Public Policy Polling (PPP) reached out to the population to see how people feel about the NFL and the conclusions are pretty clear.
The Patriots are the most controversial team in the league because people are easily swayed by ridiculous narratives and don't really care enough to go beyond the headlines and examine the facts.
New England has overtaken the Dallas Cowboys as the least favorite team in the entire league at a 23% to 20% margin, which is the price to pay for winning so often. This is the first time a team other than the Cowboys have been the most disliked in a PPP poll. The Patriots are the least-liked team among women and are a hair behind the Cowboys among men.
When looking further into the data, it turns out that the Patriots are most favorite team for men, pulling in 15% of the vote and edging out the Panthers at 14% (hooray recency bias). The Packers cleaned up the women vote at 21%, while the Patriots were middle of the pack at 7%.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ranked as the most favorite quarterback in the entire league, at 23%, ahead of Peyton Manning (16%) and Aaron Rodgers (13%). Brady has the 18-29 demographic locked up with 61% of the votes, while Manning has the older crowd, beating Brady 27% to 18% in the 65+ crowd.
Brady also ranked as the least favorite quarterback at 19% and there was no one really close. Tim Freaking Tebow ranked second at 10%, which seems kind of unreasonable, until you also see that Tebow ranked as the 5th most favorite even though he's not even in the league.
If you want to see why most media entities are shying away from discussing the Peyton Manning/HGH stories, but were thrilled to discuss DeflateGate, just look at the favorability ratings. Brady has a 46% favorable and 39% unfavorable split, for a 7% favorability margin, while Manning has a 77%/11% split, for a 66% margin. The remaining percentages are for those that responded "not sure."
For context, just as many people dislike Brady (39%) also dislike NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (40%), which is just wrong.
The polls are an interesting way to capture public opinion on topics. 57% of the population approves of touchdown celebrations, versus just 27% that disapprove. When you look at demographics, women offer a 54% favorability margin of touchdown dances, while men just have an 8% favorability margin. Fans older than 65+ are the only age bracket to disapprove of touchdown dances, with a 9% disapproval margin.
There are a lot of fun nuggets inside the results. Go take a look.