The usefulness of Facebook has reached a new peak.
Facebook has published a very colorful map of the United States that shows which NFL team is favored by the most Facebook users in every county in the country based on the number of “Likes” each team has. This is HUGE news in the never-ending search to determine who really is America’s team.
What the map reveals is the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys own the hearts of huge swaths of the country, and that Florida is a complete mess in terms of its NFL allegiances.
The Facebook Data Science team also released a baseball team map, which we will discuss in a bit.
From the NFL map, we learn that the newest champions the Seattle Seahawks are the favored team of all of the state of Washington, most of the state of Oregon and Idaho, and the western most part of Montana. In the south of Oregon, allegiances switch the northern California representative San Francisco 49ers, who claim almost all of the state of California.
For some reason, there is a block of Raiders fans south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego, where the Chargers rule.
Heading east from the west coast, there is a huge contingent of Denver Broncos fans that reach from northern New Mexico to the Canadian border. The Cowboys own all of Texas except the Houston area, which has the Texans to root for, and the majority of New Mexico. The Cowboys also rule all of Oklahoma, most of Arkansas and a huge chunk of Nevada, including Las Vegas.
The Minnesota Vikings own the hinterlands, including almost all of North Dakota, a portion of South Dakota, and northern Iowa.
Heading south, the New Orleans Saints are favored in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
East of the Mississippi, most states go along the lines of the teams in that state, until you get into New England, where the Pittsburgh Steelers claim a lot of territory (keeping in mind that the state of Pennsylvania claims a lot of territory by itself).
The New England Patriots, who had the wisdom to name themselves after a region rather than a state or city, are the most popular team in all of New England.
Then there is Florida. With all of the snowbirds and retirees living there, the NFL allegiances are all over the map, in a manner of speaking, even though the state hosts three NFL teams itself in the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There is one team that did not show up at all on the NFL map. I will fill you in on that at the conclusion of this article.
The baseball map is depressing unless you buy into the New York Yankees mystique. While every team is represented in small pockets (the Chicago White Sox area is surrounded by Chicago Cubs fans) the Yankees pop up in all of the places that don’t have a local team for whom to root. Especially in the Great West states like Montana, Idaho and Nevada, there are huge pockets of Yankees fans. New Mexico, for some reason, is almost entirely Yankee rooters.
The baseball map is far more fragmented than the NFL map, although the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves reach across regional borders. The San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners have a boundary in Oregon just as the NFL representatives did.
Facebook gets increasing amounts of criticism for its data collection, but I’m not sure who is hurt when they find out which sports team you “like.” These map collections are fun for arguments and bar conversations, and can kill an hour at work if nobody is watching.
And now back to the NFL team which owns no county. It also owns no stadium, not on its own. The New York Jets are the only team not represented on the Facebook NFL Map.
See? Useful information.