There are three major newsstories that every outlet in America has run in the last week.
- The economy is bad.
- Natasha Richardson died.
- Eric Devendorf is the most hated person in the world.
Seriously, from The Big Lead to Sports Illustrated to Slate and beyond, we've been hearing about just how hated Devo is and why he's everything that's wrong with America.
Here's the funny thing about that...when a story snowballs and catches fire like this, it's only a matter of time before it gets back to the guy himself. Pat Forde took it upon himself to let Devo know about his status. It was, simply, not much of a surprise.
"They probably think I'm an a-hole, man," the Syracuse shooting guard said with a smile on his face. "I know they do. I know everybody thinks I'm an a-hole."
He knows that because he hears it in every opposing gym, and he can read about it online as well. One sports blog, The Big Lead, compiled a list of the five most hated players in this NCAA tournament, and Devendorf was No. 1, followed by Tyler Hansbrough, Greg Paulus, Hasheem Thabeet and Jon Scheyer.
"That's pretty good company right there," Devendorf said, laughing, after shooting Arizona State out of the NCAA tournament, 78-67.
Forde rightly wonders aloud why the bulk of that list is white players and righly says it's a discussion for another day. But as for Devo, it's pretty obvious to see why he's so despised. He's loud. He talks trash. He carries himself with a "F-U" swagger. (not to mention the tattoos and "the incident") And probably his worst offense...he backs it all up when it matters.
Of all people, Gerry McNamara stepped up to defend Eric and shine a different light on that intensity that can rile others up so much:
"They don't understand him or know who he is," said former teammate Gerry McNamara. "They think they do but they're wrong. He's the best teammate I ever played with. He would do anything for this team."
Strong words from a source that Syracuse fans stop and listen to when he speaks. At a certain point, the hate for Devo has to level off. If it gets louder from here on out, it's not because they've found new reasons to hate him. It's just that new opponents need a good reason to hate Syracuse. Says Devo...
"We keep winning and people will get madder and madder," he said.
That's a problem that Devo, and all of us, are surely fine dealing with.
H/T: Daily Orange