Peyton Manning is retired. Derek Jeter is retired. Kobe Bryant is retired.
For years and years you could place those three players at or near the top of any Boston sports hate list, but the times they have changed.
Most of the venom coming from Boston sports fans these days is pointed in the direction of NFL executives (Roger Goodell, Mike Kensil), executives of other NFL teams (Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson) and coaches of other NFL teams (John Harbaugh). Basically, anyone “higher up” who had anything at all to do with Deflategate Boston fans will instinctually loathe.
But what about on the playing field?
Unfortunately (or fortunately) Paul O’Neill is not walking through that door. Bill Laimbeer is not walking through that door. Ulf Samuelsson is not walking through that door and Joey Porter is not walking through that door. In other words, it was surprisingly hard to come up with this list – which might be a sign that the Boston sports scene is actually slipping a bit. Afterall, the Bruins and Celtics are still far away from a title and the Red Sox are coming off of back-to-back basemen-dwelling seasons. It’s harder to hate others when you suck, of course.
Nonetheless, here’s the list. Let me know your ‘most hated’ on Twitter@Burke_Metro
10. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers
Williams slammed the Pats on Twitter earlier this year when asked if he’d be interested in playing in Foxboro.
“From what I’m told only Tom Brady likes [Bill Belichick], so no thank you I’m happy where I am.”
When someone replied, “Bill Belichick owns the Steelers,” Williams came back with the following: “No, he owns the most seasons/Super Bowls with questionable tactics in securing the win aka cheating.”
9. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins
It’s hard to believe that Sid the Kid has been in the league for 10 years now. He hasn’t crossed paths with the Bruins all that much in big games but his incessant whining on the ice always draws the ire of Boston fans. The B’s swept the Penguins and shut out Crosby in the 2013 postseason. A fun time had by all.
8. Brandon Marshall, LB, Broncos
The Broncos talked a whole lot of smack before the AFC Championship game, which makes the fact that the Pats lost that game that much more difficult to swallow. Marshall signaled out Rob Gronkowski prior to the game, saying that the only reason the big tight end gets open is because he “pushes off.” For the record, Gronkowski had eight catches for 144 yards and a touchdown in the Pats’ two-point loss in Denver.
7. Dennis Schroder, G, Hawks
The freshest name on the list, Dennis Schroder lands here because of the extra-curricular activity he dished out during the Hawks – Celtics series in April. Schroder got into it with Isaiah Thomas in Game 3 and then Jae Crowder in Game 4. Schroder was booed nearly every time he touched the ball in Boston, and “Schroder sucks!” was on equal ground with “Let’s go Celtics!” in terms of favorites during the series.
6. PK Subban, D, Canadiens
Subban has been agitating Bruins fans since 2010 and was the main heel during the Bruins’ tenure as the best team in the Eastern Conference from 2011-13. The hatred has now turned into mostly jealousy as the Canadiens and Subban owned the B’s for a couple of years.
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Yankees
Ellsbury’s not living up to his side of the bargain when it comes to being hated in Boston. The easiest way to gain instant hate in the Hub is to willingly jump to the Yankees and then play well, but Ellsbury has been a non-factor since jumping to the Bronx and the Yankees have been decidedly mediocre. When Johnny Damon jumped to the Yanks, he put up monster numbers and the Yankees were always in the mix (winning it all in 2009).
4. LeBron James, F, Cavaliers
He’s a coach-killer. He’s entitled. He’s a whiner. From 2008-11 he was regarded as the best player in the NBA, but the Celtics owned him. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce weren’t big fans of LeBron, and the Garden was mostly a house of horrors for him … until Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals when he poured in 45 points in a Heat win.
3. Alex Rodriguez, DH, Yankees
He nearly became a Red Sox in 2004 but the Yankees swooped in and landed him from Texas. Later that year, he got into a brawl with Jason Varitek and swatted the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove while running to first in the ALCS. And then there’s all the steroids stuff. The reason he’s not higher now though is that hating A-Rod has become way too easy. A cottage industry of hate has watered him down.
2. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
This man cost the Patriots two Super Bowl titles with what are arguably the two luckiest passes in Super Bowl history – the helmet catch to David Tyree and the pass down the sidelines to Mario Manningham. This particular Manning seems to be mediocre against every other team in the league except the Patriots.
1. Terrell Suggs, LB, Ravens
No one has talked more bull poop about the Patriots over the years than the Ravens linebacker. It came to a head in the 2012 AFC title game when the Ravens beat the Pats in Foxboro.
“Those are the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with Belichick on down,” Suggs said on the field, in between taunting Patriots fans. “Funny, ever since SpyGate they haven’t been able to win.”
Add in the fact that Suggs is just a rotten dude and you have the recipe for the most boo-able man in Boston sports. He seemingly gets arrested every off-season (yes, he’s already been arrested in 2016) and he has been involved in a pair of ugly domestic incidents. One of those incidents allegedly involved Suggs grabbing his then-wife by the neck and attempting to pour a bottle of bleach over her.