Congrats, Michael Vick — you're sitting at No. 1 on a list compiled by respected business magazine Forbes. Just not the list he'd like to be on.
Vick was named the Most-Disliked Player for 2013, as the scars from a dog-fighting background are likely slow to heal. The past few years, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has worked hard to repair his public image and return to prominence as a player, but his early-season struggles, a recent hamstring injury and this list appear to show Vick has some work left to do.
The list was compiled by Forbes and California-based E-Poll Market Research, who spoke with 1,100 people age 13 and above. A whopping 53 percent — many who categorize themselves in the "casual fan" category — have disdain for Vick.
And poor Manti Te'o. First he (we think) was duped in an embarrassing fake-girlfriend story that pervaded national news for weeks, and now he's hated for it? Yep — Te'o, the San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker who has kept a low profile recently, comes in second on the list at 48 percent.
So nearly half the people out there hate Te'o for his gullibility. That's what we're saying and thinking? Yeesh. Tough crowd.
Third is a more obvious choice. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who has become a target for the NFL for his vicious and sometimes illegal hits, was a few percentage points behind Te'o. Go figure.
A slew of quarterbacks — Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Tom Brady and Carson Palmer — make up the next six, followed by Suh's teammate, Reggie Bush to round out the top 10.
In the case of Ben, Sanchez, Cutler and Romo, their dislike is not surprising. But Brady? Maybe jealousy. Palmer? That Bengals trade thing did make him look sort of bad. And Bush was embroiled in that whole NCAA free-house deal.
But overall the list is a bit weird. It clearly was polled of people who might represent the middle ground of society, but perhaps not as many who identify as hardcore fans.
What's interesting is that if you were to ask their teammates, Vick and Te'o would rate quite highly inside the respective lockers rooms of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. It's just outside that they have the biggest image problems.
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