Denver Broncos Are America’s Favorite Football Team; Dallas Cowboys Drop to 4th After Six Years at the Top

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – October 14, 2014 – The 2014-2015 football season is in full swing, and while off-field stories have been occupying as much of the news cycle as on-field drama, that doesn’t seem to be detracting from interest in the sport overall. Viewership has been up for the season so far, and the majority of U.S. adults (55%, up slightly from 54% last year) continue to say that they follow professional football. A few of them may have changed which team they’re following most closely though, as the Dallas Cowboys have dropped to the #4 spot this year, after spending six years as the favorite team of adults who follow professional football.

    Replacing them at the top of the list are the Denver Broncos, moving up two spots. They’re followed by the NY Giants (who have moved up two spots to 2nd) and the Green Bay Packers (who dropped one spot to 3rd). Rounding out the top five favorite football teams are the Pittsburg Steelers, up two spots from 7th to 5th.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,543 adults (1,275 of whom follow professional football) surveyed online between September 10-17, 2014.

    The Seattle Seahawks have really taken off this year, soaring up six spots to the 6th position on the list. The San Francisco 49ers have risen one spot to 7th, while the New England Patriots have dropped three spots to 8th. Completing the top ten are the Chicago Bears, falling three spots to 9th, and the New Orleans Saints, rising one spot to 10th.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are at the bottom of the list for the fifth year running, though at least this time around they’re not alone – they share the spot with the Tennessee Titans this year.

    Early favorites for the big game

    There may be plenty of games left to play before the Super Bowl arrives, but it’s never too early for fans to have a pick for the big game. Nearly three in ten of those who follow professional football (28%) say the Seattle Seahawks will be the Super Bowl champs in February, while roughly two in ten (19%) say it will be the Denver Broncos. Just under one in ten (9%) believe the San Francisco 49ers will win the Super Bowl.

    Who follows pro football?

    No matter what goes on behind the scenes, America’s love of football carries on. It was once again crowned America’s favorite sport a January Harris Poll, and as stated earlier, 55% of U.S. adults say they follow professional football, on par with last year’s 54%.

    As might be expected, men are more likely than women to say they follow professional football (69% vs. 43%). Regionally, those in the Midwest (61%) are more likely to follow professional football than those in the East (52%) or the South (53%). Additionally, those with children under 18 in their households are more likely than those without to follow pro football (61% and 52%, respectively).

     

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    TABLE 1

    WHO FOLLOWS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

    Do you follow professional football?

    Summary of Yes Responses

    Base: All adults

    Total

    %

    2014

    55

    2013

    54

    2012

    59

    2011

    55

    2010

    53

    2009

    51

    2008

    52

    2007

    49

    2006

    48

    2005

    49

    2004

    51

    2003

    50

    2002

    47

    1999

    53

    1998

    55

    1997

    51

    1996

    52

    1995

    49

    1993

    46

    1992

    49

     

    TABLE 2

    WHO FOLLOWS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL – BY DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP (2014)

    Do you follow professional football?

    Summary of Yes Responses

    Base: All adults

    Total

    %

    All Adults

    55

    Sex

    Male

    69

    Female

    43

    Age

    Millennials (18 – 37)

    57

    Generation X (38 – 49)

    56

    Baby Boomers (50 – 68)

    53

    Matures (69+)

    50

    Children in Household

    Yes

    61

    No

    52

    Region

    East

    52

    Midwest

    61

    South

    53

    West

    54

    Education

    High School or less

    50

    Some College

    56

    College Graduate

    60

    Post Grad

    55

    Party

    Republican

    59

    Democrat

    53

    Independent

    57

     

    TABLE 3

    FAVORITE NFL TEAM

    What are your two favorite National Football League teams?

    Base: Adults who follow professional football

    1998

    1999

    2002

    2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011

    2013

    2014

    Denver Broncos

    4

    4

    8

    17

    9

    10

    11

    16

    15

    12

    14

    17

    3

    1

    New York Giants

    8

    9

    7

    11

    4

    13

    9

    7

    7

    8

    7

    7

    4

    2

    Green Bay Packers

    2

    3

    1

    1

    1

    1

    4

    4

    5

    6

    3

    3

    2

    3

    Dallas Cowboys

    1

    1

    4

    1

    2

    2

    2

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    4

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    5

    5

    6

    10

    15

    3

    1

    3

    4

    2

    4

    2

    7

    5

    Seattle Seahawks

    22

    15

    18

    21

    14

    24

    12

    19

    14

    14

    31

    27

    12

    6

    San Francisco 49ers

    3

    2

    2

    5

    8

    6

    8

    9

    11

    11

    12

    16

    8

    7

    New England Patriots

    16

    11

    8

    19

    3

    3

    5

    6

    2

    5

    6

    4

    5

    8

    Chicago Bears

    7

    10

    11

    8

    6

    8

    6

    5

    6

    3

    9

    5

    6

    9

    New Orleans Saints

    24

    19

    25

    29

    30

    29

    31

    21

    17

    24

    5

    11

    11

    10

    New York Jets

    17

    13

    12

    16

    6

    11

    22

    17

    9

    20

    16

    9

    15

    11

    Minnesota Vikings

    14

    7

    13

    7

    15

    16

    21

    19

    12

    10

    8

    9

    13

    12

    Detroit Lions

    19

    22

    21

    30

    26

    18

    17

    25

    29

    31

    30

    19

    22

    13

    Washington Redskins

    10

    8

    10

    6

    10

    14

    16

    12

    9

    17

    15

    8

    14

    14

    Philadelphia Eagles

    12

    21

    16

    20

    5

    5

    7

    8

    8

    7

    13

    12

    9

    15

    Miami Dolphins

    6

    6

    14

    9

    13

    18

    13

    14

    16

    17

    21

    13

    10

    15

    Cincinnati Bengals

    25

    25

    27

    28

    24

    30

    23

    18

    32

    29

    27

    31

    24

    17

    Oakland Raiders

    8

    19

    3

    3

    12

    7

    10

    11

    13

    21

    17

    25

    16

    18

    Arizona Cardinals

    28

    23

    31

    32

    32

    31

    29

    29

    24

    16

    11

    17

    16

    19

    Cleveland Browns

    NA

    12

    15

    15

    24

    15

    19

    13

    22

    22

    26

    22

    25

    20

    Buffalo Bills

    18

    14

    23

    18

    27

    23

    27

    30

    20

    27

    29

    28

    28

    20

    Atlanta Falcons

    19

    18

    26

    27

    21

    18

    23

    28

    27

    13

    10

    15

    20

    22

    Baltimore Ravens

    27

    25

    32

    25

    29

    28

    30

    26

    28

    26

    19

    14

    16

    23

    San Diego Chargers

    26

    23

    27

    26

    31

    27

    23

    10

    18

    14

    20

    24

    23

    23

    Kansas City Chiefs

    11

    16

    20

    13

    21

    21

    20

    23

    22

    27

    25

    30

    29

    23

    Indianapolis Colts

    23

    27

    23

    23

    11

    9

    3

    2

    3

    4

    2

    6

    19

    26

    Houston Texans

    NA

    NA

    30

    21

    19

    25

    28

    31

    26

    23

    17

    23

    21

    27

    Carolina Panthers

    13

    30

    22

    24

    18

    16

    13

    14

    19

    25

    23

    20

    27

    28

    St. Louis Rams

    30

    29

    5

    11

    20

    21

    26

    23

    30

    30

    24

    26

    30

    29

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    15

    17

    18

    4

    17

    11

    17

    21

    21

    19

    27

    28

    26

    30

    Tennessee Titans

    29

    31

    17

    14

    23

    25

    15

    26

    25

    9

    21

    21

    31

    31

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    19

    27

    27

    31

    28

    32

    32

    32

    30

    32

    32

    32

    32

    31

    = indicates a tie

    NA = not asked in that year.

    Note: Respondents provided list of teams

    In 1998, 1999 the Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers.

    In 2012, this question was not asked

     

    TABLE 4

    SUPER BOWL WINNER

    Regardless of your favorite team, who do you think will win the Super Bowl this year?

    Base: Adults who follow professional football

     

    Total

    %

    Seattle Seahawks

    28

    Denver Broncos

    19

    San Francisco 49ers

    9

    New England Patriots

    7

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    5

    Green Bay Packers

    4

    New Orleans Saints

    4

    New York Giants

    3

    Philadelphia Eagles

    2

    Chicago Bears

    2

    Detroit Lions

    2

    Baltimore Ravens

    2

    Dallas Cowboys

    1

    Cincinnati Bengals

    1

    Arizona Cardinals

    1

    Oakland Raiders

    1

    Indianapolis Colts

    1

    Atlanta Falcons

    1

    Minnesota Vikings

    1

    Houston Texans

    1

    Buffalo Bills

    1

    Washington Redskins

    1

    Kansas City Chiefs

    1

    Miami Dolphins

    1

    New York Jets

    1

    St. Louis Rams

    1

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

     

    Carolina Panthers

     

    San Diego Chargers

     

    Jacksonville Jaguars

     

    Cleveland Browns

     

    Tennessee Titans

     

    Note: indicates response of less than 0.5 percent

    Note: – indicates no response

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 10 and 17, 2014 among 2,543 adults (aged 18 and over), 1,275 of whom follow professional football. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

    Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

    The Harris Poll #94, October 14, 2014

    By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll