West Long Branch, NJ – About 4-in-10 Americans will be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII this Sunday. Fewer than 2-in-10 want to see the New England Patriots emerge victorious. While this may be the biggest sporting event of the year, the Monmouth University Poll finds that only one-fifth of the public is really excited about this year’s match-up. Many say they expect the TV commercials to be more interesting than the action on the field.
When asked who they are rooting for in this year’s Super Bowl, 37% of Americans say they’re backing the Eagles compared to just 16% who are with the Patriots. When asked if they are rooting against either team, 39% say they want New England to lose and just 12% want to see Philadelphia go 0-for-3 in Super Bowl appearances.
Combining results from the questions asking about support for and against the two team finds that more than 4-in-10 (43%) are backing the Eagles compared to a paltry 18% who want to see the Patriots earn yet another championship ring. Another 39% don’t care how the game turns out. The Pats earn a little more love in the northeastern portion of the United States where both teams are located, but Philly still emerges as the intra-regional favorite by a 45% to 28% margin.
“I have to echo the national sentiment. Fly Eagles, fly,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, whose office just happens to be decorated with pennants from Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl appearance in 1981.
The Super Bowl may be the nation’s premier sporting event, but just 21% say they have a lot of interest in this year’s game while 34% have a little interest. Nearly half (45%) express no interest at all. About 4-in-10 (39%) Americans say they will be watching Sunday’s game, another 28% say the game will be on a nearby TV but they won’t really be paying attention, and 31% say they will not have the game on at all. Men (48%) are more likely than women (30%) to say they will be paying attention to the game.
Interest in the big game is, not surprisingly, highest in the northeastern region of the country, where 35% have a lot of interest in this year’s match-up, 25% have some interest, and 40% have no interest. Nearly half of northeastern residents (47%) will be attentively watching the Super Bowl, 30% will have it on as background noise, and 21% will be doing something else on Sunday evening.
For many Americans, the action on the field is not the most appealing part of the game. Nearly half say that the ubiquitous TV commercials (49%) will be the most interesting part of this year’s Super Bowl. Just over one-third (36%) say the game itself will be more interesting than the ads. Women say they are more likely to be drawn in by the ads (54%) than the game (29%). Men are divided between saying the game (44%) or the commercials (43%) will hold more interest for them.
“This is the biggest sporting event of the year, but only one-fifth of Americans are really ginned up for it. The TV commercials may be needed to provide a bit of a draw for the more casual fan,” said Murray.
Philadelphia’s fan base tends to have a bad reputation for how they treat other teams’ supporters. Despite the fact that more Americans are rooting for Philadelphia, 1-in-4 (26%) say they would be worried about encountering Eagles fans in a dark alley. This compares with 14% who say they would worry about running into Patriots fans in a dark alley. [Those figures include some overlap among people who say they’d be afraid of both teams’ fans.] Most Americans (65%) say they really wouldn’t worry about meeting either teams’ fans in a dark alley.
If this question’s results are isolated to the type of person who may be a more active football fan – specifically men who will be closely watching the big game – a larger number (39%) say they wouldn’t want to meet up with Eagles fans in a dark alley compared to only 15% who say the same about Patriots’ supporters.
“It’s probably good for Philadelphia’s image that not everyone is afraid of their fan base. Nevertheless, it’s wise to steer clear of South Philly during game days if you’re not wearing an Eagles jersey,” said Murray.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from January 28 to 30, 2018 with 806 adults in the United States. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
QUESTIONS AND RESULTS
(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)
[Q1-12 and Q17-18 previously released.]
[Q13-16 and Q19-27 held for future release.]
- How much interest do you have in this year’s Super Bowl game – a lot, a little, or none at all?
21% A lot
34% A little
45% None at all
- Will you be watching the game, will it be on a nearby TV but you will only pay a little attention, or won’t you have the game on at all?
39% Will be watching the game
28% Will be on a nearby TV but will only pay a little attention
31% Won’t have the game on at all
1% (VOL) Don’t know
- Which do you think will be more interesting – the game or the commercials?
5% (VOL) Both equally
8% (VOL) Neither
2% (VOL) Don’t know
- Will you be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles or the New England Patriots, or doesn’t it matter to you who wins?
46% Doesn’t matter
1% (VOL) Don’t know
- Will you be rooting AGAINST the Eagles or the Patriots?
12% Yes, Eagles
39% Yes, Patriots
2% (VOL) Yes, both teams
44% No, neither team
2% (VOL) Don’t know
- Which team’s fans would you be more worried about encountering in a dark alley – the Eagles, the Patriots, both equally, or neither would worry you?
9% Both equally
5% (VOL) Don’t know
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from January 28 to 30, 2018 with a national random sample of 806 adults age 18 and older, in English. This includes 401 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 405 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables