The NFL is full of guys we love to hate. Sometimes we’re just jealous, but some of these guys actually deserve it.
The NFL is full of good, likeable guys like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver, and Russell Wilson. It’s also full of guys who belong in prison. Then, there are the in-betweens. Hardcore douchers who aren’t necessarily insidious baddies but are altogether unlikeable. This list contains figures from both groups.
#1: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady is one of the league’s most prolific quarterbacks ever. The southern California golden boy has played in four Super Bowls, winning five, and taken home two MVP awards. Proponents of Peyton in the Manning-Brady debate usually focus on the fact that Manning has won five MVP awards, but that’s not really what the debate is about.
Brady is a douchebag. Plain and simple. He acts like the arrogant, attention-starved, spoiled brat that he is. He’s married to arguably the most beautiful woman on Earth in Gisele Bundchen. He has everything you wish you had. What could be more douchy?
#2: Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
Percy was an electrifying talent coming out of Florida in 2008. He drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round and instantly cemented his status as one of the NFL’s most promising young talents. He also cemented his status as one of the league’s biggest douchebags.
Following the 2012 season he told the Vikings front office that he would never again play for the team, regardless of how much money they threw at him. He was quickly gobbled up by the Seahawks and helped them win the 2014 Bowl against the Denver Broncos.
The Hawks quickly tired of his douche routine, however. During the 2014 season they traded him to the Jets for a bag of chips and a diet Coke.
#3: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
“Big” Ben Roethlisberger was a fan favorite for several years. A beer-swilling, pizza-grubbing everyman, NFL fans everywhere saw him as someone they could relate to. Being a two-time Super Bowl winner didn’t hurt things.
Well, he succeeded in trashing his reputation. Roethlisberger was accused of two separate sexual assault cases in 2009 and 2010. While he was never charged with a crime, the NFL suspended him for six games during the 2010 season. He is sometimes pejoratively referred to as “rapist.”
#4: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice was a bullish, athletic, and all-together competent running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He led them to a 38-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 Super Bowl.
Online sportsbooks in the US tabbed the Niners at 2-point favorites, but the Ravens showed themselves to be the tougher and more resilient team, in no small part due to Rice.
He later became the most hated player in the NFL (seizing the mantle from Mike Vick) in 2014 when Ray Rice was videotaped punching out his fiancée in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. America was outraged, and Rice will probably never play football again.
#5: Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
The Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl against the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17, even though online and mobile betting sites predicted the Colts to win. The Saints won primarily because of their dominant defense, just as they had the week before against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
That vaunted defense had a dirty secret, however. Peyton, several members of the coaching staff, and several players would be suspended after it was leaked that the team had a “head hunting” program. Coaches offered special bonuses to players in exchange for injuring key opponents, including Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
The word “douchebag” doesn’t even begin to describe Sean Payton. A cheater and cause of numerous injuries, he should be banned from the NFL for life.
#6: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Often described as an “evil genius,” Belichick is the best coach in the NFL today, and possibly ever. Since going 5-11 during his first year in 2000 the Patriots have had 14-straight winning seasons, made the playoffs 13 times, and won three Super Bowls. There is no greater dynasty in the game.
Belichick is disliked for his surly personality and coaching superiority, but also his responsibility for “Spygate.” The Spygate scandal broke in 2007 when it was discovered that the Patriots had cheated during numerous games by videotaping opposing sidelines during games.
That allowed them to steal the other teams’ signals. No one knows how many games the Patriots won due to this cheating practice, but it certainly solidified Belichick’s image as “evil” and more than a little douchy.