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An award they can’t take away: Lance Armstrong tops Forbes list of most disliked athletes

Feb 6, 2013, 6:20 PM EDT

File photo of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong at Tour of California in Visalia Reuters

The funny part is that, technically, Armstrong used PEDs to win this award, too.

Forbes magazine came out with its list of most disliked athletes on Tuesday, and as expected, Lance Armstrong topped the field, with a 15 percent approval rating in the poll calculated by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research. Notre Dame linebacker and Catfish enthusiast Manti Te’o also had 15 percent, but was dropped to second place because of Armstrong’s higher name recognition.

No. 3 was an oldie but a goodie: Tiger Woods, at 19 percent. Last year’s winner, Michael Vick, slipped to No. 7 in 2013, with 23 percent. He had a whopping 60 percent disapproval rating in 2012.

The entire top ten:

1. Lance Armstrong, bike bully (15 percent approval).

2. Manti Te’o, imaginary friend wrangler (15 percent).

3. Tiger Woods, still in the rough (19 percent).

4. Jay Cutler, Postmaster of Love (21 percent).

5. Metta World Peace, the artist formerly known as Ron Artest (21 percent).

6. Alex Rodriguez, centaur of the Yankees infield (22 percent).

7. Michael Vick, life’s chew toy (23 percent).

8. Kurt Busch, yes I do own the whole damn road (27 percent).

9. Kobe Bryant, assist machine (27 percent).

10. Tony Romo, I have no idea how I got on this list (27 percent).

Hmm. No Ray Lewis?

  1. jellob1976 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Lifelong Chicagoan and big Bears fan here, so yeah, I’m biased…but Jay Cutler at no. 4 is (objectively) ridiculous. The guy has never (that we know of): cheated, taken PED’s, beaten his wife/gf, cheated on his wife/gf, murdered people, murdered dogs, been acused of rape, etc. Yeah the guy’s not a people person, and he has got a bit of a PR problem, but No. 4?

    And for any people who claim toughness is an issue with respect to sitting the second half in the NFC championship game, that’s simply bs. The PR problem there was the Bear’s fault, not Cutler’s fault. The guy was injured, plain and simple. Moreover, before and after that injury, Cutler has repeatedly (and some would argue unwisely) thrown his body into a numerous a punishing hit. You can call Cutler a lot of thing (sourpuss, mopey, etc.)…but weak ain’t one of them.

    • rmfields - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      I think it just comes down to the fact that he’s just not good. He’s also been known to clash with his coaches and brood on the sidelines. Cameras have caught him yawning, standing with his arms crossed like an irritated child, and more or less being disinterested by the game unfolding before him. Taking criticism and turning it into a positive has never been his strong suit.

      Most people just see him as a generally unlikable fellow who is now just a mediocre QB at best.

      • jellob1976 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I get the unlikeable stuff; Agree to disagree on the mediocre qb tag (paper thin o-line and a mediocre receiving corps need to be taken into account. Let’s give Trestman a shot with him and see what happens); but that list is a who’s who of despicable human beings. Cutler may not be likeable, and he should take some lessons from a PR coach, but I stand by original position.

        • rmfields - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

          If it is any consolation, the names on the top 10 list are all stars. That is why we don’t see guys like Cortland Finnegan or Kris Humphries on the list, whom I imagine hardly anyone likes (other than fans of the teams they play on – and in some cases not even that).

          But I agree, most everyone else on the list has some personal issues going on outside of the game, sans Cutler and Romo. Their appearance on this list probably just stems from the fact that their fans expect more from them, and they hardly ever deliver – not to mention they have both had highly public relationships with young starlets .. so maybe it’s just jealousy!

          • manchestermiracle - Feb 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

            “(T)heir fans expect more from them, and they hardly ever deliver”

            Agree….Well, except for Armstrong, Woods, MWP, Rodriguez and Bryant. All champions, though some tainted. They certainly “delivered.”

            This is pretty much all about personality and ends up being a popularity contest. A successful athlete is often “hated” by fans other than his own teams’. That still doesn’t explain how someone like Ray Lewis escapes this list. Maybe he plea-bargained a way off it….

  2. omniusprime - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Definitely Lance is the worst and Manti Te’o is close behind. The one name missing is Tiny Tim Teblow, now he should be at least #3 if not #1 as the most despised. Ray Lewis is also missing and he’s widely despised.

    The most despised coach has to be the Laker’s coach Dumbtoni with their former coach Clueless Clown Brown right behind.

    • florida727 - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      What an ignorant post. Tebow? DESPISED? You’re an idiot. Surprised YOU didn’t make the Top 10. Oh well, there’s always next year. Something for you to shoot for, I suppose…

  3. anonymousguerrillamailblockcom - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    These athletes should punch sports journalists in the mouth every chance they get. The bullies in the sports media should be banned from the air waves! Maybe parents will have to ban together and force ESPN to off hours broadcasts! Maybe parents should demand that the FCC cancel the licenses of any media outlet that bullies people! I would love to see a Roman Colosseum with sports analysts fighting the lions.

    • manchestermiracle - Feb 8, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Not sure if being sarcastic or just stupid…..