The Steel Curtain
October 29, 2020

Now that the Patriots suck, the Pittsburgh Steelers are America’s new (old) most-hated team

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Wesley Hitt

For nearly two decades, the New England Patriots and their legion of bandwagon apologists who wouldn’t have been caught dead on the freezing bleachers of old Foxborough Stadium pre-Tom Terrific, have reigned supreme on the NFL’s “most hated” list. They usurped the Cowboys and toppled the Washington Racists. They gave the Raiders’ infamous black a new shade of grey. Success breeds jealousy, jealousy breeds contempt, and cheating breeds capital-H Hatred. That's just the way it goes.

But something miraculous has happened this year. Actually two miraculous things, according to a recent study conducted by SportsInsider.com:

2. In the void left by the Patriots’ suckitude, the Pittsburgh Steelers returned to their rightful place atop the list of America’s most-hated football teams.

SportsInsider.com

That’s right, according to an analysis of nearly 90,000 geotagged tweets, the Steelers are the most-hated franchise in a whopping EIGHT STATES, a vitriol sprawl stretching from Indiana in the west to Rhode Island in the east. Unsurprisingly, Massachusetts is included in that tally. The Patriots, meanwhile, have been reduced to a paltry three states (New York, New Jersey, and Florida), their reign of hatred not extending beyond divisional lines. The next most-hated team are the Packers, encompassing six states of sparsely populated Vikings country, while the aforementioned Cowboys—irrelevant to the point of invisibility—cling to one last stronghold of disgust in Virginia.

Of course, much like the impending presidential election, what the majority of the people actually feel is irrelevant. Think of this as the Electoral College map of football fury. If you were somehow able to poll every warm-bodied football fan in America, we’re pretty sure the Patriots would still clock in as the most despised, but this is proof the gap is closing. And frankly, who better to close it than Big Ben himself?