ESPN are often about the headline and not the substance of what happens below. So when a title suggests that the Denver Broncos are the new favorite team of fans in the United States according to a Harris poll, learning about the finer details suggests that this is more of a click-bait article and not any major shift in national preferences.
One title says: America’s (new) team: Broncos top fans poll. The other says Cowboys fall from top spot to 4th. But all that drama is about nothing. Especially when we learn that only 2543 adults were surveyed, and only 1275 of them declared of themselves as football followers. Slightly misleading? A little bit more than slightly.
The Broncos finished first, followed by the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and the Cowboys. Dallas, sometimes referred to as America’s team but not too much lately, led the Harris poll in the previous six years it was published. The Pittsburgh Steelers were fifth, the Seattle Seahawks came in sixth thanks to their Super Bowl win, and the top 10 was rounded out by the 49ers, Patriots, Bears and Saints.
The Broncos were never a small, interesting-only-to-the-locals team. Their reach is far beyond the confines of Denver or the state of Colorado. But America’s team? Hard to say that with a straight face when you know what the size of the poll was. Maybe the Broncos are becoming a bigger name on a national level with help from Peyton Manning no doubt. They also have the second longest sellout streak in the NFL, going on since 1970. But they’re not that big. Even if a small poll says so.