LeBron James Miami Heat: Where Do the Heat Rank As Most Hated Team?
LeBron James may have had the best of intentions planning a big prime-time special to announce where he would play in the upcoming NBA season, but the public soon turned on him and the majority of people became quite annoyed with the entire situation.
To say LeBron is a hated man in Cleveland is an understatement. He may have passed former Browns owner Art Modell as the most hated man in the city.
In addition to Cleveland, it's hard to believe anyone in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, or Los Angeles having anything nice to say about James. Is he the most hated man in sports? That's up for debate, but he is certainly in the conversation. How does his new team rank among the most hated franchises in all of sports?
10. French World Cup team
It's easy to hate the French World Cup team. They showed their true colors in South Africa. The players hated the coach, the coach hated his players, and they greatly underachieved as a unit.
One player was sent home for disrespect towards his coach, followed by one of the officials quitting. The team tied Uruguay, then proceeded to lose to both Mexico and the host South Africans.
9. Minnesota Vikings
Without Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings are just a run-of-the-mill NFL team. They have their fans, and the division rival fans hate them. No big deal.
Adding the biggest lighting rod in sports and the Vikings are easy to root against. Favre waffles on the "will he or won't he" retire question more than anyone in the history of pro sports. Yes, he's a great talent, but he also has an ego bigger than anyone in sports, perhaps with the exception of LeBron James.
8. Notre Dame football
One thing you'll notice about most of the teams on this list is they are winning entities.
The Notre Dame football team may have struggled for the better part of the past 20 years, but they are still the face of the sport.
Notre Dame seems to be living on past success, but the media always seems quick to name them a team to compete for a national title only to see the team win six games.
7. Duke basketball
This is a hard one for me. I've been a fan of Duke basketball since I was a child, but I realize that hatred runs deep for the Blue Devils.
Like Notre Dame in football, Duke is the face of their sport. It is easy to hate a bunch of perceived spoiled white rich kids that seem to win a title every year. In reality, Duke has won four titles in the past 20 seasons, a much better success rate than Notre Dame football.
To Coach K's credit, he may not be liked, but he wins the right way. There's never been any investigations like USC football. So hate away on the Blue Devils, but at least they win the right way.
6. Los Angeles Lakers
At one time, Kobe Bryant was the most hated man in the NBA. He came off as smug and arrogant, and fans never wanted to imagine him as being able to be nearly as good as Michael Jordan. Throw in running Shaquille O'Neal out of town and a fiasco in Colorado, and the Lakers were an easy team to hate.
The Lakers still are hated, especially by teams on the East coast. However, it seems the hatred doesn't run nearly as deep as it used to. Bryant has shown his greatness and although he may never live up to Jordan, there are few players that will ever live up to the Black Mamba.
5. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox may always be an afterthought to the Yankees, but they garner plenty of hatred in their own right.
Sure, they were a great story winning the 2004 World Series and breaking the curse of the Bambino, but to outsiders they are Yankees-lite. They throw out huge sums of money to buy talent that isn't worth nearly what the pay.
Add the Red Sox to the Celtics and Patriots and the city of Boston has won their fare share of titles recently. Everyone loves you for the first title, but no one (outside of the home city) loves a team or teams to win multiple titles.
4. New England Patriots
Much like the Red Sox, everyone loved the Patriots when they won their first title in the 2001-02 season. They were a "team" that overcame the greatest show on turf, and beat the Rams in the most exciting Super Bowl ever to that point.
Fast forward a decade and Tom Brady has his "perfect" life with his beautiful wife and Bill Belichick is perceived as the most arrogant coach in sports. Everyone wants to see the fall of the champions, and fans around the league were thrilled when Brady went down in the team's first game two years ago.
The dynasty seemed to come to an end last year when the Ravens dominated them in Foxboro, but Belichick is cocky enough to believe it's just a speed bump.
3. Miami Heat
The Heat went from a team no one cared about to the most talked about team in sports in one hour tonight.
Is LeBron James a bad guy? Most likely, no. However, it seems this was a giant media grab to say, "HEY, LOOK AT ME!!!" People don't like that and there will be a backlash from fans around the league, especially in Cleveland.
Fans of the Knicks, Bulls, and Nets will feel spurned, but James was never yours to begin with. Cleveland has a legitimate beef with James.
Regardless of one's feelings on James and the Heat, everyone will be watching come November to see whether the three-superstar experiment will turn into a dynasty or blow up in Pat Riley's face.
2. Dallas Cowboys
America's team. Jerry Jones.
It's hard to fathom that those two things go together, but in Big D, anything is possible.
Hatred for the Cowboys didn't really start until Jerry Jones took over the team in the late 80s, and proceeded to fire the face of the franchise, Tom Landry.
The hatred grew as the Cowboys became the team of the 90s, winning three Super Bowl titles.
Today, Tony Romo draws the ire of fans around the country. He's an NFL quarterback but seems more interested in trying to qualify for the US Open. Oh, and who is dating these days: Jessica Simpson or Carrie Underwood?
1. New York Yankees
Was there any doubt which team would top this list?
There are so many things to hate about the Yankees for a non-Yankees fan.
They've won 27 World Series titles, more than any team in sports. Derek Jeter is an over-rated player. A-Rod is a drug using, arrogant, smug jerk. They blindly throw money at anyone and everyone to win.
The fact is, they aren't breaking any rules doing what they do. They generate a billion dollars every year, and they use that money to buy the best talent available. They also pay a luxury tax to every team in the league, even though all the teams don't use that money to better their own teams.
Yes, they've won five titles in the past 15 years, but the core of that team is Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, all of whom were homegrown talent.
Outwardly fans may hate each and every one of these teams, but they are also a big reason why you watch sports. They are compelling stories, and that's what makes sports great.