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Rest in peace...

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I've written it a few times, but it always bears repeating: For all of the "the Dodgers and their fans are wisps of skin peeled from Satan's sunburn," kind of sentiments I like to have fun with, it isn't to be taken too seriously. Following a sport is supposed to be a fun thing. If you honestly believe that a person's choice in their rooting interests defines what kind of person they are, you're beyond help. Go away.

Razzing a friend or relative who roots for a rival might be one of the best things about following sports. There isn't anything better than the trash-talking that goes on before a game. But it should all be in good fun. Everything about sports should be fun.

One of my favorite people in the world died unexpectedly yesterday. He was not only a Dodgers fan, but he was a Lakers and Rams fan as well. When we'd talk baseball, I enjoyed reminding him that the Dodgers hadn't finished with a better record than the Giants since 1996. After Steve Finley hit the grand slam off Wayne Franklin in 2004, it didn't take long for my friend to give me a call and correct the longstanding claim. It was all in good fun, even though I was probably just a little bitter at the time. When we'd talk basketball, I enjoyed reminding him that the Dodgers hadn't finished with a better record than the Giants since 1996. Stupid Warriors.

Those kinds of things make up a lot of the memories I'll hold onto. So consider this an open thread to talk about the good-natured things you've done in the name of sports rivalries. It seems like one of the best ways I can honor his memory. Have you had to wear another team's colors after a loss? Ever dated someone with a different rooting interest? I had a next-door neighbor with a turtle named Steve Garvey. I love turtles. Yet I always wanted to flip that one on its back - just for a few minutes, mind you - and scream at it for various infidelities. Actually, that wouldn't really have been good-natured. Forget about that one.

I know one of you out there has had to wear a Dodgers hat for a day because of a lost bet. Yick. You might want to keep that one to yourself. But today is about one of the best things about sports: friendly rivalries. Open friendly rivalry thread.