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Most Hated Sports Teams

Sports | By The Top 13 on February 25, 2010

With the NFL season ending earlier this month, the NBA, the NHL, and college basketball in full swing, and baseball season just around the corner, we decided it was a good time to take a look at the most hated teams in sports. We recognize that many of the teams on this list are also among the most successful and beloved teams, but, in part because of their passionate fan bases, these are the teams that we think inspire more hate than any others. In the interest of full disclosure, we're compelled to tell you that the writer of this Top 13 is a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Yankee fan. Nevertheless, even he knows that his favorite team is without peer as the most hated in sports. And with that, we present the Top 13 Most Hated Sports Teams. Where possible, we've provided video clips that demonstrate just how much people hate these teams.

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New York Yankees

1

New York Yankees

It should go without saying that fans of every other team in the league are jealous of the Yankees' record 27 world championships. But what really makes fans' blood boil is the perception that George Steinbrenner's Evil Empire bought each and every one of those championships. Indeed, as far back as the acquisition of Babe Ruth for $100,000 from the Red Sox, the Yankees have spared no expense to win. And those free-spending ways have continued during the Steinbrenner era, during which the owner has forked over an astonishing $200 million a season to field an all-star team at Yankee Stadium. Making matters worse, those players have included cheaters and surly superstars such as Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens, who are among the most hated players in recent memory. Even when the Yankees aren't playing, fans take out their frustrations on them, as this video from a Red Sox-Orioles game shows.

Duke Basketball

2

Duke Basketball

Duke is unquestionably successful – the Blue Devils have won three NCAA championships, appeared in fourteen Final Fours, and are tied with North Carolina for the most ACC tournament championships. But like so many other teams on this Top 13, Duke's winning is hardly the only reason for the hate. Fans dislike the Blue Devils for a myriad of reasons, including the perception that their players constantly flop, get every call, and frequently play dirty. And they despise many of Duke's best players, namely Christian Laettner and J.J. Redick, for exactly those reasons. Fans also resent the fact that the media – particularly Dick “Dukie V” Vitale - seems to be in love with Duke, and passionately loathe Duke's privileged and self-important fan base, known as the Cameron Crazies.

Dallas Cowboys

3

Dallas Cowboys

Though they haven't even sniffed the NFC Championship game since winning the Super Bowl in 1995, there's no question that the Cowboys are the most hated team in the NFL. What do you expect when you refer to yourself as "America's Team"? Despite the loathsome nickname, there's no question that – like the Yankees – much of the hate is based on jealousy; the Cowboys have a long history of success, were recently named the most valuable sports franchise in the country by Forbes, and just last year built an amazing new $1.15 billion stadium. Still, team owner Jerry Jones is rightfully viewed as an overbearing publicity hound and the team has fielded far too many unlikable players for one franchise, including Michael Irvin, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, and Deion Sanders, to name just a few.

Los Angeles Lakers

4

Los Angeles Lakers

Though the Celtics, who appear a few spots down this Top 13, have won more championships than the Lakers, they simply can't compare with the Lakers in the contest to be the most hated team in the NBA. Put aside the nightly and insufferable courtside celebrity photo opportunities at the Staples Center for a moment and just think about all of the despised superstars who've donned the yellow and purple: Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant have all elicited strong dislike from fans in other cities. If there was any ambivalence about hating the Lakers, it disappeared after the 2008 heist of Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies.

New England Patriots

5

New England Patriots

After three Super Bowl wins in four years for the Patriots in the early 2000s, the hate was in full effect. So when the Giants beat them in the big game after the 2007 season, most of the country was, for once, cheering for the New York team. But lest you think the dislike of the Patriots stems merely from their winning ways, consider the surly nature of head coach Bill Belichick, who refuses to be honest about injuries, has blown off opposing head coaches in the traditional postgame handshakes, and was fined after a team employee was caught videotaping New York Jets' practice. Oh, and their pretty boy quarterback is married to supermodel Giselle Bündchen.

Manchester United F.C.

6

Manchester United F.C.

The Evil Empire on the other side of the pond, Manchester United is often compared to the New York Yankees of the late 1990s for its willingness to spend whatever it takes to win. And like the Yankees, Man U has been successful – the team is the three-time defending Premier League champions. Hatred of Man U is attributable to more than just the team's winning ways, though. European soccer fans dislike the fact that the team is owned by an American businessman (Malcolm Glazer) and they love to hate former Man U stars like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Plus, the team's epic rivalry with Liverpool makes hating Man U a birthright for many soccer fans.

Notre Dame Football

7

Notre Dame Football

Sure, the Fighting Irish have eleven national championships. But Notre Dame hate is based on much more than the team's history of success, which, by the way, has been fleeting in recent years. People dislike Notre Dame because they've long refused to join a conference, choosing instead to remain independent, and because of the school's absurdly lucrative NBC contract to televise each and every Irish home game. No other school has such a contract and that, of course, breeds extreme jealously. Finally, the team's close connection with being Irish-Catholic rubs many people the wrong way (the school has a mildly offensive Irish mascot and a mural known as "Touchdown Jesus" overlooking the stadium).

Boston Celtics

8

Boston Celtics

With more championships than any other team in NBA history and heated and celebrated rivalries against the Lakers and the Pistons, it's no surprise so many people loathe the Celtics. But what really makes the Celtics so detestable is the way in which their fans (Bill Simmons, we're looking at you) have turned Larry Bird into a virtual deity and embraced players - like Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale - that most hoops fans found easy to dislike. Making matters worse is the way in which Garnett was acquired, via trade negotiated by Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and ex-Boston teammate McHale. Can you blame fans for wondering if McHale wanted to see a little glory return to the Boston Garden?

Boston Red Sox

9

Boston Red Sox

Clearly, the Red Sox's eighty-five years of frustration did little to earn them any goodwill around Major League Baseball. While the team and its fans weren't particularly disliked by anyone except Yankee fans during that period, when Boston finally exorcised the "Curse of the Bambino" in 2004, the vitriol began. And it only got worse when the Sox won it all again three years later. Perhaps the problem is the Red Sox fans' constant complaints about the Yankees' spending despite the fact that Boston's payroll is among the highest in the league, not to mention the team's almost unfettered ability to use the Japanese leagues as their own private minor league.

USC Football

10

USC Football

It's easy to hate a team that hangs eleven national championship banners, repeatedly dominates its conference, and produces a steady stream of NFL first-round draft picks. It's even easier to hate such a team when its pretty boy quarterbacks and star running backs date Hollywood starlets, yet that's exactly what recent USC All-Americans have done (QB Matt Leinart was rumored to be dating Alyssa Milano and Paris Hilton, among others, and Reggie Bush is back with Kim Kardashian). Add the repeated accusations of recruiting violations and the recent hiring of the controversial Lane Kiffin to be their new head coach and it's not hard to understand the disdain.

Detroit Red Wings

11

Detroit Red Wings

With four Stanley Cup championships since the 1996-97 season, there's no question the Detroit Red Wings have been one of the best franchises in professional sports over the past couple decades. But that success has led to a perception that the Red Wings are the Yankees of the National Hockey League, outspending their rivals to sign the best free agents every year (though the recent addition of a salary cap has stemmed this tide). At the same time, many are turned off by the rabid (and perhaps smug) fans of "Hockeytown" and the ridiculous tradition in which those fans throw octopi on the ice for good luck during playoff games. Nobody hates the Red Wings more than fans of the Colorado Avalanche, as the video below suggests.

Oakland Raiders

12

Oakland Raiders

Though they've been awful since losing Super Bowl XXXVII to the Bucaneers in 2002, if you're not a member of Raider Nation, you don't feel the least bit sorry for this team. Though many of the teams on this Top 13 are hated because of their fans as much as their players, hatred of Raider fans – faces painted, wearing all black, and as rowdy and obnoxious as can be – rises to another level. And the team's meddling owner, Al Davis, who has sued the NFL too many times to keep track, is another reason the Raiders are so despised around the league.

Philadelphia Flyers

13

Philadelphia Flyers

If you're a hockey fan and don't live in Philadelphia, you almost certainly loathe the Flyers. Part of the National Hockey League's 1967 expansion, the Flyers have long been known for their physical and ugly play, as the team's various nicknames suggest. The Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s won back-to-back Stanley Cups behind the rugged two-way play of Hall of Fame center Bobby Clarke. That team played so physically that in a game against the Soviet Union's Central Red Army juggernaut, the Russians actually left the ice midway through the first period. And the team's reputation hasn't changed since; hockey fans hated the Eric Lindros-led Legion of Doom squad of the 1990s just as much, and the Flyers remain among the most penalized teams in the NHL.

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Comments Leave a comment

oshoney 

hey the top 2 are my personal most hated teams... nicely done.

10:17 AM   Feb 25, 2010

fiveiron83321 

yankees are my #1 for sure...but definitely agree with the teams on this list

10:25 AM   Feb 25, 2010

DiscountSounds 

Fuck the Pack. That is all.

10:38 AM   Feb 25, 2010

Caseydog 

Da Bears are Da Worst. They do have great quarterbacks every year.

2:04 PM   Mar 11, 2010

Rosseus 

Real Madrid, Alabama (although the band is awesome) & New England.

10:48 AM   Feb 25, 2010

jason ★★

God that A-Rod pick makes me feel all violent inside. Also I hate the Flyers with an undying passion.

10:58 AM   Feb 25, 2010

stillathreat ★★

Not even a huge college sports fan and I hate Duke and Notre Dame just about more than any other teams.

11:06 AM   Feb 25, 2010

KungFuJay ★★

I hate the Cubs so much and they are never even any good.

12:09 PM   Feb 25, 2010

jason ★★

Also, kind of impressive that Dallas is #3 here (and correctly so) despite the fact that they haven't won a damn thing of any significance in 15 years. That's what makes them America's [Favorite] Team [to Hate Regardless of Current Success].

3:12 PM   Feb 25, 2010

hockeyfrog 

While I think the video clip was a bit harsh, as an Avalanche fan, indeed the Red Wings suck.

10:15 PM   Feb 25, 2010

tloveisready ★★

I hate the Eagles with a liquid hot magma passion that eternally churns within my soul. Also the Yankees, so good work there.

7:39 AM   Feb 26, 2010

Caseydog 

I don't care enough about baseball to care about any of the teams. Hate the Vikqueens. Their players are dirty and their fans are dirtier. Though not a team, I hate Vince Carter. He thinks he's a team. He was a sandbagger player making millions for the Toronto Raptors. He should be banned from the NBA. I would punch him in the face.
Never mind-I hate the Cubs.

2:02 PM   Mar 11, 2010

johndoeaa 

I hate the Cubs. The worst fans ever. Fat, drunk and stupid is fine, but fat, drunk, stupid, losers who blame their problems on a fucking goat? The day they turn down Wrigley, I'm using what I can grab for firewood.

7:48 PM   Mar 11, 2010

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