The 2011 NFL season is coming down the stretch, and the playoff picture is becoming clearer every week. The majority of players in the league work hard and do their jobs to little or no public fanfare.
I find such an approach refreshing and enjoyable to watch on a weekly basis. I love seeing pro athletes earning their paychecks and not making a fuss.
But then there’s guys like the ones on this list, who can’t go a day without being in our living rooms or mobile devices. The media barrage is not always brought on by the players, but it is there nonetheless.
Other times, the behavior exhibited by these players is an obvious call for attention. I suppose there is no bad publicity, but there are limits.
This slideshow is a list of the most annoying NFL players from the 2011 season. We are all sick of hearing about these players.
I tend to feel sorry for Tony Romo, not because everyone hates him but because he smiles so much.
His natural disposition includes a grin, which would be fine if he was a salesperson or dressing up as Santa Claus at the mall.
But he’s the quarterback of America’s team, and whether fairly or not, the magnifying glass of expectation burns stronger in Dallas than it does in other places.
If not so talented, he would have become just another failed starting quarterback in Troy Aikman’s wake.
There are many of those from seasons past.
But Romo has been starting for Dallas since mid-2006, and has surpassed some team records to go along with his Pro Bowl and playoff appearances. He throws the ball like the elite passers in the NFL, but he also makes some boneheaded mistakes at inopportune times.
When interviewed after losses, he says all the right things, but there is no emphasis on improving or wanting to get even. I don’t see the fire burning in his eyes to become a champion.
He seems to enjoy winning more than he seems to hate losing.
Romo is notoriously shaky in the later weeks of the regular season, and Dallas has lost two straight in December. In case it isn’t clear, this is not the man that will bring a Super Bowl win back to the Cowboys.
Jared Allen thinks he’s smart, but everyone can see right through him. He made very disparaging remarks about the cities of New Orleans and Detroit during an interview recently (via The National Football Post).
He’s playing dumb by pretending not to realize the remarks would be inflated on a national scale. But he knew from the moment he made those statements that additional attention would be coming his way.
Sure, he had to apologize, but the lasting effect is heightened brand awareness. He’s stashing controversial moments in his back pocket in order to sell books later down the road.
The sad part is he is talented enough to not need the carnival act.
He is on the verge of breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season sacks record. He could be giving interviews about how he wants that record and will keep playing hard to reach his goal, but instead he’d rather trash American cities.
Not opposing teams or players, but actual cities. Maybe he just needs to be reminded about the Vikings’ 2-11 record.
Peyton Hillis is a fun player to watch with his stocky, bruising style of running. He's also the newest victim of the "Madden Curse."
And the way he shrouded his contract situation in secrecy earlier this season was very telling.
He missed a game earlier in the season against Miami, citing strep throat as the reason. His agent then publicly stated he had advised Hillis to sit out said game (via The News Herald).
Hillis has since injured his hamstring and has been very spotty all season. His only two touchdowns of the year came in the same game against the Colts in Week 2.
Loyalty—or lack thereof—to the Cleveland Browns has been dogging Hillis all season.
I try to give players the benefit of the doubt when it comes to injuries. It’s easy to sit on a couch with a bucket of chicken and a six pack of beer and deride pro players for not overcoming ailment during a game.
I tried to empathize with Hillis when he mentioned his strep throat.
But to hear he turned on his teammates over a contract dispute midseason is upsetting. It’d be at least understandable if he wasn’t averaging a full yard less per carry than he did in 2010. Last year, he rushed for 1,177 yards, 477 receiving yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
This year, he has missed six games and only rushed for 346 yards and two touchdowns in the seven games he has played in. Where does he get the nerve to be looking ahead for himself?
What are the Browns paying for exactly?
I often feel like the minority when giving certain credit to Vick. The reason for his arrest was disturbing, but I have much respect for him for serving his time like a man. He got out of prison and spoke out against dog fighting, even supporting legislation to ban spectators.
It still hasn’t been enough for many people, but I think he’s done more than he needed to.
But as for football in 2011, I have seen enough of Vick.
The “Dream Team?” Come on, man.
Didn’t he see LeBron James talk about winning seven championships for Miami a year ago? It’s okay to be confident, but being outright cocky before the season even starts is just careless.
The Eagles brought in some big-name talent and were supposed to make the Super Bowl by all the experts’ accounts. Instead, they’ve been embarrassed by some mediocre teams and are 5-8 heading into Week 15.
I’ve never been sold on running quarterbacks. Vick is a magnificent athlete and can even throw the ball well, but that style of play from a quarterback does not hold up over the long run.
Like Romo, Vick says the right words after a loss but there’s no conviction. Losing doesn’t piss him off enough to bounce back with a vengeance.
When I watch Vick play, I see a guy going through the motions and giving up on the season.
I don’t see the Eagles beating the Jets or Cowboys. With a win over Washington to end the 2011 campaign, they’ll finish 6-10.
I am very sick of Tim Tebow. It’s not his fault the media have ambushed us with his face and highlights, but the glow of his teeth tells us he’s enjoying it.
Fine. Enjoy it.
But these grumblings about Tebow being “the next John Elway” really need to end.
What do people mean by that? Will he be the Broncos’ next repeat Super Bowl champion? Will he be the next Broncos quarterback to rush nearly 800 times over a 16-year career or throw for over 51,000 yards and 300 touchdowns?
Where does this comparison come from? Can we please examine what it is Tim Tebow has actually done in the NFL?
He is a respectable 8-3 as a starter between 2010 and 2011, but he keeps leading the Broncos to victory in the final minutes of games that are four quarters long.
The monumental praise he receives stems from the fact he can’t put a complete game together.
He wakes up at the end. The real credit should go to Denver’s defense for even giving him a shot every week.
The Patriots are going to put up points this week, and Tebow will need to play well for more than two minutes if he expects to win.
The kid has heart and passion and wants to win. I love that about him. I don’t buy into all the criticism of his throwing motion and style. If his team wins, it doesn’t matter and I get that.
But let’s all admit it. We want to see his team get destroyed again like they did against Detroit. I remember that game fondly.
Why doesn't any one else?