What we learned from the New England Sports Fan Survey



The Patriots and Celtics have basically rocked this year.

98.5 Sports Hub radio host Michael Felger. Barry Chin / Globe Staff

Longtime Lombardi Trophy collector Bill Belichick remains more popular than any other coach in the Boston market, the improved Red Sox (at least in 2020) failed to gain fan attention, and the Revolution did. of us more football fans than even “Ted Lasso.”

These are just a few of the takeaways from the 10th Annual New England Sports Survey, conducted by Sudbury-based Channel Media & Market Research, which was released Wednesday.

The survey, the results of which usually make sense with only a bewildering result or two mixed up, attempts to gauge fan opinions on Boston sports personalities, topics and issues.

This year, it was generated by an email survey of 16,077 New England sports fans from September 1-7. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent and a confidence level of 98 percent.

Some notables:

The Revolution is gaining ground: Fifty-two percent of respondents rated the performance of Revolution Coach / Sports Director Bruce Arena and Team President Brian Bilello over the past year as excellent or better, the best among the Big Five sports teams. from Boston. That’s a 31 percent increase from last year’s survey. Eighty-five percent of those polled said they believe the Revolution, which is 10 points higher than any other team in MLS this season, has improved for the better rather than staying the same or to get worse.

The Arena club was just a point below the Pigskin Belichicks when fans were asked which team has the best chance of winning a championship in their current or upcoming season. The Patriots were at 28% (get on the train now, I say), while the Revolution came in at 27% and the Bruins at 25%. I could give the Bruins the best chance if they could convince David Krejci to come back to the pre-playoffs.

Ringtone approval: A year ago, when asked about this ultimate slow motion sports radio topic – who was more responsible for the Patriots, Brady or Belichick dynasty? – a don’t make me-chois 37 percent said Brady and Belichick in tandem, 27 percent said Belichick, Brady and Robert Kraft, 20 percent said Belichick and 15 percent said Brady. A year later, those numbers changed a bit after Brady led the Buccaneers to Super Bowl LV victory. Brady-Belichick The Duo is always the first answer (36%), followed by Brady / Belichick / Robert Kraft (24%). But Brady overtook Belichick when respondents picked one person, with Brady up 26% and Belichick up to 13%.

Don’t earn them: Thirty-seven percent said they were following the Red Sox a lot more or a little more than they did last season, while 63 percent said they were following the same number, less or a lot. less than a season ago. This one surprised me how flying balloons have baffled the Red Sox outfielder lately. The Sox have been brutal in 2020, winning just 24 of their 60 games, and the season has unfolded in one of the most difficult times in the pandemic. This year’s squad is a lot more interesting, personable and talented, although they’ve turned into a puddle lately.

Judgement : Sixty-three percent agreed with the decision to release Cam Newton. We may find out on Friday, when he posts a promised video on Instagram, what Cam Newton thinks about the Patriots’ decision to release Cam Newton. Eighty-eight percent said Mac Jones should be the Patriots quarterback. Five percent said bring Newton back. The 2 percent who voted for Jarrett Stidham must stubbornly stick to a take from last year. Michael Bishop has a better chance of being the Patriots quarterback this year than he.

The reverse: The Patriots and Celtics essentially rocked this year when respondents were asked which team has done the most to improve over the past year. In 2020, the Celtics received 45% of the vote, while the Patriots, who parted with a certain Championship quarterback, received 5%. This year? The Patriots, after their spree of off-season spending, hit 46%, while the Celtics got just 8%. I guess signing Jabari Parker in April just wasn’t enough for some people.

Take the picture: Seventy-nine percent agreed that it should be mandatory for professional athletes to be vaccinated. The 15 percent who voted no likely had Fox News in the background when they took the poll. On the list of what fans think are the 10 best things about the sport, No. 1, at 20%, was fans’ return to the sites. (The Bruins’ playoffs were second and the Mac Jones draft Patriots were third. It wasn’t the most eventful year in Boston sports.) I guess we can agree 100 percent hoping let this be the last year that there have been COVID questions on this thing.

Own goals: Robert Kraft regained his crown as the owner believed he had done the best job with his team in the past year (31) percent. The Patriots owner finished first in this category every year from 2012 to 2018, but was pushed back by Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca in ’20. Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs was second this year (22%). This is a huge increase from getting 1% of the vote in 2017. Bruins fans: Does Jacobs really deserve this?

Other scattered revelations: Belichick is undefeated in the category of most admired coach, winning 49% of the vote this year. His peak is 75 percent in 2017. That’s the kind of approval rating that occurs after a 28-3 Super Bowl comeback… The Patriots received one version of an A, including three A-plus , each year from 2012 to 2018 when fans were asked to give them an overall rating for their performance. This fell to a B in 2019, and to a C-plus last season. I bet it goes all the way up to a version of an A again in next year’s survey. … The player Patriots fans would most like to acquire is Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. Dude, if only he had been available when they passed a first-round pick on that Lovett Purnell impersonator N’Keal Harry. (He… was… available? Oh. Oh no.)… Respondents were given seven options, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) when asked if they wished to re- signing Tuukka Rask as Bruins goalie. Each of the options received at least 10 percent of the vote, in case you were wondering if it still remains one of the most polarizing figures in Boston’s recent sporting tradition. The winning number was 6 at 22 percent. … Red Sox fans have said the player they most want to acquire is two-way Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani. He’s a great choice, especially compared to last year’s winner the shameful Trevor Bauer.

Notes to media: On a scale of zero to seven, seven being excellent and zero being, oh, the equivalent of watching Franchy Cordero try to hit a ball that breaks on an endless loop while you’re sleep deprived, 51 percent rated NESN’s additions of Mo Vaughn, Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis to the Red Sox pre-game show as six or seven, while 48% gave the same ratings to hiring Ellis Burks. He’s too formal in the cabin, but I’m not giving up on him yet. … As a media columnist, I get more criticism of the annoying expert Michael Felger than I possibly get from any other person in the market. But ratings remain massive for The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Massarotti” show, and this survey confirms Felger’s hold on the market each year. He was voted Favorite Local TV Personality (28%), Favorite Local Sports Radio Personality (22%) and, along with co-host Tony Massarotti, won the award for Best Local Sports Radio Show (28 %) and Best Local Sports TV Show for its simulcast (24 percent). … The investigation continues to refuse to separate game by game and color analyst into separate categories for whatever reason. Mike Gorman, the voice of NBC Sports Boston Celtics, was first (22%) in the favorite voice or analyst category, while Dennis Eckersley, the NESN Red Sox analyst, was second (21%) and Jerry Remy third. ( 20 percent). Get well soon, Rem. … Ch. 4’s Steve Burton was the Favorite Sports Journalist (18%), Patriots Fifth Quarter on Chs. 4 and 38 was a pre-game / post-game sports TV show, Scott Zolak of the Sports Hub’s Patriots shows was the favorite radio color analyst (30%), Tom Curran’s Patriots Talk on NBC Sports Boston was the favorite podcast (10%), and the signature on this silly piece was named Favorite Sports Writer (20%) and Most Trusted Sports Personality (18%). Checks are not mailed. I would tell you they were, see, if I was less trustworthy.

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