With a 12 percent overall decline this season in NFL's ratings, the big question is what's behind the slide.
A new Seton Hall Sports poll conducted this week contains some hints. It suggests the leading factor may be the national anthem protests sparked by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the song. The survey found that when asking people to identify factors contributing to the ratings drop, an overwhelming 56 percent of respondents cited players not standing for the national anthem.
Even the pollster was surprised by the results. "It suggests people are reacting to something they don't even see, because the national anthem is generally not televised," said Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Program.
But here's the thing: The poll didn't ask people why they themselves aren't watching football games this season, but why they think other people aren't watching football. It's a good example of how the exact questions designed in a poll can affect the results.