By now, we’ve seen a slew of reports on polls that reveal how strongly an extended work stoppage would hurt the National Football league. The latest comes from an Adweek/Harris Poll survey of 2,124 American adults:
When Americans were asked how much more or less likely they are, if at all, to watch football when the season begins, two thirds report that they will not be any more or less likely to watch (67%) yet one in five say they will be less likely to watch (19%) with 11% much less likely. Very few Americans will be more likely to watch (4%) and 10% are not sure.
I stubbornly refuse to believe it. I think that people are just bitter and frustrated right now, in the same way that a bad fight causes many of us to feel as though we’re destined to break up with our girlfriends and boyfriends. But time heals all wounds, and the return of football if/when the lockout ends will give fans a chance to regroup and return to stadiums.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has “a feeling that the NFL will shrug at the 19 percent as simply the manifestation of fan frustration that would dissipate instantly once the lockout ends.” Florio thinks the poll is very flawed, and I completely agree.
I am 99 percent sure that about 90 percent of those 19 percent will be watching football on Sundays in the fall. The NFL will have to work hard to win back the few that bail, but this league is as close to bulletproof as RoboCop.