The NFL is the rare thing that brings all Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- together

    The NFL is the most popular sport in the US -- and it isn't even close.

    (CNN)Almost everything in our world today is divided along political lines. Whether it be something as important as a life saving vaccine or something as simple -- and you would think would be non-partisan -- as what TV programs people watch or jeans people wear, everything seems to be polarized along partisan lines.

    That's what makes the NFL standout. While the NFL should perhaps worry about the youngest of fans, football is by far the most popular sport in America. It's a sport whose popularity cuts across political and racial divides.
    Witness the ratings for the Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers playoff game on January 16. More than 41 million people on average tuned in for the game, while 50 million saw the Cowboys lose on one of the most atrocious play calls I can ever recall. This was, of course, merely a first round playoff game.
      49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looking to pass against the Dallas Cowboys.
      To put that 41 million in perspective, the most highly-rated, non-football television broadcast in 2021 had a little less than 34 million people tune in. Keep in mind that program -- the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris -- was broadcast across more than a dozen channels.
        And while most of television is struggling to keep viewers in the streaming era, the NFL has actually been gaining viewers this year. Over the course of 2021, 75 of the top 100 programs were NFL games.
        But this isn't just about television ratings, it's about interest at large.

        The NFL is king in the US

          A 2021 Ipsos poll asked American adults whether they were fans of a sport or not. A majority (51%) said they were fans of professional football.
          No other sport (pro baseball, pro basketball, pro hockey, pro soccer, college basketball or college football) even cracked the 40% mark. In fact, only pro baseball and college football even broke above 30%.
          Pro football is the only sport that a majority of Americans (51%) said they were fans of.
          While different pollsters have found differing levels of support for professional football -- depending upon question wording among other factors -- it's the top sport in any poll.
          Moreover, there's no sign that pro football's popularity has waned when examining Ipsos polling.
          In 2007, the same 51% of American adults said they were a fan of pro football.