Statistics provides us necessary guidance to make sense out of numbers. Statistics as a field isn't like Physics or Chemistry in the sense that there are laws that each and every formula describes. Even though concepts like Central Limit Theorem and Regression to the Mean are found in nature, there are many other abstract concepts like variance and probability models that are created with an intention to ease analysis. This makes the formulas and concepts more abstract than physics or chemistry which can be verified by experiments. For example, we can verify the laws of motion, but we cannot look for an answer to which is the most efficient summary statistic in nature, the mean, the median or the mode. These are contextual questions with subjective answers. This makes people distrust and detest statistics.
Speaking more to the difficult side, it can be challenging to set up the proper statistical analysis to assess a particular project. On the "boring" side, the use of the formulas can be dry, but are very necessary and the results that can be generated from them are extremely useful if the design is set up properly.
Because they don't remember or never had the background, it takes concentration and perseverance, and you can't fake it.
I believe somewhat they don't understand it at all. Maybe they hit blind spots and don't derive from it at all.
You are viewing it too narrowly. You could make the same comment about particle physics or semiconductors, but it is probably easier to say that most people perceive math and science as boring. People who enjoy math and science do not find statistics difficult and boring, in my opinion.
In sports there has been a statistical revolution going on for the last 20 years or so. At the beginning, many owners and lifer types were reluctant to even consider using analytics. Now they're vital for pretty much any organization.
Why did the old guard hate statistics? My guess is that statistics threatened their ego and perceived knowledge of the game. For somebody who'd been involved in a sport for 30-40 years, they felt like they already knew everything and new ideas were threatening.
Your students might be bored for a different reason, though. My recommendation would be to use stats on a topic of their interest. If they're into sports, that's a layup. But if not, maybe do stats about how popular movies or TV shows are. Or maybe try to come up with Bieber's arrest/concert ratio.