Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest events of the year, and while the Dallas Cowboys aren’t making an appearance in 2023, a new poll identifies the team as the most divisive NFL franchise.
The Siena College Research Institute/St. Bonaventure University fan survey provides a snapshot of Americans’ relationship with football, everything from the percentage of people who consider themselves fans to favorite players.
The survey was taken by 3,200 people and revealed that 72% identify as football fans, 21% as “avid” fans and 26% as “involved” fans.
“For Avid fans, sports are woven into their lives every day, all day. They watch the games, listen to talk shows, check scores and banter with friends about sports constantly. Involved fans love the games but don’t engage every day, while a casual fan is more likely to check in on the weekends,” Siena College Research Institute Director Dan Levy said.
Further, 83% of respondents said they watch football to bond with family and friends, 81% because “it’s fun” and 65% because “it’s exciting.”
Despite that, 27% of respondents said football is too violent.
“Although about a third of Americans are both concerned about football being too violent and too dangerous for kids to play, and that professional football players are being exploited for our enjoyment, majorities of all Americans disagree,” Levy said.
Not surprisingly, the NFL’s most financially successful team drew the most reaction. Dallas, “America’s Team,” is identified as the team that most fans both love and hate.
It identified the Cowboys as the most popular team in the South at 15% but the “most hated” in every geographic region except for the Midwest. The Green Bay Packers hold that distinction.
The poll, was which conducted prior to his recent announcement about his retirement, identifies Tom Brady as the NFL’s most popular active player. Joe Montana is the most popular former NFL player. Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers tied for second-most popular active players, and Brett Favre, Walter Payton and Peyton Manning trailed Montana for most popular former player.