What men are thinking about sports

Sports is a big part of life for many men across the globe, which is why AskMen.com’s 2009 Great Male Survey asked a handful of sports-related questions to our readers. Some of your answers were in line with what we were expecting, while some left us a little surprised. Our questions ranged from quick-rising sports (mixed martial arts) to old favorites (baseball and football) and thousands of you took the time to tell us what you were thinking. So, without further delay, here’s what men are thinking about sports in 2009:

When we asked you if you were an Ultimate Fighting Championship or mixed martial arts fan, 56 percent of you responded negatively, saying it just does not appeal to you. Only 5 percent of our readers felt MMA is too violent for their tastes, while 39 percent do consider themselves to be big fans. Will these numbers increase throughout 2009 and into 2010? We can only guess they will. The UFC is American’s fastest-growing sport and it’s attracting fans in droves. If you’re not a fan this year, perhaps you will be in time for our 2010 Great Male Survey.

We know fantasy football is big on your radar, so we asked who your No. 1 fantasy football pick would be for the upcoming NFL season. Sensational running back Adrian Peterson edged runner-up Peyton Manning in this category, showing that our readers prefer to establish a dynamite ground game before concentrating on their aerial attack. Peterson garnered 39 percent of votes, while Manning took in 30 percent. Also in the running were quarterback Drew Brees (12%), wideout Larry Fitzgerald (11%), bruising back Michael Turner (5%) and underrated receiver Andre Johnson (3%).

When asked about your favorite sporting event each year, a majority of you — 51 percent to be exact — said the Super Bowl is the crown jewel on your calendar. The NCAA Basketball Tournament was tops for 27 percent of readers, while the World Series (13%) and the NBA Finals (9%) rounded out the field. Your votes show that though it’s just one game — as compared to the other choices in this field, which last for an extended period of time — the Super Bowl is unparalleled in popularity.

Sticking with the NFL theme, we asked if gambling factored into your love of football. A surprising 86 percent of you said no, while just 14 percent admitted to putting a few bucks on the line here and there. It’s refreshing to see the love of the game is still paramount to most of you.

Next, we asked if fantasy football factored into your love of the NFL. Just over a quarter (26%) said yes, while 74 percent responded with a resounding no. Now, we know you might not live for fantasy football, but we sure don’t know too many fans who don’t draft a fantasy team sometime prior to opening kickoff.

Lastly, we asked you who you consider the hottest female associated with sports. And interestingly enough, you picked a winner who isn’t even an athlete. A whopping 32 percent of you picked ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, who Playboy called America’s Sexiest Sportscaster in 2007 and 2008. Close on Andrews’ heels was tennis star Maria Sharapova (28%), while racer Danica Patrick (17%), tennis player Ana Ivanovic (13%) and golfer Natalie Gulbis (10%) rounded out the pack.