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Poll finds fans still love the NFL, but are sick of Goodell


NFL fans still love their football. They don’t love the man who runs the league.

That’s the word from a poll of football fans taken by Marketing & Research Resources for Sports Illustrated. The poll found that despite all the recent news about players’ off-field misconduct, fans aren’t turning away from the league at all. In fact, 32 percent of fans say their level of interest in the NFL has risen compared to last year, while only 9 percent say it has decreased. The rest say their interest remains the same.

But as for Goodell, the fans seem to be tiring of the commissioner. The poll found that only 28.5 percent of fans want him to remain as commissioner. A plurality of 37.8 percent of fans think he should be fired, and 33.6 percent of fans aren’t sure if Goodell should keep his job or not.

The response to the latter question may sound like bad news for Goodell, but the response to the former question demonstrates why the owners are in no hurry to get rid of him. As ugly as the news from the last few weeks has been, the NFL continues to thrive because the paying customers -- the fans -- still love the game. Until Goodell’s unpopularity begins to cost the owners money, the owners have little reason to get rid of him. And right now, Goodell hasn’t diminished the passion of football fans.