Staff writer John Laforest looks at the three biggest teams everyone loves to hate
In Professional sports, there are very few teams in each sport that can carry the reputation of being hated. Fans, members of the media and even opposing teams possess that extra molecule of hate upon teams for many reasons: success, always winning, outlandish, etc. With Valentine’s Day being a day about love, you can feel that the love for hating certain teams is in the air on this day from fans, players, and even owners.
Why do we hate? In the sports world from the outside looking in, we hate winners. We hate the fact someone is dominating our teams. The dominance as far as continuous winning, which most of the teams mentioned have done, has bothered generations of fans, players and even owners. Here are the three biggest teams we love to hate in pro sports today:
New York Yankees
New York has won 26 World Series titles and 39 American League Pennants over the course of the franchise’s life, and many of the game’s greatest players, including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig, have helped to strengthen the club’s legacy.
It doesn’t help that they also have the highest payroll in the MLB, and can always buy the top talent in the world because of that. This is why it’s more memorable when the team loses to someone in the playoffs, rather than winning the whole thing, because it rarely happens, and nobody wants to see this team win and when they do, everyone prefers to put their head in the ground.
They have one of the most outspoken and superstar owners in the league in Jerry Jones. They always seem to have a headline-grabbing wide receiver who may well be the most talented player at his position in the game and isn’t shy about letting anyone who is in the way who might be subjective.
This starts going back as Michael Irvin who is the most successful out of all notable wide outs on the Cowboys.
Terrell Owens, Dez Bryant, and now Amari Cooper seem to follow the role of that Cowboy receiver.
Worse than all that, however, the team believes it deserves the right to call itself “America’s Team” as though people all over the country pull for them to win on Sunday when, quite often, nothing could be further from the truth.
Either you’re going to hate the Cowboys and root for them to lose every Sunday and make that mistake they always do, or you’re sitting in your seat expressing the love for the cowboys, always seems to be no in-between with the cowboys.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers for decades now show little signs of relinquishing their status as a team fans love to hate.
Since the days of Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, the team that originated in Minneapolis has enjoyed a great deal of on the court success, but it is the flash and dazzle of the “Showtime” era Lakers where haters emerged.
Coach Pat Riley at the helm and stars like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy leading the way with the Magic’s smile and the whole team charisma.
The Lakers claimed five titles in the 1980s. But it wasn’t their victories that drove basketball fans nuts. It was Pat Riley and his slicked back hair, Kareem and his skyhook, Kurt Rambis and his crazy dives across the court, Magic’s no look.
Even newer fans have found plenty of reasons to dislike the Lakers as well, Kobe Bryant, his allegedly selfish on-court play, his soap-opera like feuds with Shaquille O’Neal and the ensuing tell-all book by former/current Lakers coach Phil Jackson, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
No other teams in the NBA are even compliant in doing business with this organization.
A perfect example of this would be the recent Anthony Davis situation where the New Orleans Pelicans were reported by ESPN to just see how desperate the Lakers were in trade talks for the All- Star Forward.
The San Antonio Spurs displayed similar disrespect during negotiations last year when Kawhi Leonard was on the Trade Block.
The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Cowboys are among the biggest sports organizations people love to hate whether it’s Valentine’s day or not.
Other teams that could be mentioned in this article: Any team from Boston, the Golden State Warriors, Duke basketball, and Alabama football.
Valentine’s day wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t explain exactly why there is so much hate even in the sports for some of the most well-known teams which people love. Don’t worry though, these teams have no problem playing the roles of the bad guy.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.