There’s not a single NFL quarterback that doesn’t get serious hate from at least one fan base or neutrals, but Tom Brady, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning and Tony Romo manage to generate a much stronger, hateful reaction than others around the league, especially when they lose and it’s an opportunity to mock them.
A very good way to measure the hatred towards certain players is the amount of memes that pop up after a loss or a reason to make fun of that player. LeBron James is in a league of his own among NBA players regardless of the outcomes, and players like Brady, Cutler, Kaepernick and Romo, partially (or especially) because of the teams they play for, are in a league of their own when it comes to the NFL.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
It’s easy to see where the hate comes from. He is married to a supermodel. He wears Uggs. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion, and he is a god to Patriots fans. He seems like someone who gets special treatment from officials while pulling off some dirty tricks of his own (although Ed Reed doesn’t have any hard feelings), and that’s before we even dive into Spygate, the Tuck rule, DeflateGate and anything related to cheating and the mastermind behind the Patriots’ and partially Brady’s success, Bill Belichick.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
While Brady gets the hate for being successful, Cutler is hated or mocked for being the opposite. Not that he’s a terrible quarterback. He’s just not an especially good one, and with just one playoff appearance since joining the Bears, with a tendency to self destruct and carry the team with him under pressure with super frustrating interceptions, it’s no wonder a lot of Bears fans can’t wait to see him gone, while Packers fans (especially) can’t wait for another contract renewal.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
First of all, he’s a ginger, which almost says it all. But he’s also an OK’ish quarterback as far as the numbers are concerned who has been playing on a very solid team with very good receivers (and now finally a capable tight end), offensive line (some of the time) and defense since entering the league, and yet has four postseason appearance and four postseason loss. The moment he stops losing the big games, maybe things will change for him when it comes to fan reaction after Bengals playoff losses.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Things started out quite well for RG3 in the NFL. Then came the injury in the playoffs against the Seahawks. Since then? Injuries, helping getting a coach fired, being too chummy chummy with a hated owner and playing a lot of bad football. He’s now sitting on the bench looking at Kirk Cousins trying not to throw interceptions, probably knowing no team will ever give him a chance to start in the NFL. For some reason, seeing him fail makes a lot of people very happy.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Just like Griffin, Kaepernick is a story of a very quick, meteoric rise, and then a demise everyone is happy to see. He also plays for a franchise people love to see suffer. But unlike Griffin, Kaepernick has four postseason wins in two visits to the playoffs, including coming very close to winning a Super Bowl. But last season and what’s been going on this season hasn’t been very helpful to establish some faith in his ability to be more than a running quarterback. His celebrations after touchdowns haven’t helped make him more lovable.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Manning has won two Super Bowls, both of them against the New England Patriots, which should make him a saint in the eyes of everyone, not just Giants fans. But there are the interceptions. And there’s the interesting case of being the inferior of the Manning brothers in the regular season, but more successful in the playoffs. And there’s the fact that he plays for a New York team, which makes it easy to detest around the nation. And also the faces. For some reason, they remain fascinating.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo is the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. That pretty much seals the story of why people love to hate him. But it’s not just that (or maybe it is?). It’s the inability to make the playoffs most of the time. And those fourth quarter or crunch time interceptions, which stand as a confusing paradox to his fantastic numbers in fourth quarters, including comebacks and overall. Oh, and he starts for the Dallas Cowboys.