The biggest villains in recent sports history
These are the guys fans love to hate...
When Jose Bautista's face met Rougned Odor's fist, it didn't feel like many people outside of Toronto were too upset. Bautista is a terrific Blue Jay, sure, but some of his past actions — most notably his bat flip from last year's playoffs, where the piece of lumber traveled almost as far as the ball itself — have made him a person that fans enjoy rooting against. So, in honor of Bautista, here are a bunch more sports figures that fans have loved to hate in recent memory. You can almost hear the boos starting already.
When New England wins, supporters of the Patriots celebrate. But when New England loses, supporters of every other NFL team rejoice. Many factors go into being a disliked athlete, but few have as big an effect as consistent winning. Brady's four Super Bowls and two MVP awards will get him a spot in Canton, but they're also what draw the ire of non-Pats lovers. Of course, there's also that DeflateGate thing. And the fact that he wears Uggs. Those don't do him any favors, either.
Basically anyone who has played basketball for Duke
Grayson Allen's favorite hobby is tripping unsuspecting opponents. Greg Paulus was only good for getting dunked on by bigger and more athletic players. JJ Redick and Christian Laettner make people mad simply by existing. 100,000 Cameron Indoor Stadiums couldn't hold the amount of men and women who abhor the Blue Devils.
He's taking his talents to a spot on this rankings, one that was solidified when he decided to leave Cleveland for Miami in 2010. Is James one of the best to ever step on an NBA floor? Absolutely. But is he also one of the best at taking away the power of his head coaches, firing off moody, high schooler-ish subtweets about his teammates and acting like every call against him is a crime against humanity? Yep. Bringing home a title with the Cavs would earn him a permanent spot in the city's heart — and probably annoy the rest of the country.
Tony Romo will make the Redskins' Ring of Fame before Haynesworth (often seen written as Haynesworth-less). The behemoth of a defensive tackle signed a behemoth of a contract in 2009 with Washington, and then registered an un-behemoth 6.5 sacks with the Burgundy and Gold before being pushed out after two seasons. The two most memorable parts of his time in D.C.? Lying down for a brief snooze during a Monday Night contest versus the Eagles, and making an NFL conditioning test nationwide news, which truly is a monumental task to pull off.
You can be a superstar on the ice that's also well-liked throughout the country. Crosby, however, has yet to really figure out that formula. He's long harbored a reputation of being a whiner, and detractors will even go after his ability to grow a mustache. When people come at things as inconsequential as your facial hair, it's a bad sign.
To those who regularly tune in to soccer, Suárez is one of the world's top offensive threats. But to those who are only casual followers, he's the guy who makes Walking Dead zombies look tame. The 29-year-old has sunk his teeth into three players since 2010; one time is ridiculous, two times is purely insane, but three times? Even kids in preschool and untrained puppies think Luis needs to chill with the biting.
Any referee or umpire that's ever called a game
These officials are always making calls to the detriment of your team. That flag that was thrown? Totally bogus. That one missed call? It was 100 percent personal. The grudge he or she holds when it comes to your city is so obvious, and the ref or ump clearly hates your squad's best athlete. Can't wait until artifical intelligence develops enough so robots can take these jobs away from real people once and for all.
Owens made a lot of quarterbacks look better than they were during his time in the NFL, but he also likely gave them numerous headaches that required tons of Tylenol to cure. Let's just put it this way: When a Cowboys safety decked T.O. after the wideout stood on Dallas' star for a second time following a touchdown in 2000, it was the first time everyone could agree that a Cowboy did the correct thing.
Already an unpopular fellow before admitting to using steroids, Rodriguez's hatred ratings reached "Cable guy who shows up four hours later than the window that was given" after he came clean about performance-enhancing drugs. Remember those heartwarming goodbye tours Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera went on when their Pinstripe careers were coming to an end? A-Rod's final appearances will be about as heartwarming as The Shining.
Mayweather is undefeated, but many of his critics find him to be supremely boring in the ring and would prefer shoving their money down a garbage disposal than paying the pay-per-view fees for one of his fights. Speaking of money, the way he flaunts his also doesn't do much for the way the public views him. His retirement — if it ever happens — will come as a relief to many.
Most linemen have a signature move, like Dwight Freeney's spin or J.J. Watt's bull rush. Suh, however, has turned the personal foul into his specialty, whether that means stomping on someone's arm or leg or kicking another man in the groin. You could buy a sizable home or a few very nice sports cars with the amount of cash the Dolphins defender has been forced to pay in fines in response to his on-field antics.
The Clippers would be better off flipping a coin at the foul line and calling heads or tails than they would be sending Jordan to the stripe and having him shoot two free throws (he's a career 42 percent shooter from that spot). That enormous hole in his game is infuriating to fans, many of whom could actually do far better than him if they were fouled. Add that into the free agency fiasco in which he flip-flopped between Los Angeles and Dallas, and you get a center who's right in the middle of a lot of loathing.
The only person more excited than the receiver who hauls in a touchdown over Richard Sherman is literally everyone in the world who isn't fond of the Seahawks. The outspoken corner has the talents to back up his smack talk, but even he gets burned every once in a while. And, for the most part, no one feels sorry when he does. Especially Michael Crabtree.