By Barry Janoff
October 14, 2014: The Seattle Seahawks may have romped in winning Super Bowl XLVIII this past February and remain the team most likely to win Super Bowl XLIX this February, but they are only the sixth most-popular team in the NFL.
Adding insult to Seahawks injury, the Denver Broncos, the team that Seattle whipped, 43-8, to become NFL champs, have been named as the most popular team in the league, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll from Harris Interactive.
The Broncos, led by quarterback Peyton Manning, replaced the Dallas Cowboys at the top of the list. Dallas had been No. 1 for six consecutive years, according to Harris.
Ironically, the Cowboys have started off the 2014 season at 5-1, the team's best showing since 2007. Unfortunately for Dallas, this poll was conducted early this season.
The Top Ten behind Denver are the New York Giants (up from No. 4 in 2013), Green Bay Packers, Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots (down from No. 5), Chicago Bears (down from No. 6) and the New Orleans Saints.
Regarding Super Bowl XLIX, which will be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 2, 2015, the Seahawks are the favorites to win (picked by 28% of those polled), followed by the Broncos (19%), 49ers (9%), Patriots (7%), Steelers (5%), Packers (4%), Giants (3%), Philadelphia Eagles (2%) and the Bears (2%).
Only 1% picked the Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and host Arizona Cardinals; no one picked the San Diego Chargers.
At the opposite end, the five least popular teams, according to Harris, are the Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have been at the bottom of The Harris Poll for five consecutive years. (See the full list here.)
Despite the league's recent situations with players involved in issues of domestic violent, child abuse, drugs and DUI's, the NFL remains the most popular sport in the U.S., with 55% of those polled saying they are fans (up 1% from last year).
Among other results,men are more likely than women to say they follow pro football (69% vs. 43%), people in the Midwest (61%) are more likely to follow pro football than those in the East (52%) or the South (53%) and people with kids under 18 in their households are more likely than those without to follow pro football (61% and 52%, respectively).
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the U.s. between Sept. 10-17, 2014 among 2,543 adults (aged 18 and over), 1,275 of whom follow professional football.
Harris Poll: Broncos, Not Seahawks, Are Super Bowl 49 Favs
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