Poll shows NFL not as popular in Texas as football in general

AP

They still love football in Texas, perhaps as much as any place on the planet.

But they may not love it in quite the same way as they used to.

According to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, nearly half of the state’s registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of the NFL in particular.

The NFL drew an unfavorable opinion from 47 percent of voters (including 28 percent who went all the way to “very unfavorable”), while 27 percent had a favorable opinion of the league. The survey included 1,200 registered voters and was conducted from June 8-17, and has a margin of error of less than 3 percent.

The report cites a number of possible reasons for the dip, but hones in on the national anthem issue, which the league has tried to fix with a half-measure that didn’t pacify President Donald Trump or his loudest supporters.

“Trump made this an issue,” said University of Texas government professor Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll. “He understood that making this about the national anthem was good politically. It’s very clear it has hurt the NFL, and that it’s polarized politically and polarized racially.”

The most positive opinions of the NFL were from black voters, who registered a 49 percent favorable and 24 percent unfavorable rating for the league. Hispanic voters went 29 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable, while white voters went 20 percent favorable and 55 percent unfavorable.

Perhaps as concerning for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Texans owner Bob McNair and the league in general is that 27 percent of all respondents had no opinion whatsoever.

“If football was trumping controversy, these numbers would be much more positive than they are,” said Jim Henson,  head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. “And they would not show the demographic patterns that are clearly evident here.”

The numbers certainly explain Jones’ overt concern and wish to make the issue go away, but as long as someone believes it’s a political winner, there’s little chance he’ll let it go anytime soon.

74 responses to “Poll shows NFL not as popular in Texas as football in general

  1. They conduct these “polls” with people that don’t go to the games, don’t buy merchandise and just want to promote their political agenda and luv them some Friday Night Lights. They should stop asking old, white, lower-class people about the NFL and ask the young adults. I bet you get a completely different result.

  2. This does not come as a surprise.

    The real shocker will be when the general public becomes fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, continuing anthem protests and the unending stream of criminal offenses by the hoodlums who are taking the field in the National Felons League.

  3. Traitor Trump hates the NFL and has poisoned many fans against the league, focusing on the issue with the players who kneel to protest police brutality. The orange menace’s tactic appears to be working, and I’m sure he’s happy about that.

  4. A football league that is moving away from playing football should not expect to remain popular with football fans.

  5. It’s because the cowboys had another down year. Once they get back to the playoffs the bandwagoners will be back.

  6. bondlake says:

    the unending stream of criminal offenses by the hoodlums who are taking the field in the National Felons League.

    NFL players commit crimes at a lower rate than the general population, but thank you for at least using “hoodlums” instead of the word you really wanted to use.

  7. This is not a white issue, if you read the whole article it says several different groups were polled, not just “lower class whites.” And to pretend that no one cared and the NFL was chugging along till Trump got involved just isn’t factually true. The NFL was taking a big hit and Trump piled on, which was stupid and unproductive, but it was a problem for the NFL before Trumps silliness.

  8. Well, it is Texas. A state that still wants to secede from the union, has it’s National Guard trail SEALs on training missions (they’re heroes btw, the SEALs). And they don’t have a real NFL team. Surprised much?

  9. baywolfe says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:54 am
    They conduct these “polls” with people that don’t go to the games, don’t buy merchandise and just want to promote their political agenda and luv them some Friday Night Lights. They should stop asking old, white, lower-class people about the NFL and ask the young adults. I bet you get a completely different result.
    *************************************************************************
    It’s true, snowflakes are much softer.

  10. Let’s face it, Love Texas or Hate them they have college teams that are in the hunt one way or another for a national championship almost every single year.

  11. bondlake says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:55 am
    This does not come as a surprise.

    The real shocker will be when the general public becomes fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, continuing anthem protests and the unending stream of criminal offenses by the hoodlums who are taking the field in the National Felons League.

    16 4 Rate This

    ——————–

    And Goodell framing coaches and players for perceived image and desired results, only to exposed for the cheating in federal courts over and over.

  12. I view the NFL as unfavorable. With the combination of concussions, rule changes, Goodell, awful officiating, and trashy players, it’s hard not to. However, I do also watch the games, like most folks here in Texas do…

  13. Perhaps residents of Texas dont care for a team that glorifies and endorses spousal abuse, drunk driving, drug and steroid use or employees people that heat their girlfriends up.

    Perhaps “the culture” Jerry and Jason seem so proud to talk about needs to be looked at. Until then how can they expect people to embrace them and encourage their children to use people like the Cowboys as their role model?

  14. If the media focused on positive things the NFL, players, and teams charity work, organizing play 60, visiting schools, hospitals and more instead of the Anthem, CTE and every little petty crime things might be different. I mean if someone spent two or 3 years playing in the NFL and they commit crimes 5 years later that is not a reflection of the NFL in my opinion.

  15. TruFBFan says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm
    Well, it is Texas. A state that still wants to secede from the union, has it’s National Guard trail SEALs on training missions (they’re heroes btw, the SEALs). And they don’t have a real NFL team. Surprised much?
    ===============================================================================
    Doesn’t have a “real NFL team”? Like them or not Dallas Cowboys or the Houston Texans are a real franchise.

  16. I live in Austin; if you are polling the snowflakes employed by UT, you are over generalizing. Get out of Travis County and ask the same question.

  17. Maybe it’s because the NFL teams in Texas have been nothing but disappointments. If Watson returns to form after his torn ACL, that could change. The Cowboys? As long as Jerry Jones is running the show, things will be the same as always.

  18. baywolfe says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:54 am
    They conduct these “polls” with people that don’t go to the games, don’t buy merchandise and just want to promote their political agenda and luv them some Friday Night Lights. They should stop asking old, white, lower-class people about the NFL and ask the young adults. I bet you get a completely different result.

    ###########################################################################

    Actually the should ask people that have in the past or that are currently buying tickets to these games and get a more accurate reflection of how this plays to their fan base. As to your comments about “old, white, lower-class people” well that is pretty racist and to imply “young adults” are their clients is just silly as most young adults cannot afford the expense of tickets and all of the add on items that come from attending the game. I would suggest that their base would probably be middle class and up income brackets and race isn’t a factor, just cash in the pocket to pay the admission price, seat license in some cases and anything else you want to purchase while at the game.

  19. I love these topics in a devious way. The insecure turds come out in full force to use it as fodder to support whatever stupid agenda.

    To add some context, the poll utilized 1,200 registered voters. In 2016, Texas had upwards of 15 million voters.

    Spin on.

  20. v2787 says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:57 am
    Traitor Trump hates the NFL and has poisoned many fans against the league, focusing on the issue with the players who kneel to protest police brutality. The orange menace’s tactic appears to be working, and I’m sure he’s happy about that.

    ————

    Chin up little guy…..you only have another 6 1/2 years to go!!

  21. bondlake says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:55 am
    This does not come as a surprise.

    The real shocker will be when the general public becomes fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, continuing anthem protests and the unending stream of criminal offenses by the hoodlums who are taking the field in the National Felons League.
    ————–

    I will give you the taxpayer funded stadiums and continue to applaud the people of San Diego for not giving in to Stadium costs for the charges.

    As far as the anthem issue, the fault lies squarely with the NFL front office and the owners for taking taxpayer money and to put on paid patriotism as a recruiting tool.

    You’re clearly showing your ignorance when it comes to claiming there’s an endless stream of criminal offenses by the players. A 2 second google search would have educated you on this issue, but I guess it helps you to stay in a perpetual state of ignorance.

  22. baseballiseasymoney says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    To add some context, the poll utilized 1,200 registered voters. In 2016, Texas had upwards of 15 million voters.

    Spin on.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The context here is that you must have never taken a stats class. Or passed one, I mean.

  23. @bradygirl12

    your heroes have had a lot to do with people flipping off the NFL with their never ending scandals, lies, cheating and court cases

  24. If youre in coaching or player development you know that some think texas high school football has become a travesty though. every team runs the spread and its leading to offensive lineman who are 300+ lbs for the sake of being large with no technique. Lots of “brainy” (coaches son) quarterbacks who are too small to safely play but are being asked to throw the ball 30+ times. Long games full of injuries and kids whos talent is being squandered by coaches

  25. Texas is a Republican stronghold, and many Republicans in Texas are Tribal Republicans by nature. Anything a Republican does and says is OK. Trump has made an issue out of the National Anthem and the way some black athletes are taking a knee as a way to call attention to what they feel is unjust police actions in black communities. Trump took exception to taking a knee and so did Trump followers. Hence the drop in popularity of the NFL. The NFL is being used to make a political statement on both sides. I don’t believe football should be used for political purposes. Personally, I sick of everything becoming political!

    When Texas stops supporting college and high school football, then there is a real problem with football!

  26. The NFL is pathetic. Roger Goodell is the worst thing that ever happened to football. Bring back Pete Rozelle. As for Texas, steers and queers…

  27. Cowboys had a bad year, have a bad coach and an idiot for an owner/GM. who wouldn’t lose interest?

  28. v2787 says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:57 am
    Traitor Trump hates the NFL and has poisoned many fans against the league, focusing on the issue with the players who kneel to protest police brutality. The orange menace’s tactic appears to be working, and I’m sure he’s happy about that.

    —————————————-

    A player can focus on his issues when he’s not in uniform about ready to play a game that I paid to see. I don’t shell out 300.00 plus parking to take my family to watch anything except a game and the pomp and circumstance that goes with it.

  29. iejdaniel says:

    I live in Austin; if you are polling the snowflakes employed by UT, you are over generalizing. Get out of Travis County and ask the same question.

    Yes, get out of the county where different people, cultures, and ideas interact daily on a mass scale, and get into a rural, low-population county where everyone has the same experiences and lifestyle. That’s how you get a cross-section.

  30. The Truth
    Jun 27, 2018, 12:28 PM EDT
    @bradygirl12

    your heroes have had a lot to do with people flipping off the NFL with their never ending scandals, lies, cheating and court cases

    Ya that’s why year in and year out Brady’s jersey sales are always in the top 10. The guy has been in the league for almost 20 years and yet people are still buying his merchandise. That must be it genius

  31. Could this be because the people of Texas aren’t afraid to play the game of football the way that it’s meant to be played?

    When football is your treasured sport, naturally you would resent having an outside entity (like Roger Goodell) telling you how you shouldn’t use your helmet to hit, and that you no longer have to stand for our country’s flag, and that everyone who puts on a uniform will develop brain problems later on.

    In other words, the people of Texas probably don’t prefer a sport dominated by politics.

  32. “Trump made this an issue,” said University of Texas government professor Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll. “He understood that making this about the national anthem was good politically. It’s very clear it has hurt the NFL, and that it’s polarized politically and polarized racially.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That quote is likely the reason this article was even written. The problem is that people somehow believe it was not political or about the anthem until Trump chimed in. They believe that even though Kaepernick himself said it was about flag and country in his first quote about the protest.

    People have a negative opinion about the NFL for many reasons. The quality of the game has declined. Practices are limited so the first 1/4 of the season is almost unwatchable. Hoodlums are constantly in the news for some nefarious behavior. The league has turned political. The officiating and control from NYC give the impression the outcomes are being manipulated. The rule changes have made good defense rather difficult to maintain. People are concerned about fantasy leagues more than the league that actually makes those things possible. The union constantly fights over anything including obvious safety concerns. The constant bickering between players and management. Players make millions and then cry about needing to feed their family to try and justify the need for more millions. The league’s disciplinary process is not nearly stringent enough where it matters and ridiculously applied (or not applied) in certain cases. The owners make tons of money and still try to strong-arm tax exemptions and other benefits from local communities concerning both local stadium issues and the rigged bidding process of hosting a super bowl and soon to be draft events. The average cost to attend a game is not feasible for even small families and the associated costs of food, drink, parking and time allotted to be abused by drunk fans in the stands and trying to drive away from the stadium after the game. Surely the anthem ordeal has been an impact but it is not the only impact.

  33. youngnoizecom says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm
    Hoodlum is definitely coded word for something else. This is the America we live in

    =====================

    We called bad guys ‘Hoods’ and groups of bad guys ‘hoodlums’ when I was a kid in the 60’s. I

    Another idiot millennial has spoken…

  34. alongthegulf says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    Texas is a Republican stronghold, and many Republicans in Texas are Tribal Republicans by nature. Anything a Republican does and says is OK. Trump has made an issue out of the National Anthem and the way some black athletes are taking a knee as a way to call attention to what they feel is unjust police actions in black communities. Trump took exception to taking a knee and so did Trump followers. Hence the drop in popularity of the NFL. The NFL is being used to make a political statement on both sides. I don’t believe football should be used for political purposes. Personally, I sick of everything becoming political!

    When Texas stops supporting college and high school football, then there is a real problem with football!
    ————–

    Except for the fact that the numbers were already dropping due to the actual product of the field. With the Eagles breaking the mold and actually throwing the ball down field, I hope to see more coaches actually embracing the game and opening their playbooks instead of checking it down the whole length of the field. (Don’t care what anyone says the Chiefs really won the SB by getting rid of Alex Smith)

    Now ask yourself this: Can you remember the last time you watched a game and walked away saying that was a damn good game?

  35. “Trump made this an issue,” said professor Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll. “He understood that making this about the national anthem was good politically …it has hurt the NFL ..polarized politically and polarized racially.”
    ———————————————-
    Nope. The players had already started making it an issue in 2016 and about politics and race. Trump just much later chimed in with the already fully developed chorus from many fans who were feeling it was about the anthem before Trump also said it. That the pollster displays such clear bias shows the poll is all a load of agenda-driven BS.

  36. The protesting players have finally overstepped the boundaries their limited brains should have told them to avoid, preferring to listen to those whose agendas could care less about the players’ future earnings and careers and most about pushing the Liberals’ Hate America Agenda.

    If, after some years with no cojones or leadership from Goodell, it will be interesting and tragic to see the NFL become another version of the Arena League and the XFL, flooding the fast food market with ex-players who did not qualify for a decent NFL pension and regretting their woeful academic accomplishments courtesy of the college football programs designed to exploit them and make ga-zillions for the exploitative education system who will distain their castoffs who no longer can donate mighty big dollars back to their schools who cared nothing about the players future well-being.

  37. “They should stop asking old, white, lower-class people about the NFL and ask the young adults. I bet you get a completely different result.”
    _____________

    You mean like the young adults who are still in college (or just out) who cheer on UT, A&M, etc. every Saturday? Yeah, bet the results would be even worse with that group.

  38. nhpats says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Chin up little guy…..you only have another 6 1/2 years to go!!
    _____________________________________________________________

    trump’s deplorables have to be the most in denial, delusional group of people this side of 1940s germany. within 6.5 years, he’ll in be in jail or will have already been forced to resign. call the mueller investigation fake or a witch hunt or whatever the phrase du jour is, but at the very least, trump’s guilty of financial crimes.

  39. “to pretend that no one cared and the NFL was chugging along till Trump got involved just isn’t factually true. ”

    You’re entirely correct. They have the most corrupt sports commissioner in modern American sports history. The fake scandals he manufactures. The softening of the game with so many rules changes no one knows them all now, not even the refs or most of the coaches paid millions to know ever last one. Immature players and lots of bad behavior off the field while not making the greatest possible effort on it. Billionaires extorting stadiums from taxpayers. Probably 1/3 of the owners that only care about cashing their TV checks and make zero effort to put a winning product on the field.

    I’m sure there are other issues but the league under Goodell’s “guidance” seems to have screwed up in pretty much every way they possibly could have.

  40. Interesting – since every sports media outlet (including PFT) have been saying that the anthem/flag issue has had no/little impact on ratings etc… etc… Power of “We The People”

  41. bondlake says:
    June 27, 2018 at 11:55 am
    This does not come as a surprise.

    The real shocker will be when the general public becomes fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, continuing anthem protests
    ===========================================
    It’s sad how many people still just can’t seem to understand why the players are protesting. I really don’t understand why this is simply beyond some peoples ability to comprehend the simplest things.

  42. Something else that people can argue about. Here–I grew up in Texas, in the country, the REAL country, not the Toby Keith fake accent crap with shiny trucks and over-starched Wranglers. I also worked at the Gallup Institute in Austin (headquarters) doing poll research, the no. 1 data gathering institute in the world, or they used to be. Here is what I KNOW. Your average Texan does not give a crap about polls. The working person does not care, or have time for it. Most people like football, but for the NFL they are sick of more than just the political crap. It’s the crappy product, the lack of honor in the game, the overpaid babies, the fact that most of these players are far from real role models, and so much else. The Cowboys will still make their $$, not to worry, and so little of this has to do with Trump and the anthem. Add to that the upcoming generations that care nothing about competitive sports, and you have the dying shield.

  43. So the poll showed that fans are split about evenly in their overall opinion. Just like we are politically and every other way.
    This poll was in Texas, a red state. Take the same poll in Wyoming and the results will be even more pronounced against the NFL.

  44. We Texans dig football. Allen High School Stadium cost was $60,000,000.00. The stadium in Katy, Texas cost a little over $70 million, but that serves 7 schools. We don’t cater to hoodlums though.

  45. 1300 people is laughable for a survey … Yet pretty sure the Texans and Cowboys are close to selling out most games. It’s where we are in society everybody has to be upset about something… The protest is going to have very little effect on true football fans(Jacksonville Jaguars sold 10.000+ new season ticket a NAVY town). What going to effect teams is poor performance its way too expensive to go to a game and watch your team play like trash

  46. Most conservative people wont yell and scream publicly about issues like kneeling, they just quit spending money on game tickets, NFL merchandise and some quit watching. I’ll bet most people know someone like this. When politics made its way into the NFL it signed its own death warrant.

  47. Nobody is taking into consideration that a lot of the people in the poll may be Cowboys fans and feel like the NFL railroaded Ezekiel Elliott?

  48. Not surprising Texan conservatives, like me, don’t appreciate it when anyone disrespects our great national anthem!

  49. Honestly can’t wait for the updates from this year’s National Protest League. Ratings will be down yet again and the articles here should be entertaining.

  50. The NFL has abandoned the game of football much like the WWE abandoned the art of pro-wrestling.

    Gone is the sanctity of the “sport,” replaced by “sports entertainment.”

  51. As a Texan, this was an issue well before Trump got involved.

    I actually supported the players kneeling the weekend immediately after his first proclamation. Players giving short shrift to outside-the-league influences is nothing new, and was hilarious this time around as a big middle finger to denied-a-team-by-the-NFL Trump.

  52. “I view the NFL as unfavorable. With the combination of concussions, rule changes, Goodell, awful officiating, and trashy players, it’s hard not to. However, I do also watch the games, like most folks here in Texas do…”

    I watch too but nowhere near as much as just a couple years ago and I will never ever go to a game again. Also no longer buy any NFL gear, not that I bought a lot but I have.

  53. My disgust with the league is well documented, and has nothing to do with politics. The constant rule changes and the renewal of Goodell’s contract are the things that irk me the most.

  54. ^^Just wanted to add that, for the record, I like NFL ball better than college ball, but the difference in the level that people appreciate them down here is undeniable. And I will admit that while the NFL is my first choice, the thrill of seeing your college team succeed has a more personal element than your professional team, and that’s a thing a lot of people resonate with that makes football so intense for them.

  55. What really hurts the league about this issue is that they try to play both sides and end up pleasing no one. A bunch of people last year claimed to stop watching because players were allowed to kneel. A bunch of people this year have claimed they’ll stop watching because now players are required to stand, plus a bunch more people still aren’t satisfied because players are allowed to remain in the locker room if they choose. The NFL should have taken a strong stand on one side or the other, only disgruntled a portion of their fans, and then stuck with it while the remaining fans supported them and the disgruntled fans got over it. They screwed it up like they usually do, no matter what side of the anthem debate you’re on.

  56. redmosquito16 says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    nhpats says:
    June 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Chin up little guy…..you only have another 6 1/2 years to go!!
    _____________________________________________________________

    trump’s deplorables have to be the most in denial, delusional group of people this side of 1940s germany. within 6.5 years, he’ll in be in jail or will have already been forced to resign. call the mueller investigation fake or a witch hunt or whatever the phrase du jour is, but at the very least, trump’s guilty of financial crimes.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!