ESPN SPORTSNATION ANALYSIS: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PROFESSIONAL SPORT?
Q: What is your favorite professional sport?
The SportsNation polls on ESPN are interesting but ephemeral. They disappear without warning. But if one looks at the map of how different states vote there are some interesting revelations. Here is our first indepth look at a "SportsNation poll".
The NFL is popular in every state, only outpolled by baseball in Vermont. Even in baseball-mad New England and New York, the NFL still comes out on top.
I. BASEBALL'S STRENGTH
42%: VERMONT (NFL 38%)
42%: CONNECTICUT (NFL 44%)
41%: RHODE ISLAND (NFL 45%)
40%: NEW HAMPSHIRE (NFL 45%)
39%: MASSACHUSETTS (NFL 46%)
37%: MAINE (NFL 43%)
37%: ILLINOIS (NFL 47%)
36%: NEW YORK (NFL 45%)
36%: MISSOURI (NFL 50%)
31%: IOWA (NFL 56%)
29%: CALIFORNIA (NFL 46%)
The Northeast, California (barely) and portions of the Midwest are MLB's strength. But, in places like New York and New England, the NFL is surprisingly stronger. California is an interesting study. Los Angeles is home to the Dodgers and Angels who consistently have a higher combined attendance than the Yankees and Mets. LA does not have a NFL team. Yet, the NFL has a 17 pt lead in MLB's 11th best state in terms of support.
II. NFL'S WIDE POPULARITY
In a landslide reminiscient of Ronald Reagan's 1984 victory, the NFL carries 49 states. Predictably, the Deep South is a base of support but there are states in the Rust Belt and Big Sky parts of the West that are even bigger NFL proponents.
66% SOUTH DAKOTA
63% NORTH DAKOTA
61% NORTH CAROLINA
57% SOUTH CAROLINA
As you can see the Deep South states are not rabid NFL fans. Every region is represented on this list except the Northeast (as noted above) and the far West.
10% NEW YORK
10% NEW JERSEY
This Deep South state only has 54% for the NFL. That's because of the popularity of the NBA (10%) and NASCAR (8%) is highest in its region.
Despite its rich tradition of baseball teams, the NFL (60%) is huge.
They love their NFL Chiefs (65%)
They love their NHL Red Wings (13%)
The NHL Avalanche (11%) enjoy relatively strong support