It seems like every few months a new organization has a new list of the most hated players in sports and/or in football. This week, Forbes cites Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research to update us on who we currently “dislike” (they don’t use the word “hate”) the most.
Unsurprisingly, Michael Vick continues to dominate, mainly because of his history of killing dogs, and in part because of his history of breeding dogs to kill each other. “If this were a poll of fantasy football players, you’d see a whole different result,” Nielsen Sports VP Stephen Master told Forbes. “They love him.”
Oh, the vast chasm that separates fantasy and reality…
Here’s a breakdown of the top 10, with my take on each:
1. Michael Vick (disliked by 60%): Actually kind of amazing that 40 percent are neutral on this, with some surely even liking Vick. You can believe in forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean you have to like the dude. Interestingly, only 50 percent of men disliked him, while 70 percent of women did.
2. Plaxico Burress (disliked by 56%): Legal trouble follows guys, but 56 percent seems high considering that Burress did nothing to harm any other people or animals.
3. Ben Roethlisberger (disliked by 49%): Considering what Roethlisberger’s been accused of doing, he should be right up there with Vick. Then again, he’s white.
4. Albert Haynesworth (disliked by 46%): Ironically, Americans don’t like lazy people.
5. Jay Cutler (disliked by 38%): This is baffling. He is known as a bit of a jerk and took some heat for not playing through a sprained MCL in last year’s NFC championship game, but he’s still a pretty solid quarterback and has never been in trouble.
6. Chad Ochocinco (disliked by 35%): America loves divas and Ocho has a huge following among youngsters via Twitter. I’d have to imagine that the majority of his haters carry AARP cards.
7. Vince Young (disliked by 32%): I think Young is more misunderstood than disliked, but I’m not sure people give him the benefit of the doubt. I view him as somewhat of a victim.
8. Carson Palmer (disliked by 31%): He had a pristine reputation for years, but poor play and then a refusal to show up in Cincinnati hurt him badly.
9. Tony Romo (disliked by 29%): The Cowboys are America’s team, but I’d guess that about 29 percent of the nation supports the Eagles, Redskins or Giants.
10. Jeremy Shockey (disliked by 29%): He’s always been a bit of a lightning rod, but it’s surprising he’s still considered relevant enough to make this list.