By Ray Hamill
Football fans apparently are not a forgiving bunch.
And they don’t have much patience for naive stupidity either.
According to the results of a poll released Monday by Forbes.com, Michael Vick is the most disliked player in the NFL, a reputation stemming from his involvement in a dog fighting ring a few years back.
Vick served a 19-month prison sentence for the crime and has been the perfect citizen since returning to the NFL in 2009, but 53 percent of 1,100 NFL fans polled still hold it against him.
Elsewhere the list threw up a few surprises, including No. 2, Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o, whose name transcended the sports world earlier this year when he was the victim (read: naive fool) of a fake girlfriend faking her own death.
Admittedly, Te’o probably won’t win the “coolest guy of the year” award in the NFL, but to hate on him is kind of like making fun of your neighbor’s mentally challenged three-legged puppy. Sure he might be a little slow, but he’s harmless.
The guy has barely played two games in the league and we’re already dumping on him more than any of the almost 40 NFL players who were arrested in the first half of this year.
Seriously, think about it. According to this poll, NFL fans hold Pacman Jones in higher esteem than Te’o.
And Te’o wasn’t the only surprise in the top-10, which included seven quarterbacks, because apparently quarterbacks are the most vile of all NFL players.
Here’s the rest of the list …
3 – Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh … No surprise. He is considered among the dirtiest players in the NFL and he gets fined so often he has set up a charge account with the league front office.
4 – Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger … Gee, all you do is get accused of sexual assault TWICE and for some strange reason the public holds it against you.
5 – Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez … He gets in on a technicality because he’s on injured reserved and still officially an NFL player. Next year Sanchez is hoping to graduate to the Forbes.com list of most disliked former NFL players, where he can battle Tim Tebow for the top spot.
6 – Bears quarterback Jay Cutler … No surprise here, except that he didn’t come in higher on the list. But don’t worry, Cutler knows how to take responsibility for that. He’ll just blame one of his teammates.
7 – Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo … I’m guessing Romo smiled when he heard the news. Yeah, I hate that smile too. But I’m actually kind of surprised he only appears once on the list.
8 – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady … Can you believe it? The Golden Boy? Of course Brady doesn’t care what we think. He’s married to a super model, he has three Super Bowl rings, he’s one of the greatest QBs of all time, and he’s the only man on the planet Bill Belichick is afraid to piss off … Oh yeah, now I get why we hate him so much.
9 – Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer … I’m just surprised those polled knew he was still playing.
10 – Lions running back Reggie Bush … Kind of surprised to see Reggie on the list, unless, of course, Eli Manning recently changed his name to Reggie Bush. Did he?