Everyone knows who the most disliked players in the NFL are. You don’t really need a poll to determine that. It is the guys who are constantly in the news for underachieving, having bad attitudes, or being dirty. Without any hints whatsoever, most legitimate football fans could probably name three of the five most disliked players with relative ease.
Figuring out who the most liked players are, however, is a little tougher. Recently, Nielson came together with E-Poll Market Research and conducted a poll amongst fans trying to determine which NFL players most appealing to fans.
Here were the top five (via Forbes):
1. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
3. Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Three big-name, high-profile quarterbacks being on the list isn’t surprising. This is a pass-first league dominated by guys who know how to command an offense. Rodgers may not have been in as many commercials to date as Manning and Brees, but he has been a fan favorite ever since he first arrived on scene. (Or at least ever since Brett Favre started getting on everyone's nerves.)
Two defensive players being on the list, though, is very intriguing. No one is saying that Polamalu and Woodson aren’t good, likeable guys. It’s just surprising that so many people know how good and likable they are.
More likely than not, if you analyzed the polling data closely, you would probably find that Green Bay and Pittsburgh fans were well represented in the poll. That’s the only legitimate explanation as to why Polamalu and Woodson are at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively.