Earlier this month, Public Policy Polling surveyed 741 people and found that while 13 percent of respondents considered Tom Brady the most popular quarterback in the NFL (second behind Peyton Manning's 22 percent), 18 percent identified Brady as their least favorite QB.
This sort of dichotomy is what happens when you're handsome, a three-time Super Bowl winner and married to a supermodel -- at least in the estimation of former Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who has some experience with success both on and off the field, and with the ladies.
“I think he looks at his wife's pictures in the magazines and holds her hands more than he reads his own press clips,” Namath told Metro New York's Kristian Dyer. “It is the wins No. 1, then because he is so visible [why he is disliked]. It is human nature to want that success and want to see your own quarterback succeed.”
And the animosity towards Brady isn't confined to fans; Namath says it's not a surprise that other players aren't fond of him either.
“Opponents having to play against Brady have to be legitimately angry seeing his smile on the sideline after touchdowns,” Namath said. “It's kind of a compliment to be disliked by so many opponents. It comes from winning first.
“I had a defensive guy, when I played the Oakland Raiders in that championship game, before we went to the Super Bowl with the Jets [in 1969]. I threw an interception I blame on Mother Nature -- the ball I thought I threw it perfect but it got caught up in the wind. A rookie cornerback made the interception and I tackled him on the return, just short of the goal line. He got up and boy was he hot. He screamed, ‘I hate you, I hate you! I hate you Namath!' I looked at him and said, ‘Easy there, rookie,' and walked away. He wanted to make a point but I was a veteran there on the verge of a big win. Of course they are out to get you."
That would certainly go a long way in explaining why Brady can't even get his teammates to give him a high five. (We're joking; at this point it's become so commonplace that we're convinced it's an inside joke. Either that or Brady really is the worst high-fiver in the history of organized sports.)