The results are in … and man, Hot Air readers really don’t like the New England Patriots. More than 1100 readers took our non-scientific Survey Monkey poll about Peyton Manning and retirement, but the most eye-popping result was on the least-favorite NFL team in the league. Nearly three times as many respondents picked the Pats over the runner-up Dallas Cowboys:

least-fave

Ouch. The Steelers came in fifth and the Jets seventh, neatly taking care of our favorites here on the NFL threads. But seriously … the Ravens don’t get more votes than the Steelers as least liked team? Does Justin Tucker’s rendition of “Ave Maria” have something to do with that? Maybe we can get Antonio Brown to do a quick cover of “Roll Away the Stone” in 2016.

Our respondents mostly agree on one thing — they really like the NFL.

nfl-fans

Nearly 75% of the respondents watch most or all of the games they can. This has a significant selection bias, though, as this poll probably only appeals to those who are already interested in football.

This brings us to the big question:

peyton-retire

Slightly more than 76% believe Peyton Manning should retire, but almost all of those respondents respected Manning’s choice not to overshadow the victory with a retirement announcement. Almost no one thought Peyton should definitely return; only nine respondents chose that option. Twenty percent want to give him space to make that decision for himself, but that’s not exactly a vote of confidence.

Perhaps it’s time for Peyton Manning to go out on top, with 200 wins and two Super Bowl rings, but … we will miss him when he’s gone. And if anyone doubts that, Cam Newton reminded everyone of it in his post-game appearance with the media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCFTAje8x1A

If you’re going to “dab” and dance in the end zone, you have to be able to deal with a loss occasionally, too. Manning sat through a press conference after losing a Super Bowl by thirty-plus points a couple of years ago, and managed to answer questions and act graciously about the loss. Stephen Smith’s right — Newton is a great player with a bright future ahead of him, but he’s still got some growing up to do, too. Maybe he can get Manning to give him some coaching on that.

Update: The original post referred to the Ravens’ placekicker as Justin Tuck. It should have been Justin Tucker; Justin Tuck is a former Giants player. My apologies to both men for the error.