Sports Illustrated Names Patriots, Belichick Most Hated Team, Coach in NFL

What do they know about sports, anyway?

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Sports Illustrated released its list of the NFL’s worst teams, people, and places last week. In a league as contemptible as the National Football League—just ask the family of the late Junior Seau and an ever-growing list of domestic abuse survivors—being named the worst of the worst is quite a statement.

The list names the New England Patriots the league’s most hated team, and its stoic, hoodied mastermind Bill Belichick, its most hated coach. Really?

In his entry on the league’s most hated team, writer Chris Burke acknowledges that the New England Patriots now occupy a role once held by the dynastic Dallas Cowboys of old. The hate for the Patriots stems from their status as a perennial contender, a Goliath with fingers bedizened with four Super Bowl rings. Combine that with some questionable antics off the field, and you’ve got yourself some grade-A, blue-ribbon hate.

“Deflategate and Spygate have not scored the Patriots any brownie points, either,” Burke writes. “The organization doesn’t really seem to care, which might further add fuel to the fire outside Foxborough. Bill Belichick is still the same as always, casting an almost smug figure. Owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady have remained defiant and unapologetic.”

“If we’re talking about the NFL coach who is most hated outside of his own building, there’s no doubt that Belichick gets the vote,” Doug Farrar writes of the Patriots head coach. “Between Spygate and Deflategate, his constant on-field trickery, his generally moribund press conferences and his undeniable football genius, Belichick is the guy most football fans love to hate, even if there is a grudging respect for his accomplishments.”

Farrar also notes that while the hate for Belichick may be especially searing in say, Baltimore and Indianapolis, few of Belichick’s former players have uttered an unkind word about the man. “Players know that coaches like Belichick bring the best out of them and put them in positions to win,” Farrar says.

You can read Sports Illustrated‘s full list here.