Poll: Eagles' popularity falls

The Birds are ranked 13th in the Harris poll, the first time they have been in double digits since 2003. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)

The Dallas Cowboys remain America’s Team, and the popularity of the Eagles nationally is falling, according to a Harris poll released today.

The Birds are ranked 13th, the first time they have been in double digits since being ranked 20th in 2003. The Eagles were fifth in 2004 and 2005 when they were in the Super Bowl and in its aftermath and were seventh last year.

The national poll reflects the responses of 2,620 adults surveyed online from Sept. 14 to 20 by Harris Interactive.
The Cowboys topped the poll for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Indianapolis, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and New Orleans. The Saints jumped 19 spots from last year, the biggest move.

Seattle fell 17 spots to 31 and Tennessee fell 12 places from ninth to a tie for 21st. Jacksonville remained in last place for the fifth time in 6 years.

So, why has the Eagles popularity nationally fallen? One theory is the lack of marquee stars. The Eagles’ biggest name is Michael Vick, and we all know how at least a portion of football fans feel about him.

Even though Vick was with the Eagles last fall, he was not in a prominent role.

“For the casual fans, the knee-jerk reaction will be the change in the quarterback, which for most people, is the face of the franchise,” said Dr. Aubrey Kent, the director of Temple’s Sport Industry Research Center, which is not affiliated with the Harris Poll. “The face of the Eagles franchise right now, is according to the Q score, the most disliked athlete in America.”

Kent said the Eagles will never fall to the bottom, because they are among the “brand names” in “traditonally good football markets.” He added that the volatility of opinion is more about casual fans because “the avid fans are not going to go away.”

“You can’t deny there is a substantial group of people out there who can’t bring themselves to celebrate the success of Michael Vick,” Kent said.

The survey found that 53 percent of Americans said they follow football, a slight increase from last year (51 percent).
As for predictions, 20 percent of those who follow pro football predict the Saints will repeat.

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