Rex Ryan and the Most Hateable Member of Each NFL Team
For any NFL fan, diehard or fair-weather, there is always that one certain owner, coach or player that you absolutely cannot stand. Headcases, ego-trippers, dirty players, smack-talkers and pretty boys. You just love to hate them.
Some teams are chock-full of them, other teams just seem pretty likeable. Let's break down each of the 32 NFL teams to find the most "hateable" on the franchise.
Arizona Cardinals: Adrian Wilson
Look, Adrian Wilson isn't going to win an award for the most hated player in the NFL. The only reason that Wilson is on this list is because of his history of cheap shots and dirty play.
Since Wilson entered the league in 2001, he has played at a Pro Bowl-level for 10 years. However, over that 10-year period, no NFL player has more personal foul penalties than Wilson. Wilson is usually mentioned with the top 10 dirty players in the NFL, and has seen numerous fines come his way after cheap shots.
Atlanta Falcons: Dunta Robinson
Atlanta Falcon fans have a lot of people to hate. Bobby Petrino and Michael Vick are probably both in the most hated NFL figures of all time discussion.
The Falcons roster really doesn't have many hateable players at all. The only reason Dunta Robinson's name is on this list is because of the vicious hit on DeSean Jackson this year.
Does this mean Dunta Robinson is a flat-out hated player? No, but I am sure there are a lot of Eagles fans who are not too fond of him.
Baltimore Ravens: Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis is one of the most intense, hard-nosed football players to ever play the game. Lewis will go down in history as one of the best to play the linebacker position. However, the reputation he has developed over his playing career is why he continues to be one of the most hated players in the league.
Lewis' run-in with the law and alleged murder trials really didn't come off as a "feel-good story" for fans. Instead, Lewis gained the reputation as a "thug" or a "punk," and his intimidation and intensity on the field fit in well with his image. At age 36, Lewis continues to dominate the game, but is the easy choice for the most hateable Baltimore player.
Buffalo Bills: Shawne Merriman
Linebacker Shawne Merriman arrived in Buffalo only a year ago and instantly became the choice for the most hateable Bill. His years in San Diego solidified this without playing a single down for the Buffalo Bills.
Between his use of illegal supplements, the "Lights Out" celebration and roughing up MTV star Tila Tequila, Shawne Merriman is the most hateable player on the Buffalo Bills roster.
Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a Pro Bowl-caliber WR for the Panthers over the last 10 years, and one of the best in the league. However, if you were forced to hate one Carolina Panther, Smith would be the guy for you.
Whether it's burning your favorite team's corner, his end-zone celebrations, run-ins with the law or altercations with his own teammates, you probably have a good reason to dislike Smith. Though Cam Newton may give him competition in the future, for now Smith is the most hateable player in Carolina.
Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler, referred to by many as Jay "Quitler," has risen to the top of the most hateable list over the last year. I'm sure we all remember his struggles in the NFC championship. It almost appeared as if he didn't even show up the second half of the game. Literally.
If you combine that with his attitude of indifference towards the game, I think it is pretty clear that Jay Cutler is and should be one of the most hateable players in the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Ochocinco
Chad Johnson took showboating and ego in football to a whole new level. His career has been filled with ridiculous stunts, including changing his last name to Ochocinco.
No. 85 has always been one of the best wideouts in the league, but his colorful personality and ego have almost overshadowed that.
We have all heard the saying "The name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back." That isn't always the case with Ochocinco, and that is what makes him so hateable.
Cleveland Browns: Joshua Cribbs
The only reason that Joshua Cribbs is hateable is that you hate to kick off to him. Kick-return touchdowns can be momentum-changers, or for an offense like Cleveland's, keep the team in the game. Cribbs is the best kick returner in the NFL, and maybe in NFL history.
Due to the fact that the Browns don't have any recognizable players, loudmouths or showboats on the team, I was pretty much forced to choose Cribbs because he can be such a pain in the rear for opposing teams.
Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones
Usually in pro sports, the owner is never seen as the face of a franchise. However, Down in Big D, there seems to be an exception. No, im not talking about Mark Cuban, though the same applies to him. I'm talking about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Right when Jones bought the Cowboys, he immediately fired coaching legend Tom Landry, upsetting thousands of fans. While most owners stay hidden, even during the team's success, Jones is constantly visible and always in the media spotlight. Jones is a big spender and makes changes very frequently. This is why so many fans root against the Cowboys, and what makes Jerry Jones so hateable.
Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow
Let me start off by saying that Tebow is one of the best leaders and athletes in the history of college football. However, the emotion and intensity he brings to the field along with his flawless image make him so hateable.
Tebow only lost two games his final two years in Florida, and he cried after both of them. He has gotten so much media hype over his career, and is depicted as flawless. He is the team cheerleader, yelling at everyone at the sidelines and just won't shut up.
Tebow does a lot of great things in the community and off of the field; he is also a great role model. You really have to admire everything that Tim Tebow does, but at the same time it is almost just as easy to root against him.
Detroit Lions: William Clay Ford
No NFL franchise has struggled more over the last 50 years than the Detroit Lions. They are usually the doormat of the NFC North and of the NFL in general. If a franchise struggles for that long, for generations full of players and fans, the ownership is really the only scapegoat.
Lions owner William Clay Ford is one of the worst owner in sports. We saw this with the Matt Millen saga, and the Lions playoff wins in the last 50 years reflects that. One. The Lions have won one playoff game in 51 years.
Fifty years of losing makes me believe that Ford hates the Lions as much as fans hate him.
Green Bay Packers: Nick Barnett
Packers LB Nick Barnett may have seen his last game in green and gold, but as of right now, he is the most hateable player on the Packers.
Barnett likes to celebrate after every tackle he makes. In fact, a few years ago, Packer fans booed him for celebrating after a routine play in a blowout loss.
Barnett is also a Twitter drama queen and trash talker. Even while on the injured reserve, he managed to be a distraction for the Packers during Super Bowl preparations. I also shouldn't fail to mention his troubles with the law, specifically domestic violence.
Houston Texans: Brian Cushing
It's really hard to hate anyone on the Texans. This is a franchise that is very young and has yet to make it to the playoffs. It's really difficult to label any player in Houston as truly hateable.
If one player had to be labeled on Houston, it would probably have to be Brian Cushing. Cushing was caught juicing, and then pretty much lied about it. Besides that, Cushing comes off as one of those jerks that you just love to hate, but that's just me.
Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning
Three reasons that people hate Peyton Manning
1. He is the poster boy for the NFL; he has been in so many commercials that I have lost track. He even gets more media attention than Tom Brady. He is really overexposed, and that really bothers some people.
2. His pre-snap rituals that last until there is two seconds left on the game clock. His body language and yelling before each snap is like facing a pitcher that steps of the mound and breathes for a while after each pitch.
3. Manning is known to have some of the greatest statistical years in NFL history, and his team is almost always a Super Bowl contender. However, many fans feel that justice is served when Manning's team makes an early exit from the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew
Who doesn't love a little 5'7" hard-nosed running back that runs over people? Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the most exciting players in the NFL hands down, but a lot of his comments this offseason make him a little less likeable.
After the Jay Cutler incident, Maurice took shots at Cutler questioning his toughness and desire to win. But in the meantime, he also delivered some below-the-belt blows to former Florida coach Urban Meyer. When you play in Jacksonville, Florida, that isn't the smartest thing to say, joking or not.
Finally, his criticism of Cutler was a bit hypocritical considering the fact that MJD sat out the last few games of the season in the middle of a playoff race.
Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Cassel
A few years ago, Matt Cassel was one of the NFL's top stories after he led the Patriots to a winning season without the play of Tom Brady. Cassel has since moved on to Kansas City, where he is now a legit starting QB.
Cassel said a few things that were kind of controversial in KC. After signing with the Chiefs in March 2009, he said in a press conference that he was going to "thank [Bernard Pollard] for the opportunity" to start last season in New England, after the Chiefs safety ended Brady's season with a hit. Cassel later clarified what he said. He was also caught on camera telling the booing Chiefs fans to "Shut the f*** up" during a 16-10 loss to the Bills in 2009, following a four-interception performance.
Miami Dolphins: Brandon Marshall
The first name that popped into my head was Ricky Williams, but ever since he came back into the league he has produced and kept quiet, giving us a reason to like him. Brandon Marshall, on the other hand, has got into some trouble and has joined the ranks of NFL headcases.
Brandon Marshall has been involved in numerous run-ins with the law. Here are a few of these instances: domestic violence, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, DUI, driving without a license, and riding in the car when teammate Darrent Williams was murdered. Not to mention his altercations with his team, suspensions and benching. I would probably label him as a distraction to a team.
Minnesota Vikings: Brett Favre
You're probably wondering, "Hey, I thought this list was for active players only, but Brett Favre is retired!" If you thought something along those lines, then you assumed Favre was done playing football. If there is one thing we should have learned by now is that you can't make assumptions about No. 4.
His can't-make-up-his-mind diva act has made him the center of attention for the last four years. He went from all-time fan favorite in the eyes of Cheeseheads, to the most despised man in the world. Though it seems for now Favre's playing days are done for good, don't be surprised when you see good old Brett throwing passes to high school kids in Gulfport, Mississippi this July.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady
There are many reasons that people could hate Tom Brady for.
Brady is one of the biggest NFL "pretty boys" the league has ever seen. In fact, when Brady got hurt, he got his own rule to prevent it from happening again.
Brady is married to one of the hottest supermodels in the world; it's hard not to get jealous.
New Orleans Saints: Reggie Bush
Coming out of USC, Reggie Bush was one of the most electrifying players the world had ever seen. Many people predicted he would be one of the most dangerous NFL players of all time. Those people weren't exactly right.
Bush is really yet to have a "breakout year" and has yet to rush for more than 600 yards. Though Bush didn't have a huge load of carries and was used as a receiving back, he still really hasn't produced. All of this is in addition to his scandal at USC. He lost his Heisman Trophy and left the USC program to crash and burn.
Bush also whines and complains on Twitter a lot, especially as of late.
New York Jets: Rex Ryan
Where do I even begin with the Jets?
After seeing the Jets soaring around like airplanes after the division playoff win, listening to Bart Scott yell about stuff and watching Rex Ryan run down to the end zone to celebrate, one thing became clear: The Jets have a bigger ego than any other team in pro sports.
The source of that ego is Rex Ryan.
Ryan came in as coach and almost immediately made bold predictions. It was only fitting that the Jets would get their own TV show, and only fitting that Rex would be the star. Ryan talks so much trash, and his postgame press conferences are always bound to be interesting. I can see why Jets fans love him, but it is clear why almost everyone else hates him.
New York Giants: Eli Manning
QB Eli Manning didn't exactly get off to a good start when he entered the NFL. In fact, when he was drafted by the Chargers, he made it loud and clear he didn't want to play in San Diego and demanded a trade.
Eli is far from being an elite QB, but with a last name like Manning and playing in a market as big as New York, Eli gets more attention than most NFL QBs.
Oakland Raiders: Al Davis
Now, I wasn't around in the early days of Oakland's Al Davis era, but that was so long ago that most people identify him as the crazy old man that runs the Raiders. I understand that back in the '70s and '80s that Davis' Raiders were the most feared (and hated) franchise in the NFL.
Over the last 10 years, however, he has made many huge blunders that put the Raiders in the position they are in now. Getting rid of Jon Gruden, trading for Randy Moss, drafting JaMarcus Russell, bringing back Art Shell and making a coaching change just about every year make it look like Davis just isn't all there.
Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick
Must I really even explain?
So many people just flat-out hate Michael Vick. He did the crime and he did his time. Yet millions of Americans, a lot of whom don't even watch football, believe that Vick should not have been granted a second chance.
Even though players like Dante Stallworth and Leonard Little actually killed real people while under the influence, Michael Vick went under far more heat and is hated by far more people.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben Roethlisberger
There are Steeler players like Hines Ward and James Harrison who are among the dirtiest players in the NFL. There are also players like Rashad Mendenhall who claim 9/11 was an inside job. You have to wonder why those three guys don't make the list but players like Matt Cassel and Joshua Cribbs do. The answer is Big Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben isn't hated because of his size and how annoying he is to bring down. Big Ben isn't hated because he wrecked his motorcycle without a helmet and we had to constantly hear about it. Big Ben isn't hated because he wins Super Bowls for one of the NFL's most hated franchises. Big Ben isn't hated because of his alleged sexual assault fiasco.
I'm only kidding. Big Ben is hated for all of those things.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is one of the cockiest players in the NFL. Rivers will get in opposing players' faces and he will share whatever is on his mind. He is a trash talker, plain and simple.
Rivers tends to show his emotion when he plays football, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. For this very reason fans tend to love him, and the opposition tends to hate him.
San Francisco 49ers: Michael Crabtree
Everybody knew that WR Michael Crabtree had some character issues when he entered the NFL draft. He was a tremendous talent and had the potential to be an elite receiver.
Without ever playing a down in the NFL, Crabtree went on a contract holdout that lasted long after the season-opener. Crabtree threatened to re-enter the draft if he didn't get the contract he wanted. Eventually he signed a contract towards the end of October, but this could be a sign of things to come.
I would really hate to compare Crabtree to San Fran's last headcase receiver, but I think the picture above does it for me.
Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll
So many people hated USC when Pete Carroll was the head coach. Year in and year out they would have a cast of stars contend for the national championship or the Heisman.
Unlike Ohio State, Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush were able to jump ship before their scandal was uncovered. We probably will never find out everything that happened when Carroll was there, and how clean the program was. One thing we do know is that Pete Carroll left one of college football's most prestigious programs in flames, while he moved on to make millions in the NFL.
St. Louis Rams: Chris Hovan
Chris Hovan hasn't played a down for the St. Louis Rams, and probably never will. However, he is on the current roster, and really is the only hateable being on the team.
Hovan has always resembled a WWE wrestler more than an NFL player. He has always played that way too. In Minnesota, his long hair, non-stop motor, face-painting and yelling made him almost unbearable. When he moved on to Tampa, he lost the hair but was the same Chris Hovan.
Hovan was never an elite player and never got constant media attention. However, Hovan has just as many hateable qualities as any player on the list.
Tampa Bay Bucaneers: Kellen Winslow Jr.
It was tough to leave out RB LeGarrette Blount at this spot. Blount, as we all know, is famous for punching an opposing Boise State player in the jaw after the game.
However, I gave the nod to TE Kellen Winslow Jr., The video above shows his arrogant rant, calling football a "war", and referring to himself as a "******** soldier." He has also claimed that he is better than every other NFL TE at only 90 percent health.
Finally, the clause in Winslow's contract restricting him from owning a motorcycle was broken after he purchased and wrecked a motorcycle. The injuries sustained forced him to miss his second NFL season.
Tennessee Titans: Cortland Finnegan
Cortland Finnegan is a punk. There is no way around it. When Finnegan is on the field, he has very few good intentions.
Finnegan has thrown people to the ground and punched people in the face—and only it happens after the whistle has been blown. He recently got into a fight with Texans wideout Andre Johnson and faced a pretty hefty fine.
Cortland Finnegan is like the bully from your high school that calls out some random kid that's minding his own business, just to start some sort of conflict.
Washington Redskins: Albert Haynesworth
Albert Haynesworth was the most dominant defender in the NFL, which allowed him to receive a $100 million contract. Since he arrived in Washington, it has been nothing but a nightmare.
Even before he signed with the Redskins, Albert had some conflicts in Nashville. He reportedly kicked a teammate in the chest during training camp, and was fined and suspended after stomping on an opponent's head during a game. There were a few disputes with the law that Haynesworth had to face as well.
In Washington, he openly criticized the 'Skins defensive scheme. This would be the beginning of many disputes with the Washington coaching staff. Haynesworth was suspended for the end of the 2010 season because his actions were such a distraction to the team.