Since the New England Patriots have risen to one of the NFL’s elite in 2002, two things have been a constant. Most of America has hated the Patriots. But even as the Patriots have been disliked, Tom Brady has remained popular and maintained a squeaky clean image. His popularity usually hovered well over 50% even after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX over Seattle when an E-Poll Market Research query found 68% liked him while 32% did not.

However, in a more recent E-Poll finding, Brady’s popularity has fallen dramatically to 53% of the 1,000 polled liking him while 47% did not. E-Poll Market Research says that is directly related to the Deflategate scandal and the fact that respondents did not like Brady’s connection to cheating.

The company says the February decline was related to Deflategate and not just spiteful fans of other teams, as many who took the survey then wrote they were troubled about Brady’s skirting league rules regarding air pressure in the footballs.

It’s interesting to note that Brady’s popularity did not drop after his previous three Super Bowl victories. But with the drop, another noteworthy statistic is that his numbers match another athlete who has become rather infamous over the last few years:

Brady’s 53 percent like-to-47 percent dislike ratio is the exact ratio that those surveyed by E-Poll currently gave Tiger Woods.

E-Poll says the normal average for an athlete’s like-to-dislike ratio is 86%-14%. As Brady fights his four-game suspension for deflating game balls, we’ll see if his numbers change. Even with the lower numbers, he remains an endorser of Under Armour and Uggs boots. As for now, Brady is fast becoming Public Enemy No. 1 and more unpopular as Deflategate wears on.

[ESPN.com]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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