By Kevin York
Earlier this week Forbes released its list of the 10 most disliked athletes in America. That full list, in order by the most disliked, is as follows:
Tie – 1. Lance Armstrong
Tie – 1. Manti Te’o
3. Tiger Woods
4. Jay Cutler
5. Metta World Peace
6. Alex Rodriguez
7. Michael Vick
8. Kurt Busch
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Tony Romo
After I read that list, all I could think was, “who voted on this thing?” I can understand Armstrong. The wounds are still fresh from his admittance to using PEDs for, well, his entire career. Woods, World Peace, Vick and Bryant appearing on the list show that it’s hard to ditch reputations once those reputations have soured with the general public. Being a cheating, sex crazed asshole, going into the stands to attack fans, abusing dogs, and being accused of rape are things that take quite a bit of time for people to forget. When I look at some of the others, though, I just have to ask “why?”
Should Manti Te’o really be hated? You can call him naive, oblivious or gullible, but I’m not sure I’d call him hated. I almost feel sorry for the guy considering just how stupid he now appears to be. I think his place on the list is more due to people hating Notre Dame than Te’o.
Jay Cutler? Sure he’s an arrogant douche, or I guess I should just say douche since arrogance is an assumed part of doucheness. You can say he’s a whiny little brat too, but does he belong on a most hated list? Is he even relevant enough nationwide to be on this list?
Hasn’t Alex Rodriguez all but admitted he’s overrated? He admitted to using banned performance enhancing substances. He disappears in the postseason (both in games and when media want to talk to him). Sure, he plays for the Yankees, and we all hate the Yankees, but a spot in the top 10 list? I think we can do better (or should I say worse?) than A-Rod.
Kurt Busch? Do we consider auto racing a sport? No, seriously, do we? So Kurt has road rage, so does every other American male over the age of sixteen. I guess this is the impact of the south on the vote.
I’m at the point where I feel sorry for Tony Romo. The guy doesn’t do anything to be hated, I guess unless you’re a Cowboys fan, and I’d wager that his place on this list is more due to the voting of Cowboy haters than fans. He’s a model citizen off the field. If anything, I think this list shows that Americans still consider the Yankees, Cowboys and Notre Dame their most hated teams.
So the list is compiled of five guys that I agree belong on it, or should I say, I won’t fight back on; and five guys that have no place on this list.
So who should replace those that I don’t think belong?
Before Rahul throws in his vote for Kris Humphries due to his infatuation with the Kardashians, let it be known that the guy was on the list last year and dropped off this year, which I think he earned, as odd and backwards as that sounds to say he earned his way off this list. Personally, I kind of like Humphries now. How can you not like a guy who irritates Kanye?
But back to who should be on this list…
- Dwight Howard!!!!!! How quickly we’ve forgotten what an immature little brat that guy is. How is he not on this list? Forget John Kerry, Dwight Howard is the ultimate flip flopper. And don’t forget, he also got his coach fired. Then he decided he wanted out of Orlando and even chose where he wanted to go, or maybe it was his second or third choice – he switched his demands so much I’ve forgotten – and now isn’t happy there either. Sorry, Superman, you belong on this list.
- If Jay Cutler is included, don’t we need Philip Rivers on it too? I think he’s more of a whining crybaby than Cutler. I’m tired of seeing him rant and rave on the sidelines, screaming at players and coaches alike.
- Fans outside of Baltimore and New England might not be as aware of this guy, but what about Ravens safety Bernard Pollard (or Bernard Karmell Pollard!!! as Bill Simmons and the guys at Grantland refer to him). Pollard has caused serious injuries to not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR players on the New England Patriots in separate seasons. He ended the seasons of Tom Brady (2008 – torn ACL) and Wes Welker (2009 season finale – torn ACL); and for the most part, also ended the seasons of and Rob Gronkowski (2012 playoffs – sprained ankle) and Stevan Ridley (2013 playoffs – concussion knocking him unconscious) since both weren’t fully healthy contributors throughout the remainder of the playoffs. With the number piled up at four, don’t we have to say this isn’t a coincidence anymore? I know many people hate the Patriots, but look past that. The guy ended the seasons of three Pro Bowlers. Seems kind of pre-meditated to me.
- What about Ray Freaking Lewis!?!?! This baffles me. I asked a lot of people who they were cheering for in the Super Bowl and in roughly 95% of those conversations (using a very accurate statistical measurement called my head and gut), “I hate Ray Lewis” was mentioned. The reasons varied from ‘being a hypocrite’ to ‘inaccurately depicting religion and God’s impact daily life’ to ‘killing two people,’ but the end result was the same – people can’t stand the guy.
- I think Floyd Mayweather escaped making the list because not enough people are aware of him. Do people even watch boxing anymore? I have to confess I first became aware of what a mouthy, pompous jerk he is from when he made some guest appearances on WWE (yes, I’m admitting to watching WWE). He was cast as a face (good guy) and ended up wrestling the Big Show, a heel (bad guy), at WWE’s Wrestlemania pay-per-view event. However, in the weeks leading up to that match, actually, I take that back – the very moment Mayweather opened his mouth, I found myself wanting to see him get pummeled. I’m not sure what WWE was thinking positioning him as a face, but the majority of fans ended up cheering for the ‘heel’ in that match right along with me. And then of course, there are the multiple batteries Mayweather has committed against girlfriends.
So if I’m making this list, I replace Te’o, Cutler, A-Rod, Busch and Romo with Dwight Howard, Philip Rivers, Ray Lewis, Bernard Pollard and Floyd Mayweather.
Then I started wondering, what if the scope of the poll had been expanded to sports figures and not just athletes? How would coaches stack up in this? Where would a guy like Rex Ryan fall? That would lengthen this post quite a bit, and let’s be honest, you’ve probably already stopped reading this far, so I’m going to investigate the most hated coaches in a future post. Let me know who you think belongs on that list or if I forgot anyone who belongs on the most hated athletes list.