Are the New Orleans Saints the Most Hated Team in the NFL?

Jason Bernos@Berns247Contributor IIAugust 22, 2012

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) introduces Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. Brees then announced that the Saints had selected Patrick Robinson from Florida State with the last pick of the first round (number 32 overall). (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Before March, there wouldn't be any discussion of the New Orleans Saints being anywhere near the top of a "most-hated" list, but a good offseason's worth of being dragged through the mud would put any team in that discussion.

And if this was April, I would be in amazement by how quickly the Saints had gone from the new "America's Team" to being the most despised. It happened, basically, overnight.

But most hated in the NFL? There is no doubt.

Forgive me Oakland, Dallas and Boston, but New Orleans is the new headquarters for all things "hate" among NFL fans.

It's not even about the fact that the general population thinks that every Saints player is a black and gold reincarnation of Dog the Bounty Hunter thanks to Roger Goodell. It also has nothing to do with the fact that ESPN tried to drag Mickey Loomis through the mud with wire-tapping accusations that Louisiana State Police recently found nothing substantial on.

It's about the fact that ever since the bounty "findings" and suspensions came about, the Saints, and more importantly, the entire Who Dat Nation, have adopted an "Us Vs. The World" mentality this season—especially since the Super Bowl is in New Orleans at the end of this season.

That motto will become as nauseating this season to opposing fans just like the phrase "Who Dat" became sickening to them during the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run.

Even with ESPN magnifying every New York minute that Tim Tebow has, the Saints going up against the commissioner of the NFL is just a little juicier.

Especially when a loaded, division-winning Saints team is receiving a second Lombardi Trophy from Goodell in their home stadium.

So, the heat from the initial hate might have waned since March, but make no mistake, the entire nation is going to get sick of anything to do with the New Orleans Saints come September and beyond.