We recently dubbed the upcoming Super Bowl the Intoler-a-Bowl, because it includes the two teams most Broncos fans dislike the most: the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. But who among the Super Bowl participants is the most unlikable? Here are our ten picks, all of them available for hating this Sunday. Count them down below.
Number 10: Richard Sherman
Prior to and immediately after last year's Super Bowl, we definitely couldn't stand Richard Sherman, the Seahawks motor-mouthed cornerback, thanks in part to his dismissive comments about Peyton Manning's arm-strength -- which are looking pretty prescient right now. But our ire has definitely cooled since then, and that process has continued thanks to the cutting comments he's directed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, among others, over the long-running Deflategate controversy. Frankly, he barely made this list -- but we decided to keep him around for old time's sake. Number 9: Julian Edelman
After receiver Wes Welker jumped from the Patriots to the Broncos, the Pats anointed the diminutive Edelman WW's successor. Since then, Welker went from being an early success with the Broncos to an oft-injured, giant-helmeted concussion magnet who makes us look away in fear every time he goes over the middle -- while Edelman seems to get more effective with each game. And we despise him for it. Continue to keep counting down the Patriots and Seahawks figures most Broncos fans hate most. Number 8: Paul Allen
The theory that championships can be bought hasn't exactly been disproven by 'Hawks owner Paul Allen. The Microsoft co-founder has enough greenbacks to paper the entire Pacific Northwest, and he's lavished plenty of them on the Seahawks -- and the investment ultimately paid off with the pounding of the Broncos in the Super Bowl last year and a return visit to the big game in 2015. You get what you pay for, but we demand a refund. Number 7: Robert Kraft
I've got so much swag! pic.twitter.com/nzoQO5Jvn6
— Cocky Robert Kraft (@CockyRobKraft) January 19, 2015
Then again, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is even more irksome. There's no denying the Patriots' success since he purchased the team -- but his chumminess with Roger Goodell (as noted by the aforementioned Mr. Sherman) and willingness to deny, rationalize, obfuscate or make excuses for any underhanded thing his squad does to win make him either an enabler or a co-conspirator. And we don't know which is worse. Continue to keep counting down the Patriots and Seahawks figures most Broncos fans hate most. Number 6: Pete Carroll
Why hasn't Seahawks head coach Carroll made more of the Patriots' whole underinflated-footballs scandal? Probably because when it comes to cheating, that no doubt seems like small potatoes to him. The allegations of underhandedness when he was in charge at the University of Southern California eventually piled so high that he jumped to the NFL just ahead of NCAA sanctions. And then there's his propensity for piling on opponents that have already been beaten -- a classless tendency that isn't disguised by his rah-rah demeanor. Number 5: Bill Belichick
Yes, he's a great coach. But he's also the unapologetic master of Spygate and an unrepentant asshole on every apparent level. But what really pushes our buttons is the way he's rehabilitated the man at number four.... Continue to keep counting down the Patriots and Seahawks figures most Broncos fans hate most. Number 4: Josh McDaniels
This past decade, McDaniels was rewarded for his Patriots success with the head coaching job in Denver, which he screwed up in such an epic way that the franchise seemed likely to suck for decades as a result. Peyton Manning's decision to sign here changed that seeming eventuality for the better from Denver's perspective. But instead of spending eternity in football purgatory, as he deserved, McDaniels was invited to rejoin the Pats' coaching staff -- and now the whole offensive genius jive has started up again. We hope someone else signs him as a head coach again soon, so we can point and laugh. Number 3: Seattle Fans
As this mememaker understands, Seattle's reputation for having the most rabid fans in sports didn't develop until after the team got good -- really good. Before then, the deafening roar generated by today's Twelfth Man was a comparative squeak. Let's see how loyal they are next time the team sucks -- which, unfortunately, can't come soon enough for us. Continue to keep counting down the Patriots and Seahawks figures most Broncos fans hate most. Number 2: Patriots Fans
Then again, we actually prefer Seattle fans to their opposite numbers in the New England area. Obnoxious, boorish and smug as smug can be, Pats lovers make us want to root for whoever their team is playing against, no matter how we might otherwise loathe them. And so does this guy. Number 1: Tom Brady
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Is Brady lying about Deflategate? Probably -- but even if he's telling the truth, he's given us so many reasons to gag over the years that we've put together not one but two collections of hate memes directed at him. Which isn't to say he lacks power. After all, who else could make us actually hope (in our weaker moments, anyway) for a Seattle victory this Sunday?
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.