Harris Poll: Dolphins 10th most popular NFL team

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are regaining some of their lost fan base after a decade of mediocrity, according to a new Harris Poll. The annual poll, which ranks the NFL teams based on fan popularity, has seen the Dolphins move back into the top ten.

According to a new Harris Poll, the Miami Dolphins are the tenth most popular team in the NFL, moving up three spots from the 2011 version of the poll.  The poll was conducted online September 18-24 and is based on the responses of 2,577 US adults.  The poll is an annual survey, starting in 1998, but was not taken in 2012.

This marks the first time the Dolphins have been in the top 10 since a ninth place ranking in 2003.  The team was ranked the sixth most popular NFL franchise in 1998 and again in 1999.  They have been as low as a tie for 21st in 2010.

Obviously, the rankings for Miami follow the trend of the last decade for overall season records.  As the team has crumbled from the end of the Marino era in 1999 through the past four losing seasons, the longest such stretch in team history, the popularity of the team has mirrored the downfall.  Now, as there appears to be hope around the team, the popularity ranking has, once again, begun to climb.

The teams ranking ahead of the Dolphins are the Dallas Cowboys (who have been the top ranked team every year since 2007 and in nine of the 13 editions of the poll), Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles.  For the rest of the AFC East, the New York Jets are 15th while the Buffalo Bills are 28th.

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