This article actually examines why everyone hates Duke, but the theories — and there are many of them — are broad and philosophical as opposed to dealing with specific players and personalities, and just about all of the reasons apply equally to the Yankees. I think I like this one:
I think the reward is from investment and return–regardless of the
direction for or against a particular team. The more you invest, the
greater the return needs to be for you to feel value in the experience.
If you really hate Duke and they lose, you feel good. If they lose big,
you feel great. If they lose on a replay of the Christian Laettner shot
at the Spectrum and you get to see Coach K thoroughly disgusted while
you are on the phone canceling your American Express card, then that is
The first one, though, dealing with business growth, probably makes the most sense. I mean, I don’t remember anyone walking around in 1980 talking smack about Microsoft or spending a lot of time in 1991 talking about how much they hated the Yankees, do you?
(tip o’ the cap to Old Gator for the link)