Why do we, as a society in general, root for failure? Is it an effort to feel better about ourselves? Is it entertainment value for a jaded society to see people struggle or fail completely? Or is it just simply blood-lust? Clearly, in some cases, it stems from support for our own teams. As a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, I want my team to succeed, and therefore need to see the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns fall. The same goes for the teams I root for in other sports, with the desire to see my rivals lose as much as possible, so that my team is in better shape.
It goes beyond that, though, for many people. Instead of rooting for a team to lose, so that our favorite team can succeed, we begin to root for personal failures. So many fans revel in the misery of others, and while I salute their devotion to their team, I find myself wondering how we got this way. Bengals fans could say years of seeing our own guys have issues led us to enjoy when somebody else finally has some. Ben Roethlisberger‘s well-publicized troubles seemed to delight the city of Cincinnati, as unfair as that is. Steelers fans are quick to point out the history of guys like Pacman Jones just as quickly.