The “almost never lose,” multiple Super Bowl, best coached, best-quarterbacked football team of all time is also the least popular sports dynasty of the modern era, according to a new study. Compared to other teams on the list, its spot at the bottom is well below any other team named by respondents.
The Washington, D.C.-based intelligent data firm Morning Consult surveyed 2,201 people nationwide between January 24 and January 28 and asked them about 12 sports teams that won at least three championships over any six-year period since 1980. The Patriots were the only team that had more people with unfavorable views than favorable.
The other teams on the list included hockey, football, baseball and football franchises. The dynasty with the most favorable grades was the 1991 to 1998 Chicago Bulls, led by basketball great Michael Jordan. Just below the Bulls were the 1990 to 1998 Los Angeles Lakers. Another Laker dynasty, from 2000 to 2002, finished third.
The second conclusion of the study was that the perception of dynasties affects whether people follow them and watch their games. Morning Consult’s conclusion based on survey answers was that:
Sentiment on dynasties was split among the broader population in the survey, with a quarter saying they made sports more fun to watch and an equal share taking the opposing view. Respondents’ level of fandom played a significant role in views on dynasties: 42 percent of self-described avid fans said dynasties made sports more fun to watch, compared with 24 percent of casual fans who said the same.
The Patriots have long been considered the villains of football. Among the reasons is the perception that they are cheaters. This is buttressed by a four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady because the league said he told team staff to deflate footballs, presumably to make them easier to handle and throw. The balls in question were used in the Patriots victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the American Football Conference Championship Game of the 2014–15 NFL playoffs. The Patriots won the game 45 to 7. Brady served his suspension over the first four games of the 2016 season. The team won three out of four of those games. The incident became commonly known as “Deflategate.” The other famous incident, known as “Spygate,” involved the videotaping of a practice of the New York Jets in 2007. The Patriots paid a $250,000 fine and lost their first-round selection of the 2008 draft. Head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.
Morning Consult has a great deal of experience with this kind of research. It currently tracks 3,211 brands, has interviewed 3 million consumers and tracked over 100 million media posts.
A look at the results of the franchise dynasty survey: