Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Geography of NFL Fandom

The residents of Seahawks terrain—which stretches from the northernmost Alaskan tundra to the potato fields of central Idaho—won some spiritual victory against the cheeseheads of Packers territory, which consumes all of Wisconsin and some of Michigan’s upper peninsula.

We can be so precise about these geographies of fandom because the Facebook Data Science team just released its 2014 NFL American fandom map. The map shows every American county’s favorite professional football team, as judged by the NFL team that Facebook users in that county have ‘liked’ the most.

The Cowboys rule a lot of land, but they’re not unambiguously “America’s Team.”
The New York Times called the baseball version of the map “unprecedented,” arguing that, for questions like this, there’s no superior data set: “Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook.”

Now we can examine the football version.

More from The Atlantic.

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