Not only are you finally a champion, but you also are no longer on the 10 Most Disliked Athletes list that Forbes publishes annually. Neither is Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds or Brett Favre. So who made the latest list of the dissed? Nine guys we've long loved to hate, plus a new one who might surprise you — but not as much as he surprised us.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo once was the list of fan favorites in Dallas — but with his struggles the past couple of seasons, he's now on another kind of list. Romo garnered only 27 percent of the surveyed readers.
The Black Mamba is as surly as he is talented. The star among stars demands excellence at all costs, even to his public image, which has never fully recovered from the rape allegation in 2003. Despite five NBA championships and more than 30,000 points, Bryant appealed to only 27 percent of those surveyed.
His penchant for scuffling should endear him to hard-nosed NASCAR fans — so this survey may not have included many NASCAR fans. The driver who has made more news recently for his tantrums on the radio and in front of the camera received only 27-percent appeal. But judging from his past exploits, this poll won't hurt his feelings one bit.
His on-field redemption two years ago warmed him up to some, but others refuse to forgive him for his connection to dog fighting. Vick, who appealed to 23 percent of those surveyed, has been on his best behavior since being released from prison, but his sub-par performance on the field in 2012 apparently did nothing to improve his image.
A-Rod's reported connection PEDs provided by a Florida 'anti-aging clinic' only solidified his place as the cleanup hitter in this Murderer's Row of the Maligned. Though he denies guilt, there's no denying that A-Rod — rating a 22 percent appeal — is no fan fave.
Metta World Peace
The athlete formerly known as Ron Artest may have changed his name to World Peace, but that hasn't totally changed his demeanor. The eccentric Lakers forward, who appealed to only 21 percent of surveyed readers, still has his flare-ups from time to time, reminding us that at times he's as combustible as ever.
Like Old Blue Eyes said, Chicago's one tottlin' town — and, apparently, one tough one, too. Fans still remember Cutler pulling himself out of a 2011 playoff game, surely contributing to his 21 percent appeal. And it didn't help his cause that the Bears missed the playoffs this season.
His game might be on the upswing, but Tiger's popularity still is in the rough, with a measly 19 percent appeal — three-plus years after a spectacular fall from grace put the King of Swing in the headlines more for his bimbos than his birdies.
His girlfriend may have been a fake, but fans' distaste for the Notre Dame linebacker is very real. And what a fall for the once-beloved Irish icon! His 15-percent appeal rating matched that of the reviled Lance Armstrong for least-liked athlete of all — down from 88 percent before the notorious hoax in which Te'o either did or did not play a role.
No performance-enhancing drugs needed here — Lyin' Lance medaled in this competition all on his own. The disgraced cyclist appealed to only 15 percent of those surveyed, even after his sit-down with Oprah.