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16 More of the Most Despised NFL Players

Tim Tebow Is Hated by Many, But the Man Seems to Have a Good Attitude.

Tim Tebow Is Hated by Many, But the Man Seems to Have a Good Attitude.

This is the top part of our list on the NFL’s most-hated people. Many of the players and personalities listed in this group once topped the list of football hatred. Like hit songs that slowly descend the charts, these players continue to tap a reservoir of spite, but might not be quite as relevant as they once were.

Such lists are highly subjective. Many people reading about Rex Ryan or Marshawn Lynch might think I’m crazy to put them on a list of hated figures. The people who love Tim Tebow have to think the general public is out of their minds to hate such a man. Those who know and love Rowdy feel much the same way.

Also, I break the mold on this list. I include one set of NFL fans. I also include a much-reviled mascot. It might be considered false advertisement to claim 16 players are being featured. I’m certain, after you read my comments, you’ll agree that these are suitable inclusions. In the case of the fandom, I don’t know if a hate list would be complete without some mention of that particular vortex of negativity.

Figures of Pure Sports Hatred

I think most people will agree that the mere mention of these names tend to cause stress and angst, at least among the average fan. Many of the people on this list have devoted followings, while the general dislike of them isn’t quite as searing as it is for the people on the other list. The hatred in this set isn’t as pure and unadulterated, but in many cases, it’s because the people haven’t had the kind of recent success which it would take to inspire real dislike.

In most cases, their offenses are a little more nebulous. It’s hard to dislike people for smiling too much, though Tim Tebow and Rowdy both manage to accomplish that feat. Many of these people are just too loud and boorish. While in Marshawn Lynch’s case, the complaint seems to be that he’s not loud enough.

We include a couple of convicted criminals on this list. They might be higher rated, but one is technically no longer affiliated with the NFL. Still, his offenses were so bad, and his conviction was so recent, that I felt the need to honor his achievements, so to speak.

The Worst People in the NFL

I’m not sure if most of the others are really that bad, but they still inspire dislike, disdain, and disapproval. Some people have an aura about them. Even when they’ve done nothing wrong, you just hate what they stand for. Some of these people can be described as those types.

In the previous post on the most hated people in the National Football League, I wrote a thoughtful essay on why people hate athletes so much. I’ll spare you the exposition in this half of the article and get to our list of hate-producing pro football notables.

32. Carson Palmer – Quarterback – Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer - Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer Looks Like Troy Aikman’s Conceited Nephew.

Forbes has Carson Palmer as the 8th-most hated player in the NFL. They cite his reputation as a prima donna with the Cincinnati Bengals, along with his injury history and his inability to meet expectations.

I’d probably have had a bad attitude if I were dealing with Mike Brown before he finally seemed to figure things out, but I’ll defer to Forbes’ opinion on the matter.

I suppose the hatred is because he never could get things done with the Cincinnati Bengals. Maybe it’s because he retired in his prime over a contract dispute, making him a quitter–and a selfish quitter. Maybe it’s because he returned to the horrid Oakland Raiders, or because he flashed talent again in Arizona, only to go out for the year in 2014. Maybe people hate him by association with Chad Ochocinco.

I have a theory of why he might be hated among the wider NFL fan population. Carson Palmer has been around the NFL long enough that he has been owned by virtually every fantasy football owner active in the past 10 to 12 years. He’s always been good enough to be a viable quarterback, but never good enough to actually take fantasy teams to a title.

Think about it…do you know one single fantasy team that won a title with Carson Palmer at the helm?

Maybe…maybe somewhere he was on a team with Ladainian Tomlinson and Bryan Westbrook at a point. Maybe then, he won a trophy. I doubt it. Heck, I saw a team led by Aaron Brooks win a league title. Kordell Stewart? Yes, he also won a league title. I can confirm it. Think about it…Aaron Brooks and Kordell Stewart had more fantasy titles. So screw Carson Palmer.

31. Josh Gordon – WR – Cleveland Browns

Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns

Josh Gordon Helped Lots of People Win Fantasy Football Trophies in 2013.

Josh Gordon is primarily hated by Cleveland Browns fans. He’s also disliked by the many fantasy owners he’s screwed over the years with his bad decisions. That goes especially for people in dynasty leagues.

For a short time, Josh Gordon was arguably the best receiver in the National Football League. He did more without quarterback support than any other receiver in the league. Josh Gordon gave the Browns a veritable star, and then he was gone.

Why was it that Josh Gordon was gone? Because he couldn’t stop smoking pot. Amazing.

30. Manti Te’o – Linebacker – San Diego Chargers

Diana Omeara as Lennay Kekua

Quick Recap: To Fool Manti Te’o, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Pretended to be Lennay Kekua by Using a Picture of Diane O’Meara (above).

Now, it’s just sad that Manti Te’o is so hated. It’s been confirmed by authorities, over and over again, that Manti Te’o was a victim of a scam artist: Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Yet despite being a victim of an awful hoax, Manti Te’o is still blamed for his role in what happened.

We all know the story. Manti Te’o was so good in his final year at Notre Dame, this linebacker was considered for the Heisman Trophy. He sometimes would talk about his deceased online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua had died on September 11, 2012, on the same night as his grandmother. Kekua had been a student at Stanford and they had had an online relationship. Then she got leukemia, and then she died in a car accident. Te’o didn’t miss games, because he promised her he wouldn’t. The whole country pulled for this kid.

Then Deadspin investigated and found that Lennay Kekua never existed. People though Manti Te’o had pulled a hoax. To this day, many people still think he was the perpetrator and not the victim. Those who remember the truth remember that Te’o had an online relationship with a guy (though it was a guy pretending to be a woman), which to many is even worse than lying about your dead girlfriend. Whatever the case, we just know we don’t like the guy.

29. Drew Rosenhaus – Sports Agent – Rosenhaus Sports Representation

Drew Rosenhaus with Cellphone

Drew Rosenhaus Once Told 60 Minutes “The NFL Would Fall Apart Without Me.”

Alright, everybody has an image of a slimy lawyer or agent. That image that everybody has is remarkably similar to the Drew Rosenhaus. Many people probably picture the T.O. press conference where Drew Rosenhaus had his ultimate performance, repeatedly calling for “Next Question” when he didn’t like the last question.

Or maybe they remember he broke into the NFL from the University of Miami, simply because he befriended a bunch of really talented Miami Hurricanes players. When a holdout happens, they expect Drew Rosenhaus is behind it.

What people might not know is that most NFL teams like dealing with Drew Rosenhaus. He gets deals done, fair and simple. While he’s seen his share of holdouts, he is not known for being unreasonable with other teams. He’s a dealmaker. But man, he’s a really obnoxious dealmaker.

Speaking of which, if Rosenhaus ever warrants a statue, he should be holding a smartphone to his ear. When Miami Hurricanes standout Willis McGahee was entering the NFL, he chose Rosenhaus to be his agent. McGahee had torn up his knee in a bowl game, but was still trying to get 1st round draft pick money. The rumor was that, when the Bills were on the clock, Rosenhaus convinced Buffalo to draft McGahee by pretending to be in a phone conversation with another NFL team while the ESPN cameras were focused on him.

Whether that’s true or not is immaterial. It’s the kind of story people imagine is possible with the cocky sports agent.

28. The Pouncey Brothers – Offensive Lineman – Dolphins & Steelers

Free Hernanzez by the Pouncey Brothers

I Give Them Thumbs Up for Loyalty, But Thumbs Down for Lack of Common Sense and Decency.

The Pouncey Brothers are disliked, because they were outspoken supporters of #21 on our list: Aaron Hernandez. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, offensive linemen for the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, spoke out on behalf of Hernandez. One of them wore a cap as token of their affection.

That might seem like simple loyalty to a troubled friend, but an old story once surfaced that Aaron Hernandez was questioned for a shooting at an intersection near a bar while he was still at the University of Florida.

The Pounceys also were at that bar that night with Hernandez, and they were questioned about their friend’s actions. Those charges were dropped, because it’s Florida and people don’t get punished for crimes in the Sunshine State. But they should have known.

Of the brothers, Mike Pouncey is hated more. That’s because he had a role in the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin workplace bullying debacle. So on top of everything else, Mike Pouncey is a bully.

27. Percy Harvin – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills

Percy Harvin Is Much Traveled

With His 4th Team in the Last 4 NFL Seasons, Percy Harvin Has Entered the Well-Traveled Category.

Percy Harvin is no bully. In fact, he appears to take up for his teammates. The ostensible reason Percy Harvin was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York Jets was because he got in a fight with his fellow teammate, Golden Tate. The reason he got in the fight (if true) seems to be loyalty to his quarterback, though.

Seattle Seahawks teammate Golden Tate was rumored to have had an affair with Russell Wilson’s first wife, Ashton Meem. The rumor was widespread enough that the New York Post published an op-ed piece calling on Golden Tate to admit to his wrongdoing. That never happened, but Percy Harvin confronted the man. The scoop around the NFL is he beat up his teammate. Golden Tate was more essential to the success of the Seahawks, though, so he Harvin was shipped out of town. Word had it that Harvin was also unhappy with the offense. If so, then other reason might have existed for his clearing out of Seattle. For my part, it seems like sticking up for your QB is a good thing.

26. Rowdy – Team Mascot (& Corporate Stooge) – Dallas Cowboys

Rowdy - Cowboys Mascot - Taunts Tony Romo

Here, Rowdy Appears to Be Laughing at Tony Romo for Another 4th Quarter Meltdown.

This might be an odd selection to many readers. Unless you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, you might not understand. This decision made my girlfriend mad, because the guy inside Rowdy is from our hometown. In fact, I was a little surprised to see Rowdy make the cut, despite knowing firsthand that he was hated by many Cowboys fans when he first hit the scene. But our researchers over at Pinterest made him a hated figure, so he needed to be on this list of fan hatred.

For the non-haters, let’s take a look at Rowdy’s profile.

Rowdy is the Dallas Cowboys’ official mascot. He’s the big, dorky cowboy cartoon character seen stalking the sidelines each Sunday. But man, he’s hated by the Cowboys fans.

It all stems from the fact Rowdy is seen as a corporate stooge. You see, in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the team had an unofficial mascot: Crazy Ray. Crazy Ray was a flamboyant African-American man who wore a cowboy outfit and signed autographs. Crazy Ray was a well-loved mascot. He would go to autograph signings. He would show up at Cowboys charity basketball games or when the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders went somewhere. Crazy Ray was part-and-parcel of America’s Team.

And then he got sick and could no longer attend games. Suffering from diabetes, he was confined to a wheelchair. Then he lost a foot. No doubt, he lost his job. Then it was learned Jerry Jones didn’t plan on paying for his medical bills, because Crazy Ray was never an official team mascot or affiliated with the team in any way. A firestorm of controvery ensued in DFW. Eventually, Crazy Ray died.

Then along came…Rowdy. Handpicked by Jerry Jones, no doubt chosen from the mass of common mascot stock by corporate handlers, Rowdy suddenly showed up at training camp one year. He’s never been seen as a worthy successor. Fans even laughed when Rowdy was run over by a golf cart one year in preseason. Poor ole Rowdy. (Note: Making it worse, the guy who plays Rowdy is from my home town, a small little town in Texas. Aw…)

25. Rex Ryan – Head Coach – Buffalo Bills

Rex Ryan Makes a Speech

Rex Ryan Looks Fiery Enough to Be Running for President.

Speaking of team mascots, Rex Ryan is hated by a goodly number of NFL fans. Many people love the outspoken former head football coach of the New York Jets, and now head coach of the Buffalo Bills. He’s respected for his defensive schemes.

But as respected as he is for the defensive side of the ball, Rex Ryan is seen as an offensive imbecile. Whether true or not, many people see Ryan as having destroyed the career of Mark Sanchez, because he has a contempt for offense. Worse, the contempt appears to be generational. His father, Buddy Ryan, had the same contempt, it would seem.

Many Jets fans blame Mike Tannenbaum and John Idzik for the state of the Jets. Whatever the case, Rex Ryan was the public face of the franchise. He was given the blame and the credit. In the last few years, it was mostly blame. Perhaps that is what was most offensive, though…Rex Ryan kept hanging around long after every fan knew his tenure was over. He hung on years longer than most fans would have had him control the team. There’s a special hopelessness that sets in when a team won’t change its failed leadership. In 2014, the face of hopelessness was Rex Ryan.

Of course, those perceptions could turn around if his tenure with the Buffalo Bills goes well. The Bills are looking good. They’re even scoring points. If this keeps up, Rex Ryan’s reputation might be rehabilitated. For now, he’s just another loudmouth from New York who sports a weird and creepy tattoo of his wife.

24. Marshawn Lynch – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch with Skittles

No Joke: Marshawn Lynch Trains Using Skittles.

Marshawn Lynch is one of those players with high positives and high negatives. He’s always funny on talk shows. He’s effective in the commercial endorsements he gets.

You get the idea Marshawn Lynch is a pretty funny teammate to have around. It’s hard to dislike a player nicknamed “Skittles”, because he loves the colorful candy so much.  And “Beast Mode” is one of the best sports nicknames ever.

At the same time, Marshawn Lynch has a certain level of jerkiness to him. Not talking to the media, which is a duty assigned by the NFL, is a jerk move. Here’s why,

We all understand the sports media is troublesome. Often, they’re devious. To the pro athletes who see them skulking about the locker room each day, they probably seem like parasites. In a way, they are social parasites, needing their scoops and soundbites from accomplished competitors to pay the bills. But if media members are parasitical, then so are pro athletes. The NFL, the Seattle Seahawks, and the football players who work for both…all of them need the sports media to fuel interest in their sport.

Whether you like it or not, TV money is what drives player salaries. Fan interest and player popularity is what drives those salaries. Without the glare of the sports media, that would dry up. Maybe it wouldn’t immediately, but it would over time. Even if fans came out to watch anyway, it would be more like a Friday night high school football game, something known by the family and friends and true diehards. The really big money would go away. If media members are social parasites, they’re feeding off even bigger social parasites.

That’s why it’s a jerk move not to talk to the media. Marshawn Lynch is saying he doesn’t have to speak to the media. In a way, he’s right. The NFL can fine him, but he’ll pay the fines and afford them quite well. But public relations is a part of NFL football. This isn’t semi-pro ball we’re talking about…it’s a job. Lynch is depending on his teammates to do his job for him. Russell Wilson and crew have to pick up the slack to promote the game. If everyone did the same thing Marshawn Lynch did, the sport would be damaged. It’s the Categorical Imperative at work. You apply an action universally and see what it would lead to, if everyone did a certain something. In this case, if every single NFL player refused to talk to the sports media, the sport would be greatly weakened. Paychecks would go away. So what Marshawn Lynch is doing is selfish, short-sighted, and hypocritical.

Here’s why it’s hypocritical: Marshawn Lynch acts like he doesn’t want the attention. By ostentatiously refusing to speak to reporters, he is making a scene. He is drawing attention to himself. “Hey, look at me…I’m not talking to reporters.” So in a way, Marshawn Lynch is promoting himself, while leaving the heavy lifting to his teammates. It’s a selfish act meant to self-promote his brand. Are the people who dislike Beast Mode for not talking to the sports reporters “haters”? Probably, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a point.

23. Philadelphia Eagles Fans – Troublesome Rabble – Philly Iggles

Maybe this is some kind of Cowboys bias coming out, but it seems like the Boo-Birds have a special place in NFL lore for bad behavior. They hate pretty much everything and everything hates them back. Maybe in the northeast, fans from other teams pay them never mind. I’ve even read attempts by Eagles fans to justify things like booing Santa Claus, and they did a pretty good job of arguing their cause. But it seems like Iggles Fans enjoy being disagreeable, so I want to celebrate their generally negative attitude.

First and foremost, they’re infamous for booing Santa Claus. Frank Olivo, the man who took the field in 1968 as Santa Claus, died earlier this year. When he did,, Huffington Post, and several other news sources featured the story of the crowd booing Santa Claus. There’s a short YouTube video from 2011 which featured the situation, which included a hail of snowballs.

That’s not the only time snowballs were thrown. Another famous incident was Bounty Bowl II, which took place at December 10, 1989 at the Vet. Two weeks previously, the Eagles had defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day in Texas Stadium to the tune of 27-0. If I remember correctly, that was the game the Eagles sacked rookie Troy Aikman 11 times, because it was at that game. After Bounty Bowl I, Jimmy Johnson claimed that Buddy Ryan had placed a $200 bounty on two of the Cowboys’ players: Troy Aikman and former Eagles kicker, Max Zendejas.

When asked about hits on Zendejas, Jimmy Johnson said, “I would have said something to Buddy, but he wouldn’t stand on the field long enough. He put his big, fat rear end into the dressing room.

Buddy Ryan replied, “I resent that. I’ve been on a diet, I lost a couple of pounds, and I thought I was looking good.

Cut to two weeks later in Philadelphia. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys again, 20-10. Eagles fans wanted to show their disdain for Jimmy Johnson, so they began to pelt him with snowballs. Johnson wasn’t the only one hit. Cowboys punter Mike Saxon, NFL referee Al Jury, and announcers Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw also were hit with snow, ice, and beer. Eagles legend Jerome Brown was even caught in the crossfire. Later, then-Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell (who went on to become Pennsylvania’s governor) admitted he was part of the incident. He bet a fan $20 the fan couldn’t hit the field with an iceball, which the fan promptly did.

Booing on gameday was no the only time. Philly fans have been known to travel to New York City for the annual NFL Draft, so they could boo the Eagles’ draft picks. In another infamous incident, the fans booed the drafting of Donovan McNabb, who eventually took the team to 4 NFC Championship Games and 1 Super Bowl. The fans wanted the team to draft UT Longhorns running back Ricky Williams, instead. McNabb’s mother cried at the booing, though Donovan said he was warned beforehand that the Eagles fans boo every selection.

Not everything is based on Eagles fans’ booing. For instance, the old Veteran Stadium had its own underground jail. A judge attended the home games in order to mete out quick justice, so the many fans’ misdemeanors didn’t gum up the regular court system. It takes a special kind of bad to require a courtroom with its own dungeon. All in all, I picture Philly sports fans as somewhat like the main characters from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…just multiplied by 10,000. Tell me if I’m wrong.

22. Greg Hardy – Defensive End – Dallas Cowboys

Greg Hardy - Release the Kraken

Yep, Greg Hardy’s Nickname is The Kraken.

Greg Hardy is either one of the worst people in the NFL, or he got a hold of one of the worst women in the NFL groupie culture. Let’s review the case. A grand jury charged Greg Hardy with beating up his ex-girlfriend and tossing her on a bed full of assault rifles. He went before a judge, who found him guilty of such charges. Greg Hardy settled out of court, but the court of public opinion had him tried-and-convicted of being an out-of-control madman.

Let’s take the contrarian position. Greg Hardy’s accuser did not call the police that night; Greg Hardy did. He told the police dispatcher that his girlfriend was smashing up his house. By implication, she smashed herself up in destroying his home. On the call, which can be found online, Greg Hardy said that his agent and his next-door neighbor were there to corroborate his story.

Of course, a grand jury found enough evidence to charge him. But a grand jury only hears one side of the case. The prosecutors tell their side of the story, while the defendant’s lawyers cannot make a defense. In the case ruled by the judge, the rules of evidence are similarly restricted for the defense. Greg Hardy had the legal right to opt for a jury trial, and he later was found not guilty in the subsequent trial. He paid money to have the lawsuit dismissed, but he needed to get the case closed, so he could serve out his NFL suspension and start making money again. You might think you’d never settle in a case like that, but would you settle, if you know you wouldn’t be able to return to your job until you settled (and this was the only job that would pay millions of dollars)?

The counter-contrarian would argue that Greg Hardy has had four incidents and not one. Also, the Carolina Panthers did a thorough investigation and decided to waive Greg Hardy outright. Therefore, this isn’t the case of a good guy getting involved with a crazy woman. All this implies an either/or dynamic. It might well be that Greg Hardy and his ex-girlfriend are both nuts, and they both hold a share of the blame for things spiraling so far out of control.

Whatever the case, Greg Hardy is hated. He’d be more hated if he were a member of the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks, because he would be more relevent. If he joins the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 and ignites a deep playoff run for the much-hated Cowboys, then his position at #22 might need reevaluation.

Release the Kraken!

21. Aaron Hernandez – Convict – Massachusetts Department of Corrections

Aaron Hernandez Cutting Up in Court

Once in Custody, Hernandez Was Disciplined for Being a Lookout in a Prison Fight.

It’s a crying shame Aaron Hernandez isn’t further up this list, but remember, he’s not in the NFL anymore. After his conviction for murder, we no longer have to listen to fans claiming he’ll be returning to the NFL. For a full year, this was one of the (seemingly) everyday stories you would hear about on ESPN.

What a frustrating story. What a waste of talent. Through 3 years, Aaron Hernandez proved to be a rare tight end talent. But he was a basketcase. Frankly, what he did was evil. And the more you learn about it, the more you realize he should have been locked up years ago. He was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd. He is set to go on trial for two other murders, which might have been his motivation for murdering Lloyd (to keep the earlier murders secret). He shot out the eye of a supposed friend for disloyalty. He was investigated for shooting people outside a bar while still at the University of Florida. Aaron Hernandez is a bad, bad guy.

20. Tim Tebow – Free Agent Quarterback – America 

Tim Tebow Contagious Smile

I Think the Tim Tebow Haters Hate the Smile. He Seems to Be Enjoying Life So Darned Much.

Next on our list is a really good guy and Hernandez’s Gators teammate: Tim Tebow. In terms of public image, Tebow is a saint.

By all accounts, he’s a genuinely nice, respectful, well-meaning athlete. He uses his famous status to help and inspire people. Tebow does right in this world, and he seems to do it with a smile.

So why do people hate him?

Part of it is jealousy. Nobody had a better college football career than Tim Tebow. He had national titles his freshman and junior years, sandwiched around a sophomore year where he won the Heisman Trophy. Tebow is like the Christian Laettner of NCAA football.

Part of it is elitism. NFL fans can be elitists. Like the scouts they mimic, know-it-all NFL fans want to show they know more than the casual fan. When they hear scouts and coaches and players (all usually anonymous) say Tim Tebow has bad mechanics and needs to switch positions, they want to show their bona fides by proclaiming the same thing. They want to be right, and Tim Tebow is the easiest way to be right among NFL fans.

And frankly, part of it is anti-religion. When he scores a touchdown, Tim Tebow takes a knee and prays. Now I assume he’s being sincere. Others either see him as insincere, or they see him pushing his religion in their faces. So people hate Tim Tebow.

Hey, I like the guy, but I’m a contrarian.

19. Mark Sanchez – Quarterback – Philadelphia Eagles

Mark Sanchez Plays Halo Reach

Say What You Will, But Mark Sanchez Didn’t Get in Locker Room Fights with the Jets. Instead, He Played Halo: Reach with Teammates.

Mark Sanchez, not so much. There’s something about a player who is annointed that just alienates people. Unless he becomes the franchise savior, fans are bound to turn on him. Mark Sanchez is a strange case, because he was the quarterback of the New York Jets when they made the AFC Championship Game in back-to-back years. Those too young to remember might need to look that up, but it’s true.

Notice I said he was their quarterback. I didn’t say he led the Jets to the championship game. The Jets Defense was a force in those years. They had a solid running game.

Mark Sanchez was one step removed from the butt-fumble, which is to say he was good enough not to mess things up. He was a bus driver, and sometimes not even a good bus driver. The wild thing is, he regressed.

The problem is, when you’ve been the frontman for a team that hasn’t really done much since the Joe Namath Era, it’s hard to displace you. So game-after-game, year-after-year, Mark Sanchez continued as the frontman. And the Jets were bad in the 2011 to 2013 seasons. Usually, they were really bad. For Jets fans who had seen their team get to the brink of the Super Bowl, it was a soul-draining experience. So Mark Sanchez is hated in New York City, which means he was a target for the key sports media in the country.

18. Reggie Bush – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian

Reggie Bush First Introduced Many NFL Fans to the Joys of Kim Kardashian.

Reggie Bush seems to be hated for what he did in his pre-NFL career. Reggie Bush won a Heisman Trophy and had to give it back. Heck, O.J. Simpson didn’t have to give back his Heisman Trophy (he sold it). Yet there is Reggie Bush on most-hated lists.

The fact that he was so good for USC Trojans seems to contribute to the dislike Trojan fans have for him. His violations were so egregious (he took a house) that the NCAA put USC on probation and took away massive scholarships. Pete Carroll left town just in time to avoid the consequences, but the school remained. That included not only the sanctions, but the subsequent Layne Kiffin infestation. Things got bad in Trojanland.

As for Reggie Bush, his NFL career never panned-out the way many fans hoped it would. This is another of those situations where I believe fantasy football plays into the dislike. Reggie Bush is good enough to draw interest. He’s not good enough to be a difference maker. In fact, he’s a negative difference maker, because he’s always been fragile. In fantasy football, you just can’t depend on the guy.

Reggie Bush has one more reason to inspire hatred: he seems to have played a early role in foisting Kim Kardashian on the world. By doing so, all the football fans who hate reality TV and TMZ-style tabloid journalism have to hate Reggie Bush a bit, because he had a hand in launching the fame of the Kardashian family. If you just like looking at the pics, then you might not dislike Reggie Bush that much. Thus, he’s only #18 on the list.

17. Rob Gronkowski – Tight End – New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski and Kitten

I’ve Got No Explanation for This Photograph.

Rob Gronkoswki is what I would call a classic football meathead. Anyone who’s nickname is “Gronk” has to be a meathead. “Gronk” is the sound a caveman would make. There are worse things than meatheads, especially on a football field.

It’s some of the extracurricular stuff that some fans don’t like. It’s the porn stars and the party boats, though a party boat is a time-honored tradition (if you’re a football player or you’re filming a hip hop video). If all of this seems like ticky-tack fouls, then I agree with you.

The real reason most NFL fans hate Gronk is he plays for the New England Patriots. When a team has been at or near the top for a 15-year stretch, you’re going to make a lot of enemies. Gronk is a “love him or hate him” kind of guy.

For many fantasy owners, your love or hate for Gronkowski is likely to depend on whether you drafted him or not. Most of the sensible owners don’t spend a 2nd rounder on a tight end, so they probably haven’t had him on their teams that often. So the sensible fantasy owners are likely to dislike Gronk. Then there are those owners who drafted Rob Gronkowski after his breakout year, then dealt with a massive wave of injuries. They might hate the guy based on him ruining their season. For those owners, I bet you it was the only time you drafted a tight end that high.

The Top 16 Most Hated NFL Players

To see the top 16 entries in our list of hated NFL personalities, see “The 16 Most Hated People in the NFL“. You’ll get a nice essay on the state of hatred in America, along with sixteen overwrought opinions on the figures we most love to hate. Remember this is a list for 2015. It would have looked much different a couple of years ago.


  1. Manny Pacquiao

    What a GARBAGE list.
    One of the worst, if not the worst lists out there.
    Definitely a lot more people to put on the list, not to mention that the players on the list aren’t even hated (that much)

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