Brett Favre and the NFL's Top 25 Most Hateable Figures

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIApril 20, 2011

Brett Favre and the NFL's Top 25 Most Hateable Figures

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    NFL fans love to root for their favorite players and their favorite teams.  Sometimes, more than anything else, they love to hate.  And some NFL figures are easier to hate than others.

    Every fan hates different people.  Even the No. 1 most hateable guy in the NFL has hundreds of fans out there who adore him.  This list is composed of the NFL figures who take in more hate than anyone else, whether deserved or not.  

    Sure, their own fans call it hard-nosed play and the desire to win, but opposing fanbases aren't buying it.

Dan Snyder

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    Dan Snyder is the unique owner who fans on both sides of his team hate.  While he spends significant money on his team and often acquires big-name players, these deals often flop (see Haynesworth, Albert and Spurrier, Steve). 

    Snyder is very involved in personnel moves and during his reign, the head coach position has been a revolving door.  Snyder has alienated Washington Redskins fans and is not well liked throughout the league either.

Eli Manning

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    Eli Manning's career would be innocent enough if it wasn't for its ominous beginning.  The San Diego Chargers picked Manning with the No. 1 overall pick, but Manning publicly refused to play in San Diego. 

    The Chargers traded Manning to the Giants.  Fans across the league were shocked a rookie had the audacity to demand a trade.  Since then, Manning has gone on to become a top quarterback.

    In 2009, the Giants gave him the richest contract among quarterbacks in the NFL.  Despite his Super Bowl MVP in 2008, Manning's turnover numbers prevent him from becoming one of the "it" quarterbacks in the NFL.

Troy Polamalu

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL's most hated teams, and Troy Polamalu is one of their best players.  One theme on this hateable players list is good players are hated because they are good.

    Polamalu might have the most popular jersey in the NFL, but fans from other teams are so frustrated by his clutch plays that he warrants mention on this list.

Bart Scott

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    Bart Scott is a tremendous 3-4 linebacker for the New York Jets.  He also is one of the most prolific trash talkers on a team full of them.

    The New York Times wrote an article saying that Scott is the last word in trash talking.  Scott has said Wes Welker's days in a uniform are numbered and insulted players from Reggie Bush to Troy Polamalu.

Jerry Jones

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    Jerry Jones began his tenure as owner of the Dallas Cowboys by firing long-time coach Tom Landry, a great way to alienate fans.

    Since then, Jones has been as visible an owner as there is in the NFL.  Visible owners are hated by home and opposing fans, especially when they are involved in personnel as much as Jones is.  Unless the team wins.

Hines Ward

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    Hines Ward is a great wide receiver.  Broadcasters often make the comment that Ward is the best blocking wide receiver in the game.  

    The problem is, most receivers don't block and defensive backs don't like being blocked.  When Ward gets physical, opponents are unprepared and Ward looks like a bully.  

    As a member of the Steelers, Ward is originally viewed skeptically.  With his physical play, he becomes one of the league's hated.

Chad Ochocinco

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    Ochocinco is one of the most quotable players in football, but his off-field antics have detracted from his on-field play.  

    Between his always-entertaining Twitter feed, his list of cornerbacks who he wanted to beat and his name change, Ochocinco has never shied away from media attention.

    As his skills erode, his ego maintains its full height, and Ochocinco is losing Chad Johnson's popularity.

Ben Roethlisberger

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    Roethlisberger had a lot of things going against him before his alleged sexual assault. 

    1. He plays for the Steelers, arguably the most hated team in the NFL.

    2. He is a top NFL quarterback, like many other members of this list.

    3. He got into a motorcycle accident early in his career for not wearing a helmet.

    OK, so no one really hates him for the third reason, but alleged sexual assault is a good way to find yourself near the top of this list. 

Al Davis

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    Raiders owner Al Davis has seemingly been around forever.  Davis' foibles date back to a feud with Marcus Allen that ended with Allen signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Prior to this move, Davis was hated because he headed up football's most hated team.

    Now, fans who don't remember the Raiders' years of success hate him for his ineptitude in ruining one of football's great teams.  Hiring Art Shell?  Seriously?

Vince Young

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    One of the most beloved players in NCAA football during his Texas career, Young has seen his perception change while playing in the NFL.

    As early as 2008, Young was being booed by his home fans.  Young has largely struggled in his young NFL career, and fans have been largely unsympathetic.

    One action he took can be correlated to his spot on this list: Young got into an argument with Jeff Fisher last season.  Before Fisher retired, if there was one thing you didn't do as a Tennessee Titan, it was to cross him.

Terrell Owens

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    Terrell Owens publicly ruined relationships with two quarterbacks (Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb), spat in DeAngelo Hall's face and celebrates touchdowns with reckless abandon.

    While fans enjoyed watching him make spectacular catches during his heyday, Owens' prima donna act is getting as old as the legs that carried him through his career.

Antonio Cromartie

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    The New York Jets have a reputation as a cocky team, and Cromartie is a big reason for that reputation. Cromartie went on a profanity-laced tirade against Tom Brady.

    Cromartie also contributed to the swagger of the Jets all season long.

Brandon Meriweather

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    The Patriots drafted Meriweather knowing full well he had a checkered past.  

    Meriweather was involved in a shooting while at Miami (in self-defense of a friend), but he also stomped on players from Florida International during an October 2006 game, so he had made a name for himself before stepping foot in the NFL.

    With a helmet-to-helmet hit against Todd Heap of the Ravens, Meriweather is cementing his reputation as one of the NFL's bad boys.

Jay Cutler

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    With Jay Cutler, it's tough to point to a situation that made him hated.  From the time he came out of the draft, there were whispers that Cutler had character issues.

    In last season's NFC Championship game, Cutler was widely criticized by players, fans and pundits for leaving the game for injury.  It turned out Cutler sprained his MCL.

    Fair or not, Cutler is among the NFL's most hated.

Randy Moss

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    Randy Moss might be the most talented wide receiver in NFL history.  Unfortunately, he has also bumped a police officer with his car, been rumored to been involved in dating violence and is most famous for giving up on plays. 

    While Moss has had a spectacular career, most notably in 2007 when he and Tom Brady rewrote the record book, his lack of consistency and off-field distractions land him on this list.

Tom Brady

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    Tom Brady is the victim of jealousy.  

    Fans are jealous Brady took three championships during the 2000s, that he set so many records and that he is dating a woman more famous internationally than him—for modeling underwear.

    Playing for Bill Belichick and the Patriots does not help Brady's popularity.

Philip Rivers

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    Philip Rivers is another quarterback fans hate.  Rivers talks trash and has a cocky reputation.

    Rivers is the type of guy teammates love and opponents hate.  He wears his emotions on his sleeve and is unafraid of saying anything to anyone. 

Michael Vick

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    For some, Michael Vick is THE most hated player in the NFL, and would be No. 1 on this list if not for his comeback story, not only in football, but in animal rights.  Vick has been doing significant work for PETA since his return to football.

    This list of hateable players is based on how much fans hate the football player.  While Vick's abhorrent behavior gets him on this list, so many fans love to watch his electric play that he can't be No. 1.  

    That being said, a number of people with less serious personal issues are still to come on this list because fans love to hate their on-the-field performance more.

Ray Lewis

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    Ray Lewis is one of the great linebackers of all time.  Like most players who deliver big hits for a living, Lewis is not one of his opponents' fans' favorite players.  While Ravens fans love him, others love to hate him.

    Lewis also went on trial for murder in 2000.  The details of the situation are murky and some fans have condemned him in the court of public opinion, even if the actual court dropped charges in exchange for testimony.

Rex Ryan

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    Rex Ryan made headlines from the preseason on in 2010 after making big predictions for his team's season.  While Ryan delivered a successful Jets team, his bold (but dirty) speech and trash talk did not make him many friends among opposing fans.

    Ryan has talked about kicking Bill Belichick's rear end, taking two swipes at opponents for every swipe they take at the Jets and given reporters a number of colorful postgame quotes.  Jets fans love him. Everyone else—not so much.

Albert Haynesworth

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    In 2006, Albert Haynesworth removed the helmet of Cowboys lineman Andre Gurode and stomped on his face.  Redskins coaches have had disputes with Haynesworth and he was suspended for part of the 2010 season.

    Haynesworth has also had issues with the law in his past, something opposing fans don't take kindly.

Cortland Finnegan

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    Cortland Finnegan is one of the meanest guys in the NFL.  After a couple of smaller incidents throwing players to the ground and hitting them, Finnegan is most famous for fighting with Andre Johnson when Tennessee and Houston played in November of 2010.

    After the fight, few people blamed Johnson because of Finnegan's less-than-stellar reputation.

James Harrison

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    James Harrison might be the most hated player to take the field in 2011.  Harrison declined President Obama's invitation to the White House after the Steelers won the Super Bowl because Obama didn't want the Steelers to come—he'd take any Super Bowl champion.

    Harrison has also been fined a number of times in his career for big hits and fines have done little to discourage him from repeating his offenses.

Bill Belichick

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    Bill Belichick is not media friendly.  He runs the Patriots with tight lips.  

    The "Spygate" incident tarnished Belichick's reputation and his three Super Bowls made opposing fans dislike him even more.

Brett Favre

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    Is he coming back?  Isn't he?  Looks like probably not right now, but if even the smallest whispers start coming out, there will be very few happy NFL fans.  

    NFL fans are sick of it.  It is truly a shame because the guy had one of the all-time great quarterback careers.