Forbes – It’s been more than four years since Vick was released from federal prison, where he served 19 months for bankrolling the dog-fighting operation. He’s performed well and avoided trouble ever since. Yet he is still stuck at or near the top of our various annual lists of disliked athletes. Once again, he tops our list of Most-Disliked NFL Players… Coming in a few points behind Vick: San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o, who scores a 48% dislike rating thanks to last year’s bizarre “fake girlfriend” episode… Detroit Lions linemen Ndamukong Suh (43% dislike), known for his toughness and the occasional cheap shot, isn’t far behind. Then there’s the most surprising name: New England quarterback Tom Brady. The three-time Super Bowl winner is blessed with looks, talent and a model wife, and makes about $7 million annually in endorsements, but he clocks in with a 25% dislike score. Then again, maybe it’s not so surprising. When you have everything, a lot of people can’t identify. With Brady, E-Score numbers show that woman love the guy, but a lot of men see him an upper-crust pretty boy. “He’s not the guy you think would come to your house and watch the Super Bowl with a couple of beers,” says [E-Poll Chief Executive Gerry] Philpott.
I don’t feel bad for Brady getting his name on this list. Not at all. Sure I can quibble with the fact that the rest of the guys in the Top 10 are there because they’re violent criminals (Vick, Ben Rapelisberger), frauds (Te’o), punkass goons (Suh), notoriously abrasive (Jay Cutler… sorry, Barstool Chicago) or abysmal failures (Mark Sanchez). So Brady makes the list because he’s successful, had a nice life and scores world class ass on a nightly basis? No, I don’t shed a tear for him making this list.
What I do weep for though is my country. Really, America? This is the kind of guy we hate now? A guy who came from nothing and made himself the model for success? For winning at life? This is what a generation of handing out participation trophies, grading tests on the curve and rewarding failure has done to us. It’s the Occupy Culture taking over America. We resent the achievement of others against impossible odds rather than celebrate it. Instead of admiring Brady as a guy who embodies the power of hard work and believing in yourself, we resent him. He wasn’t a star. He could barely stay on the field at Michigan. It was only by the whim of late Patriots QB’s coach Dick Rehbein that he was taken with the 199th pick. As a rookie he was 4th on the depth chart behind Michael goddamned Bishop, who was a year away from being cut by his CFL team. And despite of all that he made himself into one of the all time greats just through sheer force of will and dedication. And for that, we hate him? Not because he’s a dog killer, a rapist or a bad guy. But because he’s too handsome to have a beer at your house?
I guess I need to remind everyone that the Manning brothers whom you’re all in love with had life handed to them. Their father was a legend. They grew up rich and famous. They never had to earn a starting spot from their freshman year to their No. 1 draft selections. And make no mistake, they’ve made successes out of themselves. But the America our fathers grew up in rooted for self made men over Lucky Spermers every single time. But I guess that attitude is dead. It’s a sad day indeed. But for the nation, not for Tom Brady. @JerryThornton1