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2007 Patriots, Red Sox Among Most Hated Teams In History

According to Sports Illustrated, the 2007 New England Patriots are the sixth most hated team of all time.

It's hardly surprising. Between Spygate, their run at perfection, their role as the decade's closest thing to a dynasty, and a perfect collection of different personalities where everyone can find someone they hate, there were plenty of factors contributing to the ire the Pats earned. But it's Lee Jenkins' final word on the nearly perfect Pats that I take issue with.

He made it undefeated to the Super Bowl, where karma and the Giants finally caught up to him.

That's some impressive karmic retribution right there. For a team of jerks, cheaters, and hypocrites, I gotta say, a 16-0 season, an AFC Championship, and a trip to the Super Bowl seems a less-than-fitting punishment. In fact, all the teams on the list were hugely successful (yes, even the '04 U.S. Basketball team), and only a few got there through truly nefarious methods (regardless of how much of an advantage "Spygate" gave them, the discovery certainly put an end to it just a game into the season). Simply put...

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While the 2007 Red Sox didn't make the top-25, they did manage an honorable mention. Again, the same factors exist. Since the 2004 World Series win, the Red Sox fanbase's reputation had gone from that of faithful fanatics to loathed bandwagoners. The popular opinion was that they had basically become what they hate--the Yankees. Then you've got abrasive personalities like Manny, Beckett, Pedroia, and river-dancing Papelbon, and of course there's the fact that they're now facing teams like the long-suffering Indians and upstart Rockies--it's a recipe for disaster.

Once again, though, somehow karma did not strike down the Sox, leading the despicable group of ne'er-do-wells to a 60-102 record. Instead, it was another big comeback in the ALCS leading to their second World Series championship in four years. Perhaps the only reasons the 2007-2008 Celtics didn't make the list too is that Ray Allen is hard to hate, Rajon Rondo was still more of an unassuming (if impressive) young player, and they had even worse villains to face in the Lakers--complete with the suspicious Pau Gasol trade. Certainly Kevin Garnett's reputation went from that of a fan favorite due to his intensity to that of a jerk who picks on point guards, and Pierce's injury in Game 1 of the Finals didn't help any.

So yes, Boston has had its fair share of hateable teams, complete with polarizing personalities and big-time controversies. But I think most would agree that it's better than being the lovable--or worse, pitiable losers time and time again.