ESPN Poll: NFC North popularity

Periodically, we come across the results of ESPN's formal polling and research arm. The latest should have some relevance for NFC North fans.

Based on a survey conducted during the first quarter of 2012, all four of our teams were among the 15 most popular teams in the NFL. At the top of the list are the Green Bay Packers, who based on this survey, can claim a higher percentage of NFL fans than every team except the Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile, NFC West colleague Mike Sando tabulated the votes by division and found the NFC North to have a higher cumulative percentage than every division but the NFC East.

None of these results should surprise you. The Packers and Chicago Bears are two of the NFL's oldest franchises, and the Vikings have a five-decade stranglehold on a large region of the Upper Midwest. And if nothing else, last season's turnaround reinvigorated some closet Lions fans. Don't forget, the Lions have been around since 1934.