Showboating. Self congratulation. Self-promotion. A sense of entitlement. Too much money. Too much talent. Bandwagon fans. Criminal behavior. Dirty play. Of all the passions that teams ordinarily inspire, widespread hatred is a pretty notable achievement. We've given our list of the most hated single-season teams in sports. Now we want to hear from you. Who are your most hated teams of all time and why?
- 09:39 PM ET 07.04
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Aside from fan voting for the final two spots, the American and National League all-star rosters are set for the July 13 Midsummer Classic at Angel Stadium. All this begs the following questions:
**Who was the American League's biggest all-star snub among the hitters? What about the Senior Circuit?
**Which American League hitter -- Michael Young, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Swisher, Delmon Young, Paul Konerko -- deserves to win the fans' pick on the AL team?
**And which candidate -- Carlos Gonzalez, Heath Bell, Billy Wagner, Joey Votto, Ryan Zimmerman -- warrants the fans' choice in the National League?
**Was Omar Infante a justifiable selection in the National League, despite his middling numbers (.311 average, .343 OBP, 1 HR, 22 RBIs, 23 runs, 3 steals) and that fellow Brave Martin Prado could handle the duties at second base, shortstop or third base in the All-Star Game? Should Votto have made the squad over Infante, or is this not an apples-for-apples debate?
**Who should start at second base for the injured Chase Utley -- Atlanta's Prado or Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips?
**Who was the biggest pitching snub? San Francisco's Matt Cain? Detroit's Justin Verlander? Toronto's Ricky Romero? Anaheim's Jered Weaver? Or Washington rookie Stephen Strasburg?
**Which National League starter should get the ball first next Tuesday -- Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright?
**And which AL pitcher has likely earned the starting nod in the All-Star Game -- CC Sabathia, David Price, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee, Trevor Cahill, Fausto Carmona or Phil Hughes?
SI.com's Michael Farber writes that the New York Rangers lost the final Eastern Conference playoff berth to Philadelphia on Sunday because of a gimmick, to which we say: Boo and hoo.
The problem for the Rangers is not that they were squeezed out of the eighth spot by a dodgy system, but that they ran out of their own wiggle room in a season that was lost by indifferent play for the middle four months. Yes, the shootout remains a gimmick, but only because the NHL hasn't truly committed to the exercise since its introduction after the 2004-05 lockout.
If it had faith in the shootout, the NHL would increase the number of shooters to make it more of a team exercise. Then the league would ditch the loser point in favor of a fan-friendly, transparent standing table that reads W, L and maybe GB. And if it truly trusted the shootout, we will eventually see it in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Feel free to cringe, but this is where the 21st century is heading. Life should move fast, to borrow from umpire Cowboy Joe West, so how much of a good playoff hockey game is too much? Three overtimes? Four? A Keith Primeau five? If somebody scores at 2:05 a.m. and nobody is awake to see it, is it still a classic?
It also is viewed as a legitimate game-ender in World Cup soccer, except for Italy's Roberto Baggio in 1994. (Spare me a basketball analogy. Those overtimes are five minutes, not one-third of a regulation game.) So cheers to a more robust shootout. After one or maybe two overtime periods of the standard five-on-five, the NHL should again revisit the idea of a four-on-four playoff overtime period. And in the unlikely event that three overtimes (an entire extra game) don't produce a winner, turn five shooters loose to decide matters.
David Beckham will miss the World Cup after tearing his left Achilles' tendon Sunday.
He is flying to Finland Monday to have the required surgery either Monday afternoon or Tuesday.
The injury is likely to have brought an end to his international career.
How does having someone of his stature off the pitch affect soccer in general?
With England and the U.S. in the same World Cup pool, do the Americans now have a better shot to advance? Are Slovenia and Algeria now bigger threats?
SI.com and FanNation want to hear what you think.
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The selection committee has spoken. The NCAA Tournament field of 65 is set.
But since the games don't start until Thursday ... we want to hear from you, the loyal FanNation participant, regarding this year's bracket:
**Which team(s) got the biggest snub? Which school earned the most surprising invitation to the Dance?
**Which team likely got booted last from the tournament? Virginia Tech? Illinois?
**Are Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Syracuse the rightful owners of the No. 1 seeds?
**What's your favorite first-round matchup? Cal-Louisville? Texas-Wake Forest? Clemson-Missouri? Xavier-Minnesota? Maryland-Houston?
**Which No. 1 seed, in theory, has the toughest second-round matchup?
**What's the strongest region? The weakest?
**Does Kansas have a major advantage by playing its games in nearby Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Indianapolis -- should the Jayhawks reach the Final Four?
**What's your Final Four? Who's your national champion?
Whatever you have to say about the tournament, SI.com and FanNation would like to hear from you!