Why Do We Hate These 10 NFL Players?
Fair or not, perception ultimately becomes reality in the NFL. Sometimes, players are given unfair labels because of one or two plays.
Other times, these players are just jerks and deserve all of the hate they get, or they have become tired acts in front of the media.
Here are the most hated players in the NFL and why we hate them.
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
Ever since Suh entered the league after a decorated career at Nebraska, he has run into trouble at seemingly every turn in the NFL, both on and off the field.
He has a particularly bad habit of making dirty plays on Thanksgiving; two years ago, he was ejected for stomping on a Packers lineman. This year, he kicked Matt Schaub in the groin (above). He also stood over an injured Matt Ryan during a game last year, cementing his reputation as a dirty player in the NFL.
He is also apparently the worst driver in NFL history, with a string of traffic incidents on his record.
Throw in the fact that he has not produced quite at the level everyone expected as a former No. 2 overall selection, and Suh has become one of the most disliked players in the NFL and the face of the Lions' character issues.
Bart Scott, New York Jets
The demise of Bart Scott's on-field production has been greatly exaggerated, but he has done enough with his media antics to be hated by most NFL fans, including a healthy amount of Jets fans.
Scott has taken a particularly harsh stance against the New York media over the past two years. At the end of their 8-8 campaign in 2011, Scott flipped off the media in the locker room.
After their win over the Rams in Week 11, he tried to (perhaps jokingly) initiate a media boycott with no success. Weeks before that, he had to be physically restrained from Dan Leberfield of Jets Confidential after Scott accused Leberfield of taking photos of him in the locker room.
Scott has been a good player for the Jets since coming over from Baltimore in 2009, but his rocky relationship with the media fogs his reputation.
Richie Incognito, Miami Dolphins
Richie Incognito, the man with perhaps the most ironic name in the NFL, has a well-earned reputation for being the dirtiest offensive lineman in the game.
His on-field demeanor got him shipped out of St. Louis. He refers to his "style" as something he wears with a "badge of honor."
His latest incident came earlier in November against the Titans, when he shoved linebacker Colin McCarthy's face into the turf. He was flagged on the play. Joe Philbin benched him for the play.
Playing professional football is, as Bill Parcells used to say, "not for the well-adjusted." However, there is a difference between being tough and flat-out dirty, and Incognito crosses the line far too often.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Money. Fame. Super Bowl rings. A hot wife.
Tom Brady has everything you want but will never have. And he rubs it in your face by subjecting himself to wearing Uggs and running up the score to blow your team out of the water.
There is no question that Brady will walk right into the Hall of Fame when his career is over, but there is a big difference between how Brady and a guy like Peyton Manning flaunt their success.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
If there are two things the average American sports fan hates, it's talented players who make mental mistakes and the Dallas Cowboys.
Dez Bryant is as naturally talented as any player in the game and has made a handful of spectacular plays for the Cowboys this season, but anything he does well is overshadowed by the mental errors that cost his team at times.
The Cowboys brass has done everything possible to get Bryant 100 percent focused on football, but there is only so much a curfew can do.
Dallas fans may be frustrated with their star wide receiver, but there are plenty of teams that would love to have Bryant's talent on their team.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
At times, Jay Cutler has been unfairly criticized for his attitude, such as when he took an inordinate amount of heat for not coming back into the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
However, it appears as if Cutler's detractors were onto something when it came to his attitude. In his first meeting with the Packers, Cutler was visibly frustrated with his offensive line, enough to bump J'Marcus Webb coming off the field.
Cutler's childish attitude took hold of Chicago sports talk and led to the launch of the greatest website since Tebowing.com.
The good news is that the Bears have found a way to rebound since the debacle in Green Bay to be right in the thick of playoff contention, but Cutler's reputation as a spoiled brat in the NFL is all but cemented.
Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
There is no doubt that Ray Lewis has had a fantastic career and will waltz into the Hall of Fame, but no player has gotten so much undeserved media love over the past few years.
Ray Lewis has always been a terrific leader of men, but when his pregame speeches are aired every single week, they begin to lose meaning.
This year, Lewis' play has taken a significant decline, even before his injury. He was easily blocked and useless in coverage. Yet every pundit assumed he was the same old Ray, purely based on reputation.
Ray Lewis will leave the game with a great reputation, but his act has gotten a bit tired with many NFL fans.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
If you have not forgiven Michael Vick for his dog fighting scandal by now, you never will. That is something that will haunt Vick for the rest of his life and has all but eliminated his marketability as a player.
Vick was making a big comeback in 2010 when he lit the fantasy football world ablaze with his video game-like productivity. Since then, defenses and age have caught up with the Eagles offense, and hate for Vick has spread throughout the city of Philadelphia.
He never helped his case when he brought up the concept of a "dynasty" following a 8-8 season. Now, instead of a dynasty, the Eagles find themselves in an unstoppable tailspin that will finally end the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia.
Last year, Vick and the Eagles were victims of an underperforming defense. This time, it is Vick's bad habit of fumbling (and an inability to stay healthy) that has put the Eagles in an insurmountable hole that is going to get everyone fired.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Any Cowboys quarterback without a Super Bowl ring would be a top candidate for this list, but Tony Romo's late-game gaffes and inability to win in the postseason has put him in the "hate" column for Cowboys fans as well.
Romo takes so much flack for his costly interceptions that his name is becoming a verb, but the truth is, the Cowboys are only relevant because of Romo's barely talked-about outstanding play.
There are plenty of games in which Romo makes spectacular plays throughout the game to keep it close...and then Dez Bryant runs the wrong route and it's six points the other way.
If Cowboys faithful want to move on from Romo out of pure frustration, there are plenty of teams that would line up to have him as their quarterback.
Santonio Holmes, New York Jets
Santonio Holmes has not played since suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 4, but Holmes has yet to shake the negative cloud that has surrounded him since he was cited as the primary reason for the Jets' locker room issues at the end of the 2011 season.
The good news for Holmes is that his injury prevents him from being connected to the Jets' current 4-7 record. At the same time, the Jets may have a few more wins had he stayed in the lineup.
For a player that was hoisting the Super Bowl MVP trophy just a few years ago, Holmes has taken quite a fall from grace.