Most Hated People, Trends, and Things in all of Sports
There’s a lot to love about sports, but there’s also a lot to hate. For every amazing play, there’s an obnoxious commercial break. For every loveable athlete, there are two despicable ones. And for every great play, there’s another play marred by replay or poor officiating. Here are 30 of the most infuriating athletes, trends, and features in sports.
Referee That Blew 2019 NFC Championship Game
Look away, Saints fan. That man in the stripes cost you a trip to the Super Bowl, and is now the most hated man in Louisiana. Referees should never decide the outcome of a game. Their job is to officiate and intercede only when necessary. What they are not getting paid to do is miss crucial, obvious calls that decidedly alter the trajectory of the game.
Sadly, on the 20th of January, 2019, the pack of zebras failed to call one of the most obvious pass interference calls in NFL history. That egregious omission cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl and robbed the fanbase of a night of revelry on Bourbon Street. No worries, though, as they still made it to Bourbon Street to drink their sorrows away.
The Rams, who we just mentioned as the beneficiaries of a horrible no-call, will be playing Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. And if there’s one thing that greatness breeds, it’s hatred.
With five Super Bowl rings in eight appearances (soon to be nine), a myriad of records, and a supermodel wife, there’s plenty to be jealous about when it comes to Tom. Yet despite the absurd amount of success he’s had, one doesn’t have to look long or hard to find an eager detractor ready to explain why Brady actually sucks and is a POS.
Tuck Rule Game Referee
We’d be remiss in our assessment of Brady if we didn’t mention the game that sparked the dynasty and the fury. Back in 2002, Brady and the Pats squared off against the Raiders in the divisional round. Late in the fourth quarter, Brady appeared to have fumbled the ball on a strip sack, virtually ending New England’s season.
However, thanks to a relatively obscure rule, head referee Walt Coleman overturned the fumble call and ruled it an incomplete pass. The Pats drove down the field, tied the game, and proceeded to win it in overtime, sending the Raiders into a 20-year period of oblivion while launching the New England dynasty.
Teammates and fans have the right to hate Kobe. Fans hated him because of his palpable arrogance and ability to crush your team and your spirit. His teammates hated him because he shot the ball 1,000 times per game (not hyperbole) and because of his arrogant, feisty demeanor. Kobe Bryant was more likely to get into a fight with his teammates than opposing teams.
Kobe Bryant, himself, was likely to score more points than the opposition. He was a one-man wrecking crew that had no room in his game for apologies, forgiveness, or passing. Seriously, how many times have you crumpled your trash and shot it in the bin as you yelled “Kobe!”? A lot.
Back to football and the man behind Tom Brady’s fourth ring, Darrell Bevell. Bevell was the Seahawks offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLIX and is responsible for calling the worst play in NFL history. Bevell and the Seahawks had the best running back in football and the ball on the one-yard line with the chance to clinch back-to-back Super Bowls.
Bevell, with a bevy of potential plays that could have been Marshawn Lynch runs, opted for a quick slant. We all know how that ended. The interception essentially ended the game and gifted Brady and the Pats a fourth Super Bowl. Bevell was shamed out of Seattle a few seasons later.
Atlanta’s Playcalling in Super Bowl LI
You thought Darrell Bevell was bad? How about Atlanta’s play calling in Super Bowl LI? The Falcons, trying to capture their first Super Bowl, had a 28-3 lead over the Patriots with two minutes left in the third quarter. They had it in the bag. They were one quarter away from vanquishing Pats and making every American outside of New England cry tears of joy.
However, head coach Dan Quinn forgot how to call plays and didn’t attempt to burn off any clock. The Patriots slowly started to come back miraculous play after miraculous play, eventually winning the game in overtime, a Super Bowl first. Once again, America mourned while New England rejoiced.
Chicago Cubs fans, shield your eyes. The man in the hat and headphones is the notorious Steve Bartman, one of baseball’s greatest villains. The Cubs were five outs away from the 2003 World Series when the oblivious Steve Bartman reached out to catch a foul ball. By doing so, Bartman prevented outfielder Moises Alou from making a tough but doable catch.
The Marlins were given second life and proceeded to score eight runs in the eighth before winning the game and forcing a Game 7, which they’d also win. The Marlins then went onto win the 2003 World Series while the Cubs remained cursed until their historic 2016 World Series victory.
Fail Mary Referees
Back in 2012, NFL refs went on strike. The stubborn NFL, not budging on any of their demands, replaced them with an eclectic group of Division II and III college refs and even some high school refs. Suffice it to say, the league suffered because of the dismal officiating. One of the more heinous calls was a hail mary throw by the Seahawks that caused mass confusion on the field.
Here, one ref signals for an incomplete pass while the other calls for a touchdown. The correct call, which neither ref could figure out, should have been a game-ending Packers interception. An onslaught of criticism ensued following this disaster, forcing the NFL to get the real refs back.
Stadium Food Prices…Worse Than Bad Refs
There’s nothing quite like the taste of a $15 can of beer or a bottle of soda, normally $1-2 from a vending machine, going for $7. Across the board, there is one thing fans can agree on: how out-of-hand stadium food prices can be. The lines are long, the food is sub-par, and the price is astronomical.
This menu is from Super Bowl LII, and it’s downright confusing. First of all, how are beer and turkey sandwiches listed as gluten-free items? Second, what is a “Boom Chicka Pop”? And third, who gets non-alcoholic beer at the Super Bowl? Questionable menu items aside, there’s nothing worse than paying $7 for a water and $5 for a 50/50 bag of air and chips.
Roughing the Quarterback
We get it. Player safety is very important, but at what cost? At the rate the NFL is going, the league will either morph into flag football or have quarterbacks that aren’t allowed to be hit. Neither option is ideal.
Since the NFL instituted new rules on how to hit the quarterback (thanks Aaron Rodgers), roughing the passer calls have skyrocketed, making the game, at times, unwatchable. Fans can unanimously agree on but a few things, and one of them is how frustrating it is watching the ref throw the yellow flag after a defender hits the quarterback with perfect form.
There are plenty of athletes who have murdered people, abused spouses, and found themselves in hot water for a slew of deplorable acts. But Michael Vick was a special kind of criminal that universally upset mankind while becoming the NFL’s most vilified athlete.
Vick entered the league as one of the most exciting players in NFL history, but during the summer of 2007, Vick was found guilty of running an illegal dog-fighting ring in Virginia. For his despicable actions, Vick was handed a two-year prison sentence. He missed two NFL seasons and had to file for bankruptcy. Eventually, Vick returned to the NFL with a diminished fan base and skill set.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a corrupt leader and a horrible man. He’s paid an undeserving, exorbitant $31 million per year. Does he need to be one of the NFL’s highest-paid employees? No. Then why is he? Because he’s a calculating dictator.
There’s also Goodell’s total lack of credibility, accountability, and ability to handle controversial situations that have plagued the NFL year after year. Roger Goodell must have a huge broom because he’s very good at sweeping things under the proverbial rug. From domestic violence to CTE, and Deflate Gate to anthem protests, Goodell has failed on nearly every level.
He’s holding up seven fingers to represent the number of times he’s cheated on bicycling’s biggest stage, The Tour De France. The smile signifies how happy he is to have gotten away with it for so long. Lance Armstrong was a national hero. He was the man who made watching bicycling on television bearable.
But then it all came crashing down. The wheels fell off the wagon. Lance got caught in a massive doping scandal, one that permanently tarnished his legacy, vacated his titles, and banned him from competitive cycling for life. Lance went from hero to zero in a matter of months.
“We dem boyz!” Cowboys fans are a relentless, obnoxious bunch. They clamor about their team’s success and they badger anyone within earshot about their Super Bowl victories. They harp on being “America’s team.” But the Cowboys, since their Super Bowl victories in the mid-90s, have been one of the most miserable teams in the NFL.
Since the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl victory in 1995, the Cowboys have only won three playoff games and haven’t advanced to a conference championship game. Despite their sustained mediocrity, Cowboys fans will fight tooth and nail about the pride of Dallas, how elite they are, and why they will, undoubtedly, win next year’s Super Bowl.
It remains a mystery how such a negative coach can continue to successfully recruit college kids to his evil empire. The kids understand Saban will be relentless in his pursuit of perfection, but apparently, the potential to win a national championship, which is very high at Alabama, is too good to pass up.
Apparently dealing with the most ruthless man in Alabama is every football player’s dream. Under Saban, the Crimson Tide have made college football too predictable. The Tide have won five National Championships, have a surplus of first-round talent, and are a virtual lock for a major bowl game.
Nick Saban’s NFL equivalent is New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Belichick has a similar demeanor as Saban and a similar track record. He’s led the Patriots to eight Super Bowls appearances and five victories. He’s the NFL’s best and most despised coach.
So if you’re a Pats fan, he’s a hero, but for anyone else, anyone who’s had to suffer under the Pats’ timeless reign, Belichick is the devil. He’s short with the media, can make a quality slot receiver out of a Subway employee, and will ruin your faith in football. To top things off, Belichick’s permanent scowl is always accompanied by his raggedy cut-off hoodie sweatshirt.
He may be one of the richest athletes on the planet, but he’s also one of the most hated. Floyd Mayweather has a perfect 50-0 professional boxing record and a bronze medal from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. But Floyd’s out-of-the-ring record is less than perfect.
He’s been jailed numerous times for domestic violence and is rumored to be illiterate. If he is, in fact, illiterate, then props to him for having a great management team that hasn’t taken advantage of him at every possible turn. Floyd also runs around the ring more than a track star and fights less than a pacifist.
That face belongs to the most obnoxious personality in sports today. Skip Bayless is a bumbling fool who must live by the motto: “Throw enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick,” because that is exactly what he does with his opinions. Skip is fond of obscure facts, bold claims, and controversial (aka stupid) takes.
So. Many. Bad. Takes. He loves the Cowboys and can be grouped with the Cowboys fans from a few slides back. In 2016, Bayless left ESPN for Fox Sports, leaving his contemporary Stephen A. Smith to frustrate ESPN’s viewers all on his own.
Stephen A. Smith
He’ll tell athletes to “stay off the weeeeed!” and he’ll mock Kwame Brown and the Dallas Cowboys with no remorse. That is the good Stephen A. Smith. But the bad, more prevalent Stephen A. Smith is downright brutal, much like his old friend Skip Bayless. Who on ESPN thought it was a good idea pairing these two together?
He’s full of horrible takes and loud opinions. His knowledge of sports is both deplorable and laughable. But somehow, the man remains employed by one of the world’s premier sports networks, ESPN. One day, us fans will be relieved of having to listen to this verbose, bombastic man. One day.
Vuvuzela’s at World Cup
You just sat on your couch and tuned in to the 2010 World Cup. Your cold beer is in hand and the match is about to start. Then you hear a faint buzzing. You tell your dog to shut up. But the buzzing gets louder and louder. You look around for mosquitos and flies, but see none.
Eventually, you figure out that the buzzing noise isn’t in your head. It’s in the stadium. Thousands of fans are equipped with horns that make a distinct buzzing sound that can drive even the most zen-filled monk into insanity. Fortunately, teams and stadiums have largely banned these noisemaking devices, but not in time to make watching the 2010 World Cup enjoyable.
This face belongs to two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning. The younger brother of Peyton, Eli has been a stain on the league since he entered it and forced a draft-day trade from the Chargers because their offensive line wasn’t good enough for him.
For a brief period, Manning was actually a national hero because he helped end the Patriots run at perfection in Super Bowl XLII and beat them again in Super Bowl XLVI. Other than those two heroic performances, Manning has done very little except throw interceptions and make comical faces. Occasionally people try to vouch for him and his average numbers as Hall of Fame worthy.
He’s hated for so many reasons. Some hate him for being in the NBA Finals for eight consecutive years. It’s a far too predictable scenario. The NBA Finals are on, and it’s LeBron James and his band of scrubs versus the Golden State Warriors. James will put on a show and lose in four or five games.
People will proceed to rag on his Finals record for days. Other people dislike LeBron because of his antics and proclivity to whine. Side note, LeBron loves drinking wine. And yet others show their disdain for him because he’s just that good, and people, for some reason, love to watch greatness fail.
Incoming ego maniac alert. Cristiano is one of the most talented and gifted soccer players in the world, but that skill cannot alleviate the insufferable ego Ronaldo carries with him everywhere. Ronaldo reeks of arrogance, cockiness, and vanity. He’s a walking and talking example of how not to behave.
He probably also reeks of some Gucci or Armani cologne that he generously applies to himself every hour. If Ronaldo could just tone it down a bit, sell off a supercar, stop taking smug selfies, and eat a small slice of humble pie, maybe the perception surrounding him would ease up a bit.
The Euro Step
It’s a move that looks so unnatural and confuses many cursory fans. The Euro Step was widely popularized in the NBA by Manu Ginobili, who learned the move while playing in Italy. When he brought the move to the NBA, people cried foul. The move looked like a travel, some sort of weird sequence of running, skipping, and jumping.
Eventually people came to terms with the “Manu Maneuver,” but getting there was no easy process. Ginobili, along with popularizing the Euro step, is also credited with being one of the players to popularize flopping in the NBA. Unlike the Euro step, flopping is a deplorable act that needs to be eliminated from the game.
Well this one’s easy. William Bill Buckner was the most wanted man in Boston for decades. People don’t pay attention to those FBI’s most wanted posters, but they definitely paid attention to Bill Buckner and his whereabouts. That’s because Buckner let an easy grounder go right through his legs during the 1986 World Series, forcing a critical Game 7 against the New York Mets.
The Mets, thanks to that infamous error, were given a second chance and used it to win the World Series, further enraging the already livid Red Sox fans while giving credence to the “Curse of the Bambino.” The 86-year curse ended in 2004 with the Red Sox World Series victory of the Cardinals.
Beating your ex-girlfriend will land you on this list. Painting your face like Rambo will only add insult to injury. Greg Hard was one of the most controversial figures in the NFL. Although the domestic violence charges were eventually expunged from Hardy’s record, the damage was done and Hardy was unofficially blacklisted from the NFL.
While with the Panthers, Hardy set the franchise’s single-season sack record. Then he went to Dallas for one year before flaming out of the league. After the NFL, Hardy took up MMA and fought his way to the UFC. At Fight Night 143, his UFC debut, Hardy was disqualified for landing an illegal knee strike to the head. Stand up guy.
Former NHL pest Sean Avery was more likely to fight and irritate the opposition than help his own team. He spent more time in the penalty box than on the ice. Avery, for all of the controversy he stirred up, really didn’t do much. But he did bring attention to the NHL during a time when the league sorely needed it.
Avery is the man behind the “Sean Avery Rule” which prohibits players from screening the goalie with the sole intent of disrupting the goalie’s vision and movement. Avery also made headlines for making disparaging remarks about two ex-girlfriends that left him for other NHL players.
Golden State Warriors Fans
Where did they come from? These people emerged from the woodwork. Before 2015, when the Warriors won their first of three titles during the Steph Curry era, people didn’t even know Oakland had a basketball team. People were unsure of what basketball even was. The Warriors were horrible for so long and lacked a fanbase. They were an afterthought.
Slowly but surely, the team built up a championship-caliber roster, and slowly but surely people started to adopt the Warriors as their own. First came the shirts, then the jerseys, then the omnipresent online presence. Today these “fans” are everywhere, but look for them to disappear faster than they came once the dynasty crumbles.
Replay Taking Way Too Long
Everyone on their couch can figure out the correct call. With thousands of replay angles and super slow motion, replay has never been better. But somehow, the on-field process remains just as inefficient as it has ever been. While us fans have already unanimously decided on the right call, the refs are looking at their tablets or are “under the hood” taking their sweet time.
Do they not get the same angles we get? Do they not have the slo-mo? Can’t the head of officiating, sitting in some New Jersey office, just dial down to the field and inform them of the correct call? This needs to improve, and hopefully it does soon. A faster game equals a more pleasurable fan experience.
Like replay, commercial breaks are too frequent and take too long. While the refs are under the hood, us fans are rewarded with yet another commercial break. We are given the same five commercials to watch. We get to hear Dak Prescott pitch Campbell’s Soup more than we get to watch the actual game.
The NFL is all about the money, and that’s fine. What isn’t fine is scoring a touchdown and going to commercial break while they review the score. Then kicking the extra point and having another commercial. After that, we have the kickoff, which is obviously followed by yet another commercial. Let’s make the NFL more about football and less about redundant commercials.