Manti Te’o tops Cutler, Vick, Romo as most disliked football player


A year ago, when Forbes unveiled its annual survey of the most disliked athletes in American sports, Michael Vick topped the list. But Vick isn’t at the top anymore.

Forbes has unveiled this year’s edition of the poll, conducted by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research, and topping the list is Lance Armstrong, who has just confessed that his seven Tour de France wins were fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.

After Armstrong is a football player who until a month ago was widely respected and even beloved: Manti Te’o, the former Notre Dame linebacker who will be chosen in April’s NFL draft. Te’o’s bizarre online relationship with a nonexistent woman he called his girlfriend has led to a stunning reversal in the way the American public views him. Before the news broke that his “dead girlfriend” was a hoax, 88 percent of people who knew who Te’o was said they had a positive view of him. Now only 15 percent of people who know who Te’o is have a positive view of him.

Following Te’o on the list of most disliked athletes is Tiger Woods, whose reputation still hasn’t recovered from the news of his multiple extramarital affairs. After Woods, at No. 4 on the list, is Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who is viewed positively by just 21 percent of people who know who he is. Cutler has never been involved in any type of off-field scandal, but a whole lot of people look at him and just don’t like him.

The only other football players who made the Top 10 are Vick, who comes in seventh place this year after finishing in first place last year, and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who comes in at No. 10. Dropping off the list are a couple of wide receivers, Terrell Owens and Plaxico Burress, who probably aren’t any more popular now than they were a year ago, but are no longer in the media spotlight.

Also dropping off the list from last year is Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Last year Suh made the “most disliked” list after intentionally stomping on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving. Suh’s Thanksgiving kick to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub’s groin was apparently not enough to keep him on the list of the most disliked athletes for a second consecutive year.

87 responses to “Manti Te’o tops Cutler, Vick, Romo as most disliked football player

  1. Well that’s interesting. Manti Te’o however is on the top of my, “I really don’t care list”, along with Vick, Cutler & Romo.

    Mainly because it’s a sport, just that, and at the end of the day I have more important things to worry about when all is said and done. Season is over on all levels and they’re irrelevant (one still has the possibility of not being drafted).

  2. Not sure Romo belongs on this list. I’m a Giants fan, but let’s get real… Romo hasn’t killed dogs, much less people. He hasn’t been in trouble at all and talks in a polite and respectful way in the press.

  3. “Hate” is the wrong word. “Disliked” is the right one. Romo is disliked because he comes off as trying to be Joe Cool, Mr. BMOC, while consistently playing like Mr. Rattled in big games; because despite that he gets incredible amounts of attention, even adulation, due to the team he plays on; and because he seems to care more about blondes, golf, and his looks than his day job.

    He reminds us of that guy in college who always got the perks, the cool summer jobs, the good-looking girls, despite never doing anything to EARN them.

  4. Has anyone on this site (actual sports fans) been approached and questioned in one of these polls?

  5. Cutler looks like a serial killer, so it’s easy to see why people dislike him. Suh isn’t on the list because even Houston fans want to kick Schaub in the onions.

  6. Except for Armstrong, who’s a real piece of you know what, I don’t have much of a negative view of any athletes.

    Most of the guys on the list are just dumb jocks who get caught up in bad situations. Armstrong was diabolical and calculating and a complete fraud.

    I guess I’d throw Ray Lewis on this list too though. I don’t have a positive view of him at all.

  7. Can someone who hates Tony Romo explain why? Is it just the obvious- that he’s QB for the Cowboys and everyone hates the Cowboys… or something else? I just always wondered how a guy who’s never done anything bad or gotten in trouble makes these lists with people like Vick, Tiger, Lance, Kobe, etc. But if it’s just because he plays for the Cowboys then I get it.

  8. I don’t get how Tiger is even on the list, he cheated, so what, how many men cheat on their wives/girlfriends, I would say over 30% of men in the US have cheated at some point. But if you watch any golf, Tiger gets a standing ovation even when he hits it behind the crowd haha.

  9. goraidersgospurs says:
    Feb 5, 2013 6:51 PM
    I still dont understand how Tiger smashing as many chicks as he could makes the viewers dislike him! are these all female votes??
    no im assuming just adults.

  10. Jay Cutler could have been the face of all advertising you can think of when Chicago had acquired it’s first-ever “franchise” quarterback.

    Sanchez sold you Pepsi, Brady Quinn told you he was too busy on Sundays to take advantage of special Subway deals, but Cutler never accepted such offers. Take that for what it’s worth

  11. I consider the list to be BS simply because the people voting had to be morons. How can you put a guy at #2 because he pretended to have a girlfriend, a guy who has never done anything wrong at #4.
    Both ahead of a guy who did gruesome and despicable things to animals for enjoyment.
    Another guy who stabbed two people to death doesn’t make the top 10.
    Something is wrong with these “voters” moral compass.

  12. Out of all of these, Jay Cutler is the only one who hasn’t really done anything wrong. He just makes it easy for people to dislike him.

    Most Bears fans will tell you though that they like Jay Cutler the quarterback more than they dislike Jay Cutler the person. His skill set is just too hard to come by to want to drop him just because he’s an abrasive character.

  13. Actually I dislike the cowboys because of their owner and GM but I like Romo, I don’t really see what there is to hate. Now Jerrah, there is another matter…

  14. I hate the Cowboys but Romo is truly the “which guy doesn’t belong on this list.” He’s just a buffoon quarterback. He certainly isn’t a bad guy. And, if you gambled against him in big games, you’d love the guy. (Not that anyone of us know what that feels like because gambling really isn’t done on the NFL outside of Nevada casinos. The NFL’s popularity is solely based on the people’s love of sport)

  15. Romo doesn’t deserve to be on this list. He’s a decent guy off the field.

    It’s no wonder Tiger Woods is on this list. He’s made billions from a game a lot of us spend thousands on trying to be decent at and he gets a truck load of women.

  16. This isn’t a most hated list. Even disliked doesn’t fit this poll. You don’t prove a negative by a lack of a positive. The question they seem to be asking is ‘Do you feel favorably towards X player?’. Even their rating is called appeal %. So this is really a list of ‘least liked’ athletes. Semantics maybe, but it would be nice to see accurate reporting.

  17. Hate him or not, i still hope Teo gets drafted by the Bears. His play on the field seems like a great fit for the Bears… To quote Vader “It is his destiny”.

  18. The hate for Cutler is manufactured by the media and speak-first-think-later talking head former pro-athletes like Deion Sanders and Mark Schlereth.

    Most Bears fans and real diehard football fans recognize that Cutler is a warrior who, despite the garbage offensive lines he has put up with, really gives it his all and will put his body on the line for the team.

    I would advise listening to John Madden’s take on Cutler posted on YouTube where he spells out just what kind of troubles #6 goes through with type II diabetes while playing quarterback in the NFL.

    Speaking of which, Cutler also frequently volunteers his free time to visit kids with diabetes in the hospital. The hate for him is sorely, sorely misplaced.

  19. countduku says:
    Feb 5, 2013 8:11 PM
    Hate him or not, i still hope Teo gets drafted by the Bears. His play on the field seems like a great fit for the Bears…

    Yeah, another over-rated guy for an over-rated defense.

  20. @vertskate900:

    Very well-said…I would add, regarding this bogus poll, that if 21 % of those surveyed liked Jay, that in no way should be taken as active dislike…Actually, based on the poll parameters, anyone who made the list was ‘liked’ to some extent…This explains, perhaps, why folks like Suh, Lewis, and Tebow didn’t get named…NO ONE likes them.

  21. Romo is disliked because he has the star on his helmet and that’s the stupidest reason a person could have to put him on the Forbes list.

    Anyone who follows Tony knows his personality and reputation are virtuous.

  22. That’s just ridiculous.

    I criticized Te’o along with everyone else when this story broke. But as the details emerged, it became obvious he was the hapless victim of a bizarre hoax. Being foolish and making a couple of bad decisions is embarrassing, but it’s not a crime–and certainly not worthy of universal dislike.

    And how an overall good guy like Tony Romo wound up on this list is a total mystery. If people in Dallas need someone to dislike for the team’s failures, their ire should be directed at Jerry Jones, not Tony Romo.

  23. I could think of several players that could top that list, and not just because they play on teams people hate!!! Like ray Lewis cause he stabs people to death, Vick for the whole brutal dog murders, Titus young cause he’s a bit of an idiot and suh who is just a %ick

  24. The only reason Manti Te’o is disliked is because the media has constantly overkilled the story with non-stop coverage so that you couldn’t go 15 minutes without hearing it.

    I know it’s a different day and age with the internet and all, but seriously, when Ray Lewis was arrested for Murder he didn’t get 10% of the overall coverage that Te’o got for being the victim of a hoax

  25. Hating Romo? Yeah, he isn’t great…but he is a good person. I understand rooting against players on the field but “hating” somebody just for being on the cowboys is childish and pathetic.

  26. How do people manage to hate a journeyman like Cutler? He has only managed to win 1 playoff game in his 7 year career. His kind of mediocrity shouldn’t generate either extreme hate, or love.

  27. Roethlisberger is like one offeseason removed from sexually assaulting a coed, and he’s not near the top of the list?

    Apparently playing for the Cowboys is worse than rape.

  28. Conversely, his fake dead girlfriend made the People Magazine 50 most beautiful people list.

  29. sports is just entertainment .. get over it .. the only ones you should really _HATE_ are ray lewis for the double murder and any player for driving under the influence and hurting people like donta stallworth for killing that pedestrian while driving dunk.

    other than that .. they are just d00ds playing a game .. no reason to hate anything about them

  30. Forget being Teo’s fake girlfriend… I want to be his fake wife & get me access to his bank account… then get divorced & take half if he’s lucky.

  31. hmmm combines are not for 3 weeks. draft is in april so why is this guy part of the story?…never fear when the cowboys draft him we all will know why…he fits in perfectly with them. after all they only know how to sit down and cry when the pressure is on them.

  32. Jay Cutler is hated because he is smug and arrogant. Just the way he holds himself is enough to make me not like him. Then again i am a packers fan so I might be slightly biased.

    As far as the advertising argument. cutler was making bank as soon as he was traded. Quinn and Shanchez were making good money too but they both new deep down that they sucked and they had to get the most out of their shot while they could. i dont see any endorsement deals coming for them now. where as cutler, by waiting, made the demand for his endorsement services go up.

  33. It’s quite amusing how the media dictates who fans should dislike. Can anybody really give me a good reason why they dislike Romo or Cutler?

  34. Romo should not be on this list at all. I know people dislike the Cowboys but that is no reason to say you hate a good dude.

    Randy Moss isn’t on the list?

  35. My perception of Cutler changed when I heard he has diabetes. It is a difficult, time consuming disease with no forgiveness, which demands constant attention. With coma and death constantly at hand, I think many would be somewhat self-absorbed. As for an unreasoned visceral dislike, Aaron Rogers has always rubbed me the wrong way.

  36. sowcrates says:Feb 5, 2013 7:19 PMJay Cutler could have been the face of all advertising you can think of when Chicago had acquired it’s first-ever “franchise” quarterback.Sanchez sold you Pepsi, Brady Quinn told you he was too busy on Sundays to take advantage of special Subway deals, but Cutler never accepted such offers. Take that for what it’s worth

    Because he’s all business! He wants a championship worse than the fans do, so the city of Chicago can get off his back, he is a mean s o b, and He Can Take A Hit!!!! I’m happy as hell this guy is our quarterback…we’ve never had nice players, now there’s a Bear leading us!! Thats something to get excited about!!!! Now Block!!!!!!!!

  37. I bet offensive players from the Alabama Crimson Tide weren’t polled. After that performance in the National Championship, I bet they just love the dude.

  38. I’m not saying playing with diabetes isn’t tough to do because it is, but anyone who watched hockey back in the 70s knows Bobbly Clarke played with the same disease and he was a very tough player. Add to that the fact that diabetes like all other health issues wasn’t as manageable then as it is now. It’s not like Cutler’s a double amputee or something.

    I was never a huge fan of his and I still am not, but I admit his deadpan sarcasm and disdain for the media when they ask him certain questions is growing on me. 😀 And no, he does NOT belong on this list, my goodness.

    Golfers are not athletes in my book, why the bleep is a golfer on this list? Athlete=cannot drink beer while playing your sport. If you can, you are not an athlete. Golf is a game and a skill…but not a sport.

    If they had done this list back in the day, Gastineau would have been my #1, #2, #3 and #4. Ugh.

  39. Cutler’s alright until he opens his mouth or quits on his team.

    Other than that, he’s Ok.

  40. We all know Ray Lewis has led that list since his entry into the league. Must be the fear of being stabbed to death by the linebacker kept the real results of the “dislike poll” hidden.

  41. This analysis is quite inaccurate. You can’t assume because one does not have a positive view of someone that they have a negative view of them. There’s a varying range of indifference from person to person. For instance, a QB you want to pick in your fantasy draft (Mannings) vs. one you won’t pick if they are available (Kolb), and then a few who you would make the call if forced (Romo, Cutler). Similarly, beers you (I) look for when you go to a bar (Brooklyn Lager, Guinness), and some I wouldn’t choose (Bud, Coors). But then everyone has some they would opt for in the middle, but don’t necessarily like or dislike (Amstel Light, Killians). And so it goes for these players…some give you something to like, some give you something to hate. Then there are others who reduce that positive or negative aspect (Te’o, maybe Vick to a degree), but don’t necessarily sway people in the other direction.

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