Last week we talked about the rival players that we loved in spite of ourselves. But one of our commenters (USC Daywalker) refused to admit to liking any rival player and instead suggested today's question: Which rival player did you love to hate?
Despicable off field behavior? Oh good lord, check check check
Unholy talent who effortlessly gashed our football team? Check
That's a hate trifecta! Please come down and accept your award (it's ok we wired your dad some money to cover the appearance fee). Cam Newton was a smug, untouchable brat who courted controversy and threw opportunities and good will out the window faster than he threw Dells. His off-the-charts athletic talent was the only thing that kept him from self-immolating and becoming a footnote as 2010 me thought he truly deserved. It chaps my ass to admit I really like NFL Cam Newton, which makes NCAA Cam Newton that much worse.
Charlie Whitehurst. Went 4-0 against us and seemed to really enjoy himself doing it. Can't say I blame him, but man I hate that guy.
I don't have anything smart or interesting to add - the guy I hate the most is one of the only (the only?) QBs to go 4-0 in the game. Damn him forever for it.
If it's possible to boil down my dislike for a rival player to one play, I'll do it now and go with Marquez North. I know nothing of the guy's makeup or off-the-field acumen. He may spend his free time ladling porridge for Dickensian orphans and cleaning cages at a Knoxville pet rescue. He may have just successfully performed intensive brain surgery on my mother, reclaiming her from the clutches of terminal illness. I don't care: he caught that damn ball over Ahmad Christian, so screw him. No Tom Rinaldi voiceover can make what he did feel right.
Since Cam Newton was already mentioned, I'll go with Tim Tebow. I don't know if that's an unpopular opinion or not, but after watching him beat South Carolina 51-31 and 56-6 in my first two years at USC, I automatically couldn't like him.
Cam Newton has now been mentioned twice, but it would dishonest for me to pretend that there's ever been a rival player I disliked more than him. Kevin already listed pretty much all of my reasons, although I will add that I have the luxury of continuing to hate him in the NFL because he plays for a team I can't stand (sorry, Panthers fans). The fun thing about not liking Cam Newton is that the controversy that surrounded his college career made it really easy to find things to mock him (and Auburn) for. Great players that never get into to trouble aren't nearly as fun to root against.