He’s been someone else’s problem for the last three years, but during his four-year stint in purple Percy Harvin was one of the Vikings’ most polarizing players. Speedy and shifty, the versatile wide receiver was a matchup nightmare. And apparently a nightmare in the locker room.
"Mercurial," "moody," and "temperamental" descriptors dogged the former Rookie of the Year even before he entered the league. Now we can add “most hated” to that list.
In a recent piece about the villains of the NFL, Sports Illustrated named Harvin the “most hated player in the locker room.” While touting his potential to be “one of the most explosive players in NFL history” given the right situation, the sports rag knocks his injury- and drama-prone stint in Seattle as evidence of his maligned status.
Sure, there was that nasty kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII, but beyond that the Vikings castaway “couldn’t do much more than catch bubble screens and deep straight routes,” and beef with his teammates.
“The kicker was Harvin’s refusal to play late in Seattle’s Week 6 loss to the Cowboys—allegedly because he was unhappy with how he was used,” Doug Farrar writes. “Seattle traded him to the Jets shortly after, and there weren't a lot of unhappy folks in the Seahawks' locker room when that happened.”
Other objects of pigskin ire include the New England Patriots and their frumpy field boss Bill Belichick, whose excessive Super Bowl wins and several "gate" scandals (spy and deflate) earned them "most hated" team and coach distinctions. Redskins money guy Dan Snyder was dubbed most hated owner (no, the racist team name didn't help), while party boy Johnny Manziel earned honors as the "most hated player by fans."
As for Harvin's Minnesota years, Vikings fans were split when the team flipped the All Pro problem child to Seattle for three draft picks, including the 2013 first rounder that landed starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes. However, with hindsight and the fact that the sideline screamer is now on his third team (Buffalo) since leaving Winter Park, fans have a better perspective on the deal that kicked Adrian Peterson in the stomach.
But for old times' sake, here’s a video of Harvin reaming out ex-coach Leslie “laissez-faire” Frazier. Good times.