ForbesLance Armstrong had two decades of professional racing and seven Tour de France championships to his credit before he became America’s most disliked athlete. That happened, of course, when he acknowledged that he cheated through much of the ride. For Manti Te’o, it took little more than a day, following the revelation of a fake girlfriend, to join Armstrong at the top of the list…Each appeals to just 15% of the public… The others: Lakers forward Metta World Peace, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, and Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, all of whom have flirted with the list in the past but avoided it in 2012. Michael Vick, No. 1 on this list in the past, can thank the new blood and the passage of another year from his canine troubles — he moves down to No.7.

See the complete Top 10 here.  Warning: Slide show

This isn’t real, right?  I’m stuck in the Matrix or something, obviously.  Because there’s no way Manti Te’0 can be the most hated athlete in America.  Just no way in Hell.  He’s tied with Lance Armstrong, a man who not only based his whole useless career on a series of lies, but more importantly crushed anyone who dared speak the truth.  And then didn’t “come clean” until he got caught red handed.  Manti Te’o is tied with him?  For what?  For the crime of being Catfished by a clever and devious hoaxer?  Have we all forgotten what a hero Te’o is?  This is still the same Manti who went out and played days after his grandmother and girlfriend died and inspired his team to victory.  Sure the girlfriend turned out to be a weirdly obsessed gay guy. But that doesn’t make Te’o any less of a hero in my book.  He thought she was real, which should be good enough for any of us.  Like George Constanza said, it’s not a lie if you believe it’s true.  So Te’o is the victim of an elaborate ruse, a crime where no one was harmed but him, and still America turns on him like he’s OJ.  It makes absolutely zero sense.  And are you shitting me that he’s the most disliked football player in the country?  In an NFL filled with dog killers, rapists, habitual criminal offenders, serial baby daddies, wife beaters, phony religious zealots involved in double homicides and Peyton Manning, this poor, innocent, naive, trusting kid is hated more than any of them?  This can’t possibly be true.  If I could I’d take the red pill right now because this reality makes no sense.  @JerryThornton1