NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s been a rough stretch for Manti Te’o.
First the Notre Dame linebacker found out his “girfriend” wasn’t real, therefore never died of leukemia. Then we found out. And now he’s right behind disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on Forbes’ list of “America’s Most Disliked Athletes.”
Te’o and Armstrong finished in a “virtual dead heat,” appealing to just 15 percent of the public, according to the Nielsen/E-Poll published by Forbes. Armstrong, fresh off his doping admission to Oprah Winfrey, was given the No. 1 slot “based on higher name recognition, which gives his score a bit more heft.”
“The Oprah interview hurt him, he came off as pompous, arrogant and unapologetic,” Nielsen senior vice president of sports Stephen Master told Forbes.
At No. 2 was Te’o, who took a nose-dive from 88 percent to 15 percent appeal after the hoax was revealed. The Notre Dame star better hope his draft stock doesn’t follow the same path.
“The story was just so creepy,” Master said. “And even when he knew he’d been duped he stuck with the story for awhile, and he’d told people he had met the woman in person.”
No surprise here: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez made the list at No. 6 (22 percent), three spots higher than last year.
“Where to even start with A-Rod, the human drama that’s entering the 10th year of a Broadway run?” Forbes’ blurb on A-Rod said. “That’s longer than ‘Jersey Boys.’ Depending on the outcome of his latest PED fiasco, Rodriguez could easily shoot higher.”
The full list: Armstrong, Te’o, golfer Tiger Woods (19 percent), Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (21 percent), Lakers forward Metta World Peace (21 percent), A-Rod, Eagles QB Michael Vick (23 percent), NASCAR driver Kurt Busch (27 percent), Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (27 percent), Cowboys QB Tony Romo (27 percent).
Who would make your list? Be heard in the comments!