or been to a Super Bowl in nearly a quarter-century.
The evil-empire landscape is ripe for upheaval. The old gods of Dallas and the northeast are vulnerable.
Enter the Houston Astros. With a title run in this most ridiculous of years — after making the playoffs on a losing record — baseball’s favorite pariah could chop its way to the top of Sports Asshole Olympus.
The Astros are so instantly annoying. It’s almost effortless from Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman and the rest. Derek Jeter levels of obnoxiousness. A win this year would make people furious. And Houston, one of America’s largest cities and a thriving sports market, is the perfect home for an up-and-coming unbearable dynasty.
You couldn’t set it up any better.
Ratings bright spots aside, it’s been a historically grim year for baseball. There would be poetry in an Astros championship. Think of the fires it would start! The endless, futile debates about legitimacy! The renewed browbeating over fair play in an ethically bankrupt industry!
Yes, Houston is currently down 0-2 against the Rays, and it’s not looking great. But a comeback now would only increase the Astros’ hateability index.
Let it burn! Let Houston’s reign begin. Who cares? It’s more interesting than watching the Dodgers win.