A few takeaways from the sixth annual New England Sports Survey, which was released by Channel Media and Market Research Monday.
The survey, the results of which were generated by an email poll of more than 15,000 New England sports fans from Aug. 6 to 14, sometimes leaves me with more questions than answers about what New England sports and media consumers are thinking, but it never fails to be interesting …
Coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl is good for the image. The Patriots have been selected as the most popular team in New England in each of the six years of the survey, no surprise given their staggering success. But their popularity keeps growing. This year, they were named the most popular team by 51 percent of those polled, an all-time high and the third straight year their number has climbed. The Red Sox were a distant second at 24 percent. If someone wants to explain to me how the mediocre Bruins (13 percent) beat out an admirable upward-trending Celtics team (10 percent), I’m listening.
Now that’s an approval rating. Patriots owner Robert Kraft was overwhelmingly chosen as the owner who has done the best job with the team over the last year, at 75 percent. My guess is it would be roughly 98 percent if he didn’t say nice things about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell every now and then. Patriots coach Bill Belichick received 77 percent of the vote in a similar query about team leadership. Bruins president Cam Neely received 3 percent, down 32 percent from three years ago.
Imagine if they weren’t in first place. Good thing managers don’t have to run for re-election, because Red Sox manager John Farrell’s approval ratings are trending the wrong way. In 2013, he received 25 percent of the vote to the question “which coach/manager do you most admire for the way they coach/manage the team?” That number dropped to 19 percent in ’14, 6 percent in ’15, 4 percent last year … and it’s now at 3 percent. Ouch.
If he’s so good, how come he hasn’t traded for LeBron? One percent of respondents rated Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s job performance as poor. That same one percent presumably believes basketballs are stuffed with the delicate feathers of the world’s softest ducklings.
Just because you’re contrarian doesn’t mean you have a clue. Eighty-nine percent of respondents rated the Red Sox’ acquisition of Chris Sale as excellent. The other 11 percent are presumably unaware that Yoan Moncada has struck out in 48 of 100 major-league at-bats so far.
What, no Gary Allenson? In a write-in question asking to name the three greatest Red Sox players, Ted Williams (named on 58 percent of ballots), David Ortiz (54 percent), and Carl Yastrzemski (51 percent) were the top vote-getters. How does Williams not receive at least 90-something percent there? And how did Jim Rice get 10 percent against this competition?
You’re speaking my language. As someone who has been pining for the Red Sox to acquire Giancarlo Stanton since he was still answering to Mike, it’s fulfilling to see that he led the polling (22 percent) to the question “which one player would you like the Red Sox to acquire the most.” Manny Machado (15 percent) was third, which makes me wonder if Dustin Pedroia had a vote here. By the way, the player who won this poll last year was a certain White Sox lefty named Chris Sale. (Also, the correct answer to this question remains Mike Trout, yet he was fourth with 13 percent. You guys don’t watch a lot of Angels games, do you?)
Tedy Bruschi was a great Patriot, but … he’s not going to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, which is why his receiving of 12 percent of the vote to the question “who are the three greatest” Patriots of all-time is an absurd tribute to recency bias given that the Canton-honored Andre Tippett received just five percent. The top three, by the way, were Tom Brady (a ridiculously low 78 percent), John Hannah (43 percent), and Gino Cappelletti (22 percent), who is a glaring omission from the Hall of Fame.
U happy, bro? The opponent Patriots fans most covet for their team is Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman (15 percent). This has to be the first time Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t among the top-five answers to this question.
Rumor has it. When asked which player you wish the Celtics could acquire, the combined totals for LeBron James (10 percent), Anthony Davis (8 percent), and Steph Curry (6 percent) didn’t add up to the percentage for the top vote-getter, Kyrie Irving (28 percent). I know he’s rumored to be on the move, but seriously, guys?
He always brings the cheese. For the second year in a row, Red Sox color analyst Dennis Eckersley was named the favorite television play-by-play announcer or color analyst (25 percent). Take that, David Price. NESN/Bruins voice Jack Edwards was second, with 20 percent. Mike Gorman (9 percent) should be much higher. Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak won the radio version of this question (18 percent).
Picked-up pieces. Nice showing for the Globe columnists in the favorite sportswriter category. Dan Shaughnessy was first (19 percent), while Chris Gasper (16 percent) was second. Yours truly tied ESPN’s Mike Reiss for third (14 percent), which couldn’t be better company.
Familiar Felger. Sports Hub and CSN host Michael Felger was named the favorite personality (19 percent). The Felger and Mazz program was voted favorite radio show (25 percent), while its simulcast on CSN won favorite local sports TV show (20 percent). Someone really should write a profile of this guy.
Follow Chad Finn on Twitter at @GlobeChadFinn.