Bryant Leaps to Share No. 1
Bryant, who was ranked fourth overall in 2009, jumped to share the number one spot with Woods, who held the top spot by himself in 2009 (before his personal scandal broke in November 2009). Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA championship in June 2010.
Football, Basketball Players Dominate Top 10
Rounding out the top five are New York Yankee Derek Jeter at number three, up from fifth place; Minnesota Viking Brett Favre at number four, a leap from his ninth place position last year; and this season’s losing Super Bowl quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts at number five, up from seventh place last year.
Looking at the rest of the top 10, basketball player LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami and dropped three spots to number six on this year’s list while another NBA superstar, but one who no longer plays, Michael Jordan, dropped from the second spot on the list to number seven this year. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returns to the list after a one-year absence at number eight and the winning quarterback from this year’s Super Bowl, Drew Brees, debuts at number nine. Finally, a NASCAR superstar, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is at number 10, down from number eight last year.
Two stars dropped off the top ten this year: another NASCAR legend, Jeff Gordon, dropped from number six and baseball great Albert Pujols dropped from number 10 last year.
In total, four football players and three basketball players are on the 2010 top 10 sports star list, along with one representative each from the sports of golf, baseball and auto racing. It is interesting that golf and baseball each have a player in the top three, while the highest-ranked football player made number four.
Men, Women, Generations Split on Number One
Different groups have their different favorites. For men, Woods is still number one, but for women it’s Bryant. There are also generational differences. Both Echo Boomers (those 18-33) and Baby Boomers (those 46-64) have Kobe Bryant as their number one, while Gen Xers (those 34-45) say it is Brett Favre and Matures (those 65 and older) stick with Tiger Woods.
Football Runs Up Score with Sports Fans
Professional football is favored by a wide margin among sports fans who follow more than one sport, according to a poll earlier this year from Harris Interactive.
Of those who follow one or more sport, more than one-third (35%) say professional football is their favorite, an increase of four percentage points from last year. Baseball comes next, favored by 16% of sports fans, trailed by college football, with a 12% number-one rating. Both of these percentages remain unchanged from last year. However, football, which led baseball by 15 percentage points from 2006-2008, widened its lead to 19 percentage points in 2009.
About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States June 14-21, 2010 among 2,227 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.