Ruairi McGlone taunts the Monaghan supporters after scoring a goal. ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Bad Boys

Tyrone join the list of teams most fans love to hate

The Red Hand County have Stephen O’Neill and Sean Cavanagh in their ranks yet have a reputation for cynical play.

FAIRLY OR UNFAIRLY, Tyrone go into Sunday’s All-Ireland semi final against Mayo as a team short on public backing.

The Red Hand County have come through the qualifiers and proved their toughness and winning mentality in seeing off sides such as Kildare, Meath and Monaghan. Their victories, however, have been dogged by criticism by former players [now pundits] such as Joe Brolly and Liam Hayes.

Their opponents at Croke Park tomorrow, on the other hand, are playing attractive, attacking football and scoring goals for fun. Their status as bridesmaids to take Sam Maguire home have placed Mayo as the firm favourites of most neutrals.

Tyrone find themselves doing battle with an army of puritan pundits and a dashing Mayo team as they seek to reach their first final in five years. As much as forward Stephen O’Neill insists Tryone do not need a siege mentality to fire them up, the distaste their victories are often met with must rankle.

Here are six other sides that lifted trophies with our without the public’s adoration:

Leeds United 1961-1975

imageManager Don Revie changed Leeds’ strip to all white but their on-field antics were often brusque and their tackles airborne. (PA Archive)

England rugby team 2003

imageMartin Johnson captained a team of hard nuts up front with cocky backline players and a Plan A of ‘Pound, pound, pound, pass to Jonny Wilkinson, drop goal, win’. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Miami Heat 2010-present

imagePerhaps it was LeBron James’ ‘The Decision’ or perhaps it was King James claiming Miami would win NBA titles. Maybe it is everything about Chris Bosh. Either way, the prediction is 2/9′s right at present and the Heat are still hated. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

New York Mets 1986

imageThe beer-swilling, skirt-chasing, airplane antics exploding, scuffle-inciting Mets were so divisive that they had a book written about their unlikely surge to Major League success in 1986. The Bad Guys Won is an excellent read about a bunch of jerks that loved partying almost as much as they loved to win. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

New England Patriots 2000-2004

image2004 will always be remembered as the year Justin Timberlake flashed Janet Jackson’s right boob at the Superbowl. It was also the year the Patriots and the all-too-perfect Tom Brady wore out their welcome by greedily winning a third NFL title in four years. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Detroit Red Wings

Ever since the tooth-busting era of Gordie Howe and the fantastically bruising side of the 1950s, the Red Wings have cultivated an aura of doing anything it takes to win.

They certainly did not go easy on the South Parks boys a few years back:

YouTube credit: Ben1Cee

Mayo v Tyrone, All-Ireland SFC semi-final match guide

Semi-final focus: Johnny Doyle and Ciaran Whelan on where Mayo v Tyrone will be won and lost

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