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A Majority of Football Fans Favor New Safety Rules

There has been much controversy over the new National Football League helmet-to-helmet contact rules, but a strong majority of professional football fans support these safety penalties.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Professional Football Fans say the new rules that suspend or fine players for helmet-to-helmet contact are good for the sport.  Twenty-seven percent (27%) say the new rules are bad for football, while 11% are not sure.

Although a majority of male and female fans favor the new contact rules, women (67%) are much more supportive of them than men (59%).

While most adult football fans over the age of 30 say the helmet-to-helmet penalties are good for the sport, younger fans are more evenly divided. 

A player in the NFL is subject to a fine or suspension if he uses his helmet, forearm, or shoulder to make initial contact with a defenseless receiver’s head or neck area.  Also, if a player launches into another player’s upper body leading with his head (similar to a torpedo), that too can warrant a penalty. 

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The survey of 3,300 Professional Football Fans was conducted on December 14-15, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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