While pro football’s ultimate champion will be decided next week, the entire  NFL was a winner in 2011, as the league has never been more popular.

According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive of 1,466 adults who follow at least one sport, 36 percent listed pro football as their favorite sport, which was the highest percentage of votes any sport has received since Harris began asking the question in 1985. Football’s lead over baseball, which was listed by 13 percent of respondents as their favorite, was also the greatest it’s ever been.

In fact, for the first time baseball wasn’t alone as America’s second favorite sport, as college football also garnered 13 percent of the vote. Auto racing came in fourth with eight percent, followed by pro basketball, pro hockey and college basketball, which all received five percent.

[PR Newswire]