A poll of NFL players performed by the Sporting News labeled Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh the dirtiest player in the league. The label conjures up negative thoughts but the Sporting News article revealed a quote from Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington that indicates the opposite:
Suh. I’m not necessarily saying dirty but just aggressive and intense. I’m on the defensive side of the ball. I like the way he plays. I wouldn’t mind having a guy like that in front of me.
OK, so dirty might not be such a bad thing after all.
Forbes recently published an article detailing the results of a recent Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research poll that used public sentiments to define the most disliked players in the NFL. The top ten:
1. Michael Vick (60% dislike)
2. Plaxico Burress (56%)
3. Ben Roethlisberger (49%)
4. Albert Haynesworth (46%)
5. Jay Cutler (38%)
6. Chad Ochocinco (35%)
7. Vince Young (32%)
8. Carson Palmer (31%)
9. Tony Romo (29%)
10. Jeremy Schockey (29%)
Whether or not Ndamukong Suh is actually a dirty player is a topic for another time but what is interesting to see is that there is no correlation between the list of dirtiest players and the top ten most disliked players. The general public makes villains out of players with legal trouble or prima donna attitudes, not players that get reputations for being mean or nasty on the field.