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Sports Poll on Super Bowl and NFL Rule Changes Covered in Forbes, Reuters, ESPN  

Students at computers with headsets on calling to interview people for Sports Polling. Covered by Forbes, ESPN, Reuters and number of media outlets across the United States and the globe, the most recent Seton Hall Sports Poll queried the nation on its views of the New England Patriots as well as their coach and their quarterback. Polling took place in the week prior to the Super Bowl and found that nearly half (46%) of Americans said they were "tired" of seeing the Patriots in the big game, while 25 % said they thought the team's presence in the Super Bowl would make the game "more interesting."

Among those who follow the NFL closely or very closely, the number rises to 62% who are tired of seeing them against only 27% who believe their appearance makes the game more interesting.

The poll received 985 adult responses across the country, using both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

Tom Brady
The numbers were not very good for New England quarterback Tom Brady either, whose favorable rating has fallen to only 29% after a high of 61% in February 2015, when the Poll first asked about him. That was before the penalty for "Deflategate" was instituted, and his favorable rating fell to 34% by that October.

Brady's favorable rating was only 24% among women and 35% among men.

Bill Belichick
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick had only a 20% favorable rating in this poll, about even with his standing in October of 2015 in the wake of "Deflategate."

"Despite his brilliance on the field, it appears the effects of 'Deflategate' and the suggestion that Brady was a cheater may linger for the remainder of his career," noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall. "As for 'Patriots Fatigue' it will be interesting to see how it effects the ratings."

In Wake of NFL Post-Season Controversies Public Wants Rule Changes for Pass Interference and OT

By an overwhelming margin, the public was found to want instant replay for judgment calls such as pass interference.

Asked if replay review should be allowed for judgment calls like pass interference, 82% said yes, with only 10% saying no and the rest having no opinion or saying they did not know. Among those who said they followed the sport closely, even more, 89%, said yes, while only 7% said no.

Even among the respondents who said they follow the NFL very closely, 85% said yes, they "think instant replay review should be allowed for judgment calls like pass interference." Among that group of very close followers, however, 13% said "no."

Regarding overtime possession rules, a majority of respondents polled said that each team should get at least one possession in overtime: 58% said that both teams should have the ball, with only 33% saying the rule (a touchdown on first possession ends the game), should be left alone.

"In the NFL's championship games, referee calls and non-calls made a very big difference," noted Rick Gentile. "And in some ways, Kansas City's offense never getting a chance to take the field in overtime was anticlimactic – never a good thing in the entertainment business, and something the NFL may want to pay attention to along with the overwhelming support for instant replay review for judgment calls such as pass interference."

Legalized Sports Betting

Meanwhile, as legalized sports betting begins a growth period on a state-by-state basis, Americans strongly believed that it will lead to scandal. Asked if they believe legal betting can lead to cheating or fixing of games by players, 81% said yes, and 79% said it can lead to cheating or fixing of games by referees or umpires.

What is music to a network ear however, is that 71% say they would be more likely to watch a broadcast of a game on which they bet. Even better news is by more than 5 to 1, people 18-29 are more inclined to watch a game they bet on. This is similar with Seton Hall Sports Poll’s finding when the question was first asked last fall.

Some Media that Featured the Sports Poll's Findings

"Seton Hall Sports Poll Shows Fans Are Tired of the Patriots"

The Stamford Advocate
"Super Bowl Poll: By Roughly 2 to 1, Nation 'Tired of Patriots,' Plus Pass Interference Instant Replay, Overtime Rules, Legal Sports Betting, Game Fixing and More"
"Nearly Half of Respondents Said They're Tired of Seeing Pats in the Super Bowl"

Altoona Mirror
"Super and Not-So-Super Observations"

Hot 107.7 Radio
"Nat'l Poll: Public Wants New NFL Rules for Pass Interference Review and OT; Nation Tired of Patriots"

Reuters, One News Page (Australia + United Kingdom)
"Fans Outside of New England Tired of the Patriots and Their Winning Ways"

Reuters, NewsR (India)
"Fans Outside of New England Tired of the Patriots and Their Winning Ways"

360 Magazine
"Nation 'Tired' of Seeing Patriots in Super Bowl"

Categories: Business

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Ricciardelli
  • (973) 378-9845