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Players You Hate… Until They Come to Philly

Jul 24, 2012, 2:03 PM EDT

Who are some professional athletes Philly fans can't stand, but you would love to see in one of the local teams' uniforms?

For the time being at least, it looks like the Eagles are going to wait on evaluating tight end Jeremy Shockey for a shot at their backup tight end spot. That might have something to do with Visanthe Shiancoe’s workout at Lehigh today, which was said to go very well. Or, maybe the front office simply isn’t in any hurry to bring a polarizing figure into their locker room.

Whatever the case, the club’s interest in Shockey caused quite a reaction among a certain segment of fans — no! Please, no. Anybody but him. As one of our regular commentators, scurvy5, pointed out, the former New York Giant and notorious big mouth would rank high on a list of players “you-absolutely-despise-right-up-to-the-moment-they’re-on-your-team,” mentioning Lenny Dykstra and Jaromir Jagr in the same breath.

Which got us to thinking: who are some professional athletes Philly fans can’t stand, but you would love to see wearing one of the local teams’ uniforms?

And we’re not just talking about the obvious choices either. Obviously everybody would love it if say the 76ers went out and nabbed LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Basketball fans usually either love or hate LeBron, but it’s not personal in Philly. The latter can’t be said for Kobe, but if people thought he would bring a championship back home, he would be a hero forever.

It’s probably more interesting to skip the stars that transcend their respective sports — not to mention who have no chance of ever coming here — and stick to guys who might one day be available and have a shot at actually winding up here. In particular, athletes who have a history of breaking out hearts might be even harder to accept, such as San Francisco Giants closer and owner of the goofiest beard in sports, Brian Wilson.

Perhaps an even more thought-provoking question is which players do you despise so much, you couldn’t even root for them if they were suddenly traded to your team?

While most people would probably be sensible about it, Sidney Crosby seems like he could be one of those guys. People respect his talent, but don’t necessarily care for the way he conducts himself on the ice. Maybe I’m wrong about him, and if he was hoisting the Stanley Cup while wearing Orange and Black it probably wouldn’t concern anybody at all, but there is severe disdain for Crosby across the NHL.

One such athlete is wearing a local team’s uniform already. Michael Vick is simultaneously one of the post popular athletes in the country, arguably of all time, but his past also sickens many people. There are undoubtedly long-time fans who turned on the Eagles for good once he joined the roster, and I doubt seeing him lead a parade down Broad Street would change their minds.

Give it some thought, or say the first name that pops into your mind. Take the discussion in whatever direction you like. Who will you hate right up until the first moment he makes you jump out of your seat at the game?