The word theatrics is no stranger to the lexicon of sports copy; athletes, and the triumphs and failures they endure, are the perfect emotional kindling for high drama.
So it makes perfect sense that cinema and sports often follow the same formula: A hero takes on a villain, sometimes prevailing, sometimes tragically faltering (or both). And when the hero falters, we don’t hesitate to find fault with the saboteur or incompetent sidekick.
As fans and the audience, we are participants, vicariously experiencing those same ups and downs.
Few would feel compelled to watch a movie, or watch a game, if its defining feature was an absence of conflict.
As a result, sports flicks have had little problem creating some pretty awesome villains —characters that inherently inspire loathing as naturally as a rival’s jersey on a complete stranger or an underachieving blue-chip recruit missing an open layup.
"Us versus them" is a concept as old as civilization itself and the perfect environment when it comes to stoking angst about a specific character in a sports movie—whether it’s a sadistic coach written to cheese us off, or just a really annoying character who transforms a decent film into an awful one.
Here are some of the most hated sports movie characters.