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Tag:Least Popular Athletes
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:19 pm
 

Suh, Vick, Plax highlight most-disliked athletes

Suh's moved past his Thanksgiving mistake, but the public hasn't forgotten yet. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Not breaking news: Michael Vick is an unpopular athlete when it comes to public polling. This has been true since Vick went to jail for dogfighting and it remains true to this day. But it's a bit surprising to see Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh climbing the charts (sliding the chutes?) of the most unpopular athletes in the world.

According to a survey done by Nielson and published by Forbes, Suh checks in as the fourth-least-liked athlete in the world, behind only Vick, Tiger Woods and Plaxico Burress.

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It's not entirely shocking that Suh would end up on this list. He's easily recognizable as the second-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and someone who has a pile of endorsements. He also stepped on an opponent on a nationally-televised Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers and drew a two-game suspension.

He's regarded in some corners as "dirty" and in many places as a "bad boy" of the NFL, regardless of whether or not that's accurate. According to Forbes, Suh's lack of popularity is a total 180-degree turn, as he was on the list of most popular athletes just four months ago.

"He went from being so popular to being a pariah in one season," says Stephen Master, VP of Sports for Nielson.

Fortunately for Suh, an incident-free 2012 will go a long way towards cleaning up his image. Guys like Plaxico and Vick, who served actual prison time, as well as Tiger, who suffered through a public infidelity scandal the likes of which we've never seen, have a much higher hill to climb if they want to regain their popularity among the general populace.

Dropping out of the top-10 most-hated list from the NFL this time around? Al Davis (passed away), Jerry Jones (must have become sympathetic with the Cowboys missing the playoffs?), Ben Roethlisberger (was never actually charged?) and Randy Moss (retired).

The lesson as always? Time heals all wounds. Some times it just takes longer for some people.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com