20 Athletes Who Just Can't Do Anything Right in Fans' Eyes
It's no secret that fans are more critical of some athletes than others.
Whether they leave us scratching our heads because of a bogus play, an off-field decision or just because they're not living up to expectations, we all let our opinions known.
But who are the biggest culprits?
Keep reading to see which athletes seemlingly just can't do anything right.
Image via Getty
As a Cleveland sports fan, Armonty Bryant's name has become way too familiar in the police blotter not to start off our list.
A seventh-round pick just a few weeks ago, the former East Central University (OK) defensive star was arrested last week on suspicion of a DUI.
Normally, not big news, right?
That is, until you realize he got busted for selling pot to an undercover cop during a football practice last fall. So for him to even be drafted was surprising.
So much for not letting the Browns organization down, huh?
Remember the days when Amar'e Stoudemire was a perennial All-Star and was one of the most dynamic big men in the league?
Seems like a long time ago now.
After several injuries have derailed Stoudemire's career—with one in particular rubbing Knicks fans the wrong way—he just can't seem to win over the Big Apple.
For making $20 million a season and not delivering, he finds himself here.
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We honestly don't understand all the hate thrown towards Tony Romo.
Sure, he had his problems early in his career with some costly mistakes, but when fans argue whether or not he's a franchise quarterback, those who bash him must be smoking something.
If he thought it was bad before, it's about to get a whole more real now that he signed a fat, $108 million extension this offseason.
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For any NASCAR fan out there, we have a good feeling we know your opinion on Kurt Busch.
We assume you think he's cocky, rude and just a straight-up jackass.
Well, you're probably right, which is why it doesn't matter if Busch has a come-to-Jesus moment and abruptly changes his ways, because fans will still never like the guy.
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What on earth does Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco not understand about plunking opposing batters?
For pitchers, it's crucial to pitch inside and brush back a guy in an effort to intimidate him.
But in his first game back following a five-game suspension for nailing a batter in 2011, Carrasco did the same thing again, costing himself eight games this time.
Dude, when are you just going to get it right?
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Yes, everyone praises LeBron James for the things he does.
Yes, we understand that he just won his fourth league MVP.
Yes, he finally got the championship monkey off his back by winning his first title last year.
You know what, though?
He's still the most scrutinized athlete in the world. And because of this, no matter what he says or does, he'll always have people thinking he's doing something wrong.
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With all the drama that Dwight Howard caused while playing for the Magic the past couple of seasons, you'd think he'd have learned his lesson.
Yet, there he was in Lakerland this year, stirring up more controversy and turning his own life into an extremely lame Hollywood drama.
When on his game and focused, Howard is the best center in the game. The problem is, we haven't seen that guy in a few years now.
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It doesn't matter that Alexander Ovechkin finished first in the NHL in goals this year in a bounce-back season that proved he's still one of the game's best.
What does matter is that no matter how many times he scores, until he wins a Stanley Cup, no one will think he's truly in the same class as Sidney Crosby or Patrick Kane.
Ovechkin is still only 27, so he has plenty of time left to hoist the Stanley Cup. But with each passing year, the whispers will become louder.
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At this point, can anyone take Manti Te'o seriously?
Even before his NFL career officially begins, the newly drafted San Diego Charger has plenty of damage control to do in order to soothe fans' opinions.
He was the most talked-about player in the draft—even though it was almost certain he'd fall out of the first round—and you can bet that he'll hear plenty of jeers during his rookie season.
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One of the most talented players in Europe, Mario Balotelli just can't shake this bad boy image he developed after his stint at Manchester City.
After fighting with Man City coach Roberto Mancini, the striker was shipped off to AC Milan, returning to his native Italy with a chip on his shoulder.
As it stands now, the only thing he can do right is score goals—which may be enough for Milan fans, but it won't completely change his rep worldwide.
In an offseason that started out bad and has continued to get worse, Alex Rodriguez must be wondering when something good will happen to him.
Engaged in even more allegations of PEDs, the 14-time All-Star and three-time league MVP has become one of fans' biggest targets.
It doesn't matter if A-Rod comes back from his injury and goes ape on the field, helping lead the Yanks to a World Series—he's just generally disliked by most people.
At this point, we're not sure there's anything Michael Vick can do to help repair his image.
After serving prison time for his role in an elaborate dog-fighting scandal five years ago, Vick worked his way back to the top by supplanting himself as the Eagles' starting quarterback the past several seasons.
Inconsistent play following his second $100 million contract has only added fuel to the fire for football fans to bash the guy.
Even if Vick quit football and started his own dog rescue shelter, fans probably still wouldn't forgive him for his past.
There's a reason Lance Armstrong is one of the most hated athletes on the planet: He deceived everyone in the sports world for over a decade about nearly his entire career.
Though it was great to finally have Lance admit to doping, his confession didn't bode well for his image, as fans, the International Cycling Committee and various other groups will always associate him with what is wrong with sports today.
Metta World Peace
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After being in the league for 14 years, one would imagine Metta World Peace learn how to carry himself—especially after receiving the longest non-drug related suspension in NBA history.
However, the Lakers forward continues to say and do such ridiculous things that, at this point, his antics are often overlooked or not taken seriously because they're so out there.
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Whether you're a Jets fan or not, you really have to feel for Mark Sanchez.
Sure, he got handed the starting gig when he was a rookie, then received A-list treatment following back-to-back AFC title game appearances. But since then, life in the NYC has been rocky.
With the Jets bringing in pretty much everyone who can throw a football—that's why they dropped Tim Tebow—Sanchez's future is shaky and support for him is minimal.
Making matters worse, he was caught wearing a less-than-manly headband last week, causing quite the stir in the media.
Image via twitter.com/JordanRaanan
One might wonder how a guy who didn't even play a single second of an NBA game this season ends up so high on this list.
If you go Google "Andrew Bynum 2013" and then go through the results, you'll most likely get your answer.
Forced to sit all year with a knee injury, the 76ers center proved to be a malcontent, making headlines for the weirdest of reasons while being taken less and less seriously with each passing day—and hairstyle.
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We think that mercurial wide receiver Dez Bryant has figured it out after his breakout 92-catch, 1,300-yard 2012 season—or so he says.
With more than a few run-ins with the cops in his career, it will be hard for anyone to believe he's changed until he proves it both on and off the field.
Even then, he may have already reached Terrell Owens level where he's always just going to be the ultra-talented bad guy.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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He may have just retained the WBC welterweight title with his victory over incumbent Robert Guerrero last weekend, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. is still one of the most misunderstood athletes ever, causing sports fans to rebel against him.
Mayweather sure doesn't help himself with the amount of smack he chirps or the blatant bragging he does through his Twitter account, so one can't be blamed for not giving him the benefit of the doubt.
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A note to any aspiring professional athlete: If you want to make it in your respective sport, definitely do not follow in the footsteps of Titus Young.
On top of doing the sacrilegious and saying that he was better than former Lions teammate (and all-universe) wideout Calvin Johnson (via the Detroit Free Press, subscription required), Young went out and got arrested not once, but twice in a matter of 15 hours.
Is there anything Young can do to win back fans?
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We won't go as far as to say that JaVale McGee is a bonehead, but we will say that he generally seems aloof more often than not.
McGee has an abundance of talent, he is entertaining as hell and, at his size, he is a freak athlete. The problem is that fans expect him to do, well, JaVale McGee things.
Who knows what it will take for him to break out of his current image—or if it's even possible—but one thing's for sure: Fans will never forget some of the many dumb plays he's had.