Dallas Cowboys Again Are America’s Favorite Football Team

Green Bay moves up one to 2nd and Denver jumps to 3rd

As the leaves finish changing color and begin to fall to the ground, the football season is about one-third of the way done and how the teams are looking for the season is shaking out. Are there surprising teams who have yet to win any games? And, on the other side, are there teams where folks are scratching their heads, saying, wow, how are they unbeaten? Yes and yes.

But, no matter what changes on the field, one thing that remains the same is that the Dallas Cowboys are the favorite team of adults who follow professional football. The Green Bay Packers move up one spot to number 2 and the Denver Broncos make one of the largest moves on the list, going up 14 spots to 3rd from a tie for 17th in 2011. Rounding out the top five favorite football teams are the New York Giants, up three spots from 7th to 4th, and the New England Patriots, who drop from number 4 to number 5.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,577 adults surveyed online between September 18 and 24, 2013 by Harris Interactive. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here.)

Certain teams have moved up or down more than others this year. Besides Denver, some of the largest movers this year include:

  • The Seattle Seahawks, who moved up 15 places on the list from number 27 in 2011 to number 12 this year;
  • The Indianapolis Colts, who dropped 13 places from number 6 to number 19;
  • The Tennessee Titans dropped ten spots, from number 21 to number 31;
  • The Oakland Raiders moved up nine places, from number 25 to a tie for number 16; and,
  • The San Francisco 49ers moved up eight spots, from number 16 to number 8.

For the fourth time in a row, the Jacksonville Jaguars are at the bottom of the list.

Even though there is still plenty of football to play, the Super Bowl is not too far away. Over one-quarter of those who follow professional football (28%) say the Denver Broncos will be the Super Bowl champions in February, while 14% say it will be the Seattle Seahawks. Just under one in ten believe the New England Patriots (9%) or the San Francisco 49ers (8%) will win the Super Bowl, and 7% believe it will be the Green Bay Packers. Almost every team has a few die-hard fans who believe their team will manage to win the big game with one exception – no one who follows professional football believes the Jacksonville Jaguars will win the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVIII
For many, it’s about the game itself; for others, the Super Bowl is about much more – it’s about the half-time show and the partying that surrounds the game. One idea that has floated for quite some time is to give in to the party and move the game from Sunday to Saturday. Just over one in ten Americans (13%), and 15% of those who follow football say they would be more likely to watch the game on a Saturday, while 7% of U.S. adults and 8% of football followers say they would be less likely. Four in five Americans (80%) say it would not impact them at all, with almost half (48%) saying they would watch it either way while one-third (32%) say they wouldn’t watch it either way. Digging deeper, just one-third of Americans (33%) agree that moving the Super Bowl to Saturday would be a bad idea, while over half (56%) agree the worst part of Super Bowl Sunday is having to get up the next morning to go to work or school.

This upcoming Super Bowl has something that is causing a little bit of concern as the date gets closer and the winter forecasts are released – it’s going to be played in an undomed stadium in New Jersey. Now Americans are divided as to whether they should have chosen such a site. Just over half of Americans (51%) agree that they never should have chosen an undomed cold weather stadium for the Super Bowl, while 49% disagree. Looking at the game itself, two in five U.S. adults (40%) agree that having the Super Bowl in Jersey during February will not cause any game day issues; 60%, however, disagree.

Another factor that can always cause controversy is something that has nothing to do with the game itself – the half-time show. Organizers have to walk a fine line between being exciting, but not too edgy. This year, Bruno Mars was chosen as the performer and while two in five Americans (40%) are excited that he’s going to perform the half-time show, 60% are not.

Who follows football?
No matter what, there are the fans that follow football. This year, over half of Americans (54%) say they follow professional football, down from last year when 59% said they follow professional football. Not surprisingly, men are more likely than women to say they follow professional football (68% vs. 42%). Regionally, those who follow professional football are more likely to be in the Midwest (57%) and the East (56%) than the West (52%) and the South (51%). And, while Republicans and Democrats may not really have anything else to agree about these days, 58% of both parties follow football compared to 50% of Independents.

To see the full lists of teams and other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 18 to 24, 2013 among 2,577 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 1,387 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, Harris Interactive 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 Interactive 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 the Harris Interactive 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 Harris Interactive.

Q855, 860, 865, 875, 880

The Harris Poll® #72, October 15, 2013
By Regina Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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