9/27: No Clear NFL Surprise

With the NFL season underway, is there a sleeper team in the mix?  According to this Marist Poll, there’s no clear surprise among football fans nationally.  Nine percent of fans think the Detroit Lions will be the biggest surprise this season, 6% believe the Dallas Cowboys will come out of nowhere while the same proportion — 6% — say the Philadelphia Eagles will be this year’s upset team.  The Green Bay Packers are perceived by 5% to charge the field and shock football fans while 4% say the Oakland Raiders will split the uprights as the NFL’s surprise of the season.  A majority — 55% — believe another team will shock fans and commentators alike, and 15% are unsure.

football in grass


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The proportion of football fans remains consistent.  67% of adults nationally report they watch football at least a little.  Included here are 22% who tune into the sport a great deal, 17% who follow it a good amount, and 28% who watch it a little.  34% of U.S. residents, however, do not follow the sport at all.

In November 2010, 68% followed professional football at least a little.  Included here are 18% who admitted to being an armchair quarterback most of the time, 15% who caught a good amount of football fever, and 35% reported they followed a little of the action on the gridiron.  32%, at that time, said they had no interest in the sport.

Table: NFL Surprise of 2011-2012 Season

Table: Professional Football Fans

Marist Poll Methodology