The Dallas Cowboys are Back on the Horse as America’s Favorite Football Team

Should the Super Bowl move to President’s Day weekend? Almost half of football fans say “yes”

05:00 AM EDT Oct 22, 2015 Rating
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The Dallas Cowboys are Back on the Horse as America’s Favorite Football Team

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Sometimes it’s hard to have hope when things aren’t going well, as with the Dallas Cowboys and all the player injuries already piling up this early in the season.  But there’s some good news that might cheer them up: after a drop to fourth place last year, the Cowboys return to the top of the pile and are once again America’s favorite football team!

Sharing the number two spot are two very popular “P”s: the Green Bay Packers (up from 3) and the New England Patriots (up from 8).  In fourth place, taking over the Cowboys’ spot from last year, are the Denver Broncos – 2014’s first place pick.  Holding tight to their 2014 positions, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks remain in fifth and sixth place, respectively. 

Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears have worked their way up from ninth to seventh – swapping places with the San Francisco 49ers, who dropped two positions from seventh to ninth.  And falling from second place last year, the New York Giants now stand in eighth place.  Rounding out the top ten is the same team as last year, the New Orleans Saints.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,368 general population U.S. adults, along with representative oversamples of 511 Hispanic Americans (interviewed in English and Spanish) and 179 Asian Americans (interviewed in English), surveyed online between September 9 and 17, 2015.

Divided Loyalties

Just because the Cowboys swept the nation overall, doesn’t mean they are the top pick across every demographic.

When should Super Bowl contenders take to the field?

Over half of Americans (54%) believe the worst part of Super Bowl Sunday is having to get up the next morning to go to work or school.  One suggestion for fixing this problem is moving the game to the Sunday of Presidents’ Day weekend (one to two weeks later than its current schedule), since the Monday that follows is a national holiday when schools and many businesses are closed. 

Big expectations for the big game

And in case you’re one of the 47% of Americans (including 23% of Football fans) who before now unaware, this season will mark the semi-centennial Super Bowl, and with this milestone comes some big expectations. 

74% of Americans say that knowing this season’s Super Bowl will be the 50th gives them high expectations for the halftime show, and 65% (including 70% of those who don’t follow professional football) say it makes them more likely to watch it.

Where will you watch?

Possibly more important than anything that might happen during the Super Bowl – especially if your own favorite team isn’t in the running – is where you’ll be watching it.  Three-fourths of Americans (74%) say they typically watch the Super Bowl, and over six in ten (63%) have a specific place where they typically watch it.  Almost half of Americans (46%) typically watch in the comfort of their own home with friends/family, while 14% usually watch the Super Bowl at someone else’s home.  An additional one in ten Americans (11%) say they typically watch the Super Bowl, but that where they watch isn’t set in stone.

And while the big game may be a few months away, it doesn’t mean that it’s too soon for pro football fans to start picking early favorites to take home the trophy.  The New England Patriots are the top early pick to win the big game this February (23%), followed by the Seattle Seahawks (15%) and the Green Bay Packers (13%).

Football fans

Back in January, Americans again crowned football as their favorite sport by a wide margin.  And seeing as the sport has held this position since (at least) 1985, it should come as no surprise that nearly three-fifths (58%) of Americans say they follow professional football.  Across regions (61% South, 58% East, 56% Midwest, & 56% West) and races (66% Blacks, 56% Whites, 53% Hispanics, & 51% Asians), the percentage of football fans doesn’t vary much, but the same cannot be said across genders and ages.

 

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TABLE 1

WHO FOLLOWS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

“Do you follow professional football?”

Summary of “Yes” Responses

Base: All adults

 

Total

%

2015

58

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 (2015)

“Do you follow professional football?”

Summary of “Yes” Responses

Base: All adults

 

Total

%

All Adults

58

Gender

         Male

69

         Female

50

Age

18-24

40

25-29

55

30-39

68

40-49

63

50-64

60

65+

55

Region

East

58

Midwest

56

South

61

West

56

Race

White

56

Black

66

Hispanic

53

Asian

51

 

 


TABLE 3A 

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

2015

Dallas Cowboys

1

1

4

=1

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

4

1

Green Bay Packers

2

3

1

=1

1

1

4

4

5

6

3

3

2

3

=2

New England Patriots

16

11

=8

19

3

=3

5

6

2

5

6

4

5

8

=2

Denver Broncos

4

4

=8

17

9

10

11

16

15

12

14

=17

3

1

4

Pittsburgh Steelers

5

5

6

10

=15

=3

1

3

4

2

4

2

7

5

5

Seattle Seahawks

22

15

=18

=21

14

24

12

=19

14

=14

31

27

12

6

6

Chicago Bears

7

10

11

8

=6

8

6

5

6

3

9

5

6

9

7

New York Giants

=8

9

7

=11

4

13

9

7

7

8

7

7

4

2

8

San Francisco 49ers

3

2

2

5

8

6

8

9

11

11

12

16

8

7

9

New Orleans Saints

24

=19

25

29

30

29

31

=21

17

24

5

11

11

10

10

Arizona Cardinals

28

=23

31

32

32

31

29

29

24

16

11

=17

=16

19

11

Atlanta Falcons

=19

18

26

27

=21

=18

=23

28

27

13

10

15

20

22

12

Washington Redskins

10

8

10

6

10

14

16

12

=9

=17

15

8

14

14

13

Philadelphia Eagles

12

21

16

20

5

5

7

8

8

7

13

12

9

=15

14

Oakland Raiders

=8

=19

3

3

12

7

10

11

13

21

=17

25

=16

18

15

Carolina Panthers

13

30

22

24

18

=16

=13

=14

19

25

23

20

27

28

16

Miami Dolphins

6

6

14

9

13

=18

=13

=14

16

=17

=21

13

10

=15

=17

Indianapolis Colts

23

=27

=23

23

11

9

3

2

3

4

2

6

19

26

=17

Buffalo Bills

18

14

=23

18

27

23

27

30

20

=27

29

=28

28

=20

19

Detroit Lions

=19

22

21

30

26

=18

=17

25

29

31

30

19

22

13

20

New York Jets

17

13

12

16

=6

=11

22

17

=9

20

16

=9

15

11

=21

Baltimore Ravens

27

=25

32

25

29

28

30

=26

28

26

19

14

=16

=23

=21

Minnesota Vikings

14

7

13

7

=15

=16

21

=19

12

10

8

=9

13

12

23

Houston Texans

NA

NA

30

=21

19

=25

28

31

26

23

=17

23

21

27

24

Cincinnati Bengals

25

=25

=27

28

=24

30

=23

18

32

29

=27

31

24

17

25

Kansas City Chiefs

11

16

20

13

=21

=21

20

=23

=22

=27

25

30

29

=23

26

Cleveland Browns

NA

12

15

15

=24

15

19

13

=22

22

26

22

25

=20

27

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

15

17

=18

4

17

=11

=17

=21

21

19

=27

=28

26

30

28

Tennessee Titans

29

31

17

14

23

=25

15

=26

25

9

=21

21

31

=31

29

San Diego Chargers

26

=23

=27

26

31

27

=23

10

18

=14

20

24

23

=23

=30

St. Louis Rams

30

29

5

=11

20

=21

26

=23

=30

30

24

26

30

29

=30

Jacksonville Jaguars

=19

=27

=27

31

28

32

32

32

=30

32

32

32

32

=31

32

“=” 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 3B 

FAVORITE NFL TEAM

“What are your two favorite National Football League teams?”

Base: Adults who follow professional football

 

Total

All Adults

Dallas Cowboys

Gender

         Male

New England Patriots

         Female

Green Bay Packers

Age

18-24

Green Bay Packers

25-29

Pittsburg Steelers

30-39

Dallas Cowboys

40-49

Dallas Cowboys

50-64

Dallas Cowboys

65+

Green Bay Packers

Region

East

New England Patriots

Midwest

Green Bay Packers

South

Dallas Cowboys

West

San Francisco 49ers

Race

White

Green Bay Packers

Black

Dallas Cowboys

Hispanic

Dallas Cowboys

Asian^

San Francisco 49ers

^Low base size (n<100); results should be interpreted as directional in nature

 


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

%

New England Patriots

23

Seattle Seahawks

15

Green Bay Packers

13

Denver Broncos

7

Dallas Cowboys

7

Pittsburgh Steelers

4

Indianapolis Colts

4

New York Giants

3

Baltimore Ravens

3

Arizona Cardinals

3

San Francisco 49ers

2

New Orleans Saints

2

Philadelphia Eagles

2

Atlanta Falcons

2

Carolina Panthers

2

Chicago Bears

1

Cincinnati Bengals

1

Houston Texans

1

Oakland Raiders

1

Kansas City Chiefs

1

Miami Dolphins

1

Washington Redskins

1

Cleveland Browns

1

Detroit Lions

1

Minnesota Vikings

1

San Diego Chargers

1

Buffalo Bills

1

New York Jets

*

St. Louis Rams

*

Tennessee Titans

*

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

*

Jacksonville Jaguars

*

Note: * indicates response of less than 0.5 percent

Note: “-“ indicates no response

 


TABLE 5

PRESIDENT’S DAY WEEKEND SUPER BOWL

“Some have suggested that the Super Bowl be played on the Sunday of President’s Day weekend (one to two weeks later than its current schedule), since the Monday that follows is a national holiday when schools and many businesses are closed.  How strongly do you agree or disagree that the Super Bowl should move to President’s Day weekend?”

Base: U.S. adults

 

Total

Generation

Children in HH

Follow Football

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures

(70+)

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Strongly/Somewhat Agree (NET)

37

46

38

31

28

45

33

46

24

   Strongly agree

17

25

21

11

9

26

12

23

10

   Somewhat agree

20

22

18

20

19

18

21

24

15

Somewhat/Strongly Disagree (NET)

22

19

23

22

23

21

22

27

14

   Somewhat disagree

9

8

10

8

12

9

9

12

4

   Strongly disagree

13

11

14

14

11

12

14

15

10

No Preference

41

35

38

46

49

35

45

27

61

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 


TABLE 6

WHERE AMERICANS WATCH THE SUPERBOWL

“Which of the following best describes where you typically watch the Super Bowl?”

Base: U.S. adults

 

Total

Generation

Children in HH

Follow Football

 

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures

(70+)

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Watches the Superbowl (NET)

74

76

80

71

65

81

70

98

39

Watches at a Typical Place (SUB-NET)

63

65

70

58

54

72

58

87

29

I typically watch with friends and/or family at my home.

46

37

56

49

47

52

44

66

19

I typically watch with friends and/or family at someone else’s home.

14

25

12

8

7

18

12

18

8

I watch the Super bowl somewhere else (e.g., at a bar/restaurant)

2

4

2

1

*

2

2

2

2

I don’t have any particular place where I typically watch the Super Bowl, but I do typically watch it.

11

11

10

13

11

9

12

12

10

I don’t typically watch the Super Bowl. 

26

24

20

29

35

19

30

2

61

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 7

50th SUPER BOWL AWARENESS

“Were you aware that the 50th Super Bowl will be played this season?”

Base: U.S. adults

 

Total

Follow Football

Yes

No

%

%

%

Yes

53

74

23

No

47

26

77

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 


TABLE 8A

2015 SUPER BOWL

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

Base: U.S. Adults

 

AGREE (NET)

Strongly agree

Somewhat

agree

DISAGREE

(NET)

Somewhat disagree

Strongly disagree

%

%

%

%

%

%

Knowing that this season’s Super Bowl will be the 50th gives me high expectations for the halftime show.

74

36

38

26

16

10

Knowing that this season’s Super Bowl will be the 50th makes me more likely to watch it.

65

30

35

35

21

14

The worst part of Super Bowl Sunday is having to get up the next morning to go to work or school.

54

26

28

46

21

25

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 8B

2015 SUPER BOWL

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

Base: U.S. adults

 

Total

Generation

Gender

Children in HH

Follow Football

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures

(70+)

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Knowing that this season’s Super Bowl will be the 50th gives me high expectations for the halftime show.

74

84

72

69

65

63

84

81

70

73

77

Knowing that this season’s Super Bowl will be the 50th makes me more likely to watch it.

65

74

60

62

60

57

72

67

63

64

70

The worst part of Super Bowl Sunday is having to get up the next morning to go to work or school.

54

65

60

43

36

53

55

64

48

56

47

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 9 and 17, 2015 among 2,368 adults (aged 18 and over). Additionally, oversamples were collected in English and Spanish among 511 Hispanic (representing Spanish-dominant, English-dominant and Bilingual profiles) respondents and in English among 179 Asian respondents. 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.

^Low base size (n<100); results should be interpreted as directional in nature

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® #66, October 22, 2015

By Hannah Pollack, Harris Poll Research Analyst

About The Harris Poll®

Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. 

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