One great thing about not having Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco, save for already reaching last year's win total in only eight games played, is that the Cincinnati Bengals no longer have two of the league's most disliked players, according to public surveys from Nielsen and E-Poll research which named Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick as the most disliked NFL player in the league. From Forbes.com:
The E-Poll-Nielsen results were limited to active NFL players that record a minimum 10% awareness level with the public. Why the continued hostility toward Vick? Nielsen Sports VP Stephen Master chalks it up to the scientific sample that mirrors the entire U.S. population, not just hardcore football fans. Casual fans that know Vick’s name primarily through his dog fighting legal circus naturally tend to focus on the negative. Women, for example, view Vick negatively at a 70% clip, compared to 50% for men.
- Michael Vick: 60%
- Plaxico Burress: 56%
- Ben Roethlisberger: 49%
- Albert Haynesworth: 46%
- Jay Cutler: 38%
- Chad Ochocinco: 35%
- Vince Young: 32%
- Carson Palmer: 31%
- Tony Romo: 29%
- Jeremy Shockey: 29%
Those perceived as prima donnas get punished in these kinds of polls. Hence, quarterbacks Carson Palmer, Vince Young and Jay Cutler all make the cut. Young, now Vick’s backup in Philadelphia (yikes), found himself in the center of controversy in Tennessee, where coach Jeff Fisher didn’t want to play him despite management’s wishes to the contrary. Fisher, unhappy with Young’s antics in practice, was fired after 16 years on the job.
Palmer, who had a promising early career set back by injuries, had lost the confidence of his coaches and teammates in Cincinnati by refusing to suit up this year. The Bengals clearly did well to get a first round pick for him from Oakland, a team desperate for a QB after an injury to Jason Campbell.
Now the Cincinnati Bengals are filled with a roster full of guys that are far more team-oriented right now than No-Show Ocho and Pick-Six Palmer. And we're fine with that.