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In Pittsburgh, We Have Rivalries – And Then The Teams We Love To Hate

Keith Srakocic
In this Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates as he leaves the field after defeating the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

There are sports rivalries, and then there are teams that Pittsburgh fans love to hate.

For many Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the New England Patriots fall into the "hate" category.  The level of animosity might rise a few notches Sunday if the Patriots defeat Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII and capture their sixth Lombardi Trophy, matching the Steelers' record.

NPR’s biggest Pittsburgh sports fan, David Greene and 90.5 WESA’s Kevin Gavin talked about what makes an opponent go from "rival" to "hated enemy."

Interview highlights:

Greene explained his feelings toward other NFL teams. 

“For the Ravens, it's respectful hatred; the Eagles I sort of like; and then the Patriots, I don't know I just want them to not exist. The franchise just turns me off; maybe there's an arrogance."

Greene said he sees a corollary between Washington Capitols fans' attitude toward the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers fans feelings about the Patriots.

"Capitols fans have this sense of fatalism, 'the Penguins are going to beat us no matter what,' and I love watching Capitols fans in pain. I just worry the Patriots fans treat us in the same way."