It doesn't take much for a Patriots fan to hate the Jets. Bringing the rest of the league around to New England's side after a decade of being villain No. 1? That takes something big. Something Rex Ryan big.
Behind their brash and confident new coach, the Jets have become the team to hate in the NFL. After seeing the outcry against the Jets on message boards and talk radio shows, ESPN.com's Tim Graham has determined that the Jets' bombastic nature and late-season success knock the Pats down at least one notch in the most despised pecking order.
The Jets' antics may have gotten under the skin of some people, especially in New England, but until they took a lead into halftime of the AFC title game, it was all fun in games. But success breeds contempt, and Gang Green is experiencing that first hand.
With the contempt come calls that the team's success was a fluke, and the notion that the Jets will fall flat on their face in 2010 is just serving up batting practice fastballs for Ryan. The no-respect card can do wonders for a team, and Jerricho Cotchery is ready to prove the doubters wrong.
"We still have that in mind," Cotchery told Graham. "We still have some respect around the league, but we do still have some teams that don't respect us. That's very well in mind. That's big motivation for us.
"That generates energy and excitement for us. We like it when the fans don't like us."
Ryan may have upset some people by announcing that the Jets would win a world championship. Guaranteeing a victory over the Patriots didn't sit too well, either, and you can bet his pre-planned Super Bowl parade had some people hot under the collar. He even left a little extra room for Dolphins fans to hate him when he extended an inappropriate digit toward some of their own.
Being cocky might disturb some, but backing it up? That gets everyone angry.
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