WHY THE BAD REP? The color. Period. And even if they like them, most guys don't know how to cook them.
THE FIX Try roasting. Buy a big beet, peel, and dice into one-inch cubes. (Or buy baby beets and cut them into quarters, leaving the peel on.) Toss the chunks with a bit of olive oil and bake at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until nice and soft.