It’s time for another installment of Top 5; it’s been a long time. This time I bring you my Five Most Hated Teams. These are the teams I love to hate. These are the teams that when a favorite player of mine goes to play for them, I have a hard time ever rooting for them ever again (with one notable exception, see below). When these teams lose, I take delight in the losses, regardless of who deals the loss to them. I invite you to peruse my list, formulate your own, and share it!
1. Detroit Red Wings
The Red Army. The Dead Things. The Santa Suits. Call them whatever you want. I hate them. Maybe it’s the fact that before the NHL instituted a salary cap, they had virtually unlimited funds with which to sign players. Maybe it’s the fact that they always are in contention to win the Stanley Cup. Whatever the reason, though, they’ve been the team that I’ve hated for the longest and the most. While they might not be my Stars’ arch-nemesis anymore, I still hate them with a fiery, burning passion. For some reason I think they have the most intimidating uniforms in all of sport. The full-red look just unnerves me. Plus, anytime they travel their fans come out of the woodwork in support. They have the largest contingent of away fans of any hockey team, I’d wager. It’s frustrating. Have I mentioned that they ALWAYS win? It’s obnoxious.
2. Manchester United
Eighteen months ago, this team probably wouldn’t have even cracked my Top 5, though it might have. But, as you know, I’ve gotten into soccer in a big way as a Liverpool supporter, and I’ve quickly become acquainted with the Evil Empire and the evil that they stand for. Up until recently, I had trouble deciding whether they were #2 or #3, but recent developments lead me to conclude that they are indeed #2. If they keep it up, they may just challenge the Wings for the title of Most Hated. Why do I hate them? They are what the Yankees were in the late ’90s. Free spenders who always win. Always. What’s more, they’re pretty-boy prima donnas that will fall to the ground clutching appendages if you breathe on them or look at them the wrong way. Their star, Ronaldo, could miss a wide-open shot on a break, then turn around and blame a teammate for the miss. It’s never his own fault. Their only redeeming quality – their coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, is a snappy dresser. But even he’s impossible to like.
3. New York Yankees
The “original” evil empire. Vast resources to spend, and spend them they have. They’ve dropped in my rankings due to the fact that they haven’t won it all in awhile, but they remain my most reviled team in baseball. Large amounts of fans at away games. The fact that the Rangers can’t seem to win a series against them. They spend ridiculous amounts of money. Did I mention their fans are annoying? The reasons to hate the Yankees are well-documented and prolific. You all know them.
Those three round out the Axis of Sports Evil. No question. The last two are much harder for me to pin down. Hence the reason there’s a tie for #4.
4. Philadelphia Eagles/Washington Redskins
These two teams seem to function as a combined arch-nemesis of the Dallas Cowboys, who are my team and have been since the womb. Though there was a brief stint in the early/mid ’90s where the 49′ers were the arch nemesis of the Boys in Blue, the long term rivalries of the Redskins and the Eagles outpace the 49′ers. Plus, the Niners have a Baylor grad at the helm now; plus they just can’t seem to win. Rarely are both the Eagles and the Skins a formidable opponent, hence the reason they share the Number Four spot on the list.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
And… The Lakers. The hatred of this team really stems mostly from a hatred of Kobe Bryant, but whatever. They’re #5. They’re sort of the Wings/ManU/Yankees of basketball, I guess. Given that I don’t care for NBA basketball all that much, my hatred of this team is tempered to a slow simmer. But it’s there.
So there you have it… My Top Five Most Hated Sports Teams. What’s yours?