Thursday night in New Orleans the 2010 National Football League season will kickoff, and it promises to be more and more of the game that America loves the most.
The annual Harris Poll once again shows that Americans list pro football as the favored sport in the land with 35 percent of those queried citing pro football for the top spot, and when you consider that college football is listed as the top sport for another 12 percent, that means that 47 percent of those polled by Harris like big time football more than any other sport.
Of course, for those of us who follow these polls closely year after year, this is not “new” news.
Every major Gallop or Harris poll taken since 1965 (roughly coinciding with Pete Rozelle’s reign as NFL commissioner) has cited pro football as the favorite sport of Americans, but the numbers are growing.
Pro football has gained in popularity more than any other sport since 1985 — which is really hard to do when you are already number one — with an 11 percent increase in popularity over the past 25 years. The number started at 24, now is an amazing 35 percent.
Our game moved ahead of baseball as the fans’ favorite for the first time in 1965, and has maintained that spot in every survey, in every year, since.
Of course, the Broncos have been sold out at home since and including every game of the 1970 season, marking 2010 as the 41st consecutive year of home sellouts to go along with huge local television rating for every Broncos game, home or away.
With the NFL Network, games on multiple days of the week, and college cable packages that abound in every region, fans can count on seeing plenty of their favorite sport again in 2010.
The five most popular sports according to The Harris Poll are as listed:
1 Pro football 35 %
2 Baseball 16 %
3 College football 12 %
4 Auto racing 9 %
5 Men’s pro basketball 5 %
Let’s kick it off!