Manti Te'o and Lance Armstrong Among Most Disliked American Athletes in Poll

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterFebruary 6, 2013

BRADENTON, FL - JANUARY 23:  Linebacker Manti Te'o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish works out at IMG Academy on January 23, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Manti Te'o and Lance Armstrong both started the year with headlines they would just as soon like to forget. Now, they are part of a list just as humbling, as Forbes has published a list of the most disliked American athletes. 

Forbes has a breakdown of the most disliked American athletes provided by a Nielsen/E-Poll, based on how much an athlete appeals to those responding. 

You will hardly be surprised by the athletes who claim the top prize in this list of the unappealing.

  1. Manti Te'o 15% Appeal
  2. Lance Armstrong 15% Appeal
  3. Tiger Woods 19% Appeal
  4. Jay Cutler 21% Appeal
  5. Metta World Peace 21% Appeal
  6. Alex Rodriguez 22% Appeal
  7. Michael Vick 23% Appeal
  8. Kurt Busch 27% Appeal
  9. Kobe Bryant 27% Appeal
  10. Tony Romo 27% Appeal 

As for the criteria for the survey, that follows: 

...according to Nielsen’s polling, which it conducts on a rolling basis with the help of E-Poll, an Encino, Calif.-based market research firm. Candidates were limited to active athletes with a minimum of 10% awareness (Armstrong is now barred from officially sanctioned events, but still competes as an athlete, hence for all practical purposes he is active).

It makes sense that the top two names that pop up in the survey are also the main characters in two of the biggest sports stories in recent memory. 

Armstrong came out in January and admitted he lied about taking PED's, stating he did indeed dope during his prolific career. 

His interview with Oprah Winfrey was supposed to be the biggest bombshell of the year, only to be outdone by another, far more peculiar story the same week. 

The Manti Te'o saga of a deceased girlfriend who never actually existed leaked far beyond the realm of sports, captivating those who would normally stay clear of college football peripherals. 

Armstrong bullied past colleagues in the hopes of keeping his deceit a secret, so there is no shock he is seen in such a deplorable light. 

As for Te'o, it's very clear the nation has drawn a line of sorts, and most are on the side who still, at least in part, blame the former Notre Dame linebacker for a beautiful story that turned out to be a farce. 

As for the others, it's a list with little shock when you consider the polarizing names that pepper the breakdown. 

Tiger Woods may never capture the fanbase that deserted him the second he crashed his SUV. If you want to know what fans think of Jay Cutler, just consider the Smokin' Jay Cutler blog that went viral. 

Among the athletes who are off the disliked hook, Kris Humphries and LeBron James are cleared from the list they once featured in, along with Plaxico Burress (gun bust), Ndamukong Suh (dirty play) and Terrell Owens (all-around pot stirrer)...

Something tells me Te'o will soon drop off this list once the emotions from an odd story fade, but Alex Rodriguez, Kurt Busch and Metta World Peace should expect a long and healthy existence on this annual breakdown. 

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