da fans

well, it’s super bowl sunday again! time for lots of pizza & beer, really expensive tv commercials, and for hbd chick to wonder why. why, why, WHY?! why are you all watching a bunch of grown men running around after a ball? (~_^) speaking as an outsider (i.e. not a sports fan), it all looks really weird. (and it might just be w.e.i.r.d. see below.)

srsly. i really don’t get it. i mean, i can sort-of understand people who play sports (although i’ve never been interested in that myself), and i can sort-of get wanting to see a top athlete(s) do their amazing thing — like watching usain bolt sprint at super-human speeds — occasionally. like once. or maybe twice. but every week? or multiple times a week? i’m sorry, but i just don’t understand the whole spectator thing.

last year i wondered why people root for local professional sports teams even though most of the players aren’t local. (why the loyalty?) several readers (and fellow twitter-heads) attempted to explain it to me — thanks for that! (^_^) but, to be honest, i still don’t get it. (don’t worry. it’s not something i lose sleep over anymore.)

this year, i thought i’d see if i could find out who sports fans are. (fans of professional sports.) maybe that’ll shed some light on my whole “why sports?” question. lots of info out there on this very topic. here’s some of it…

from reuters:

“NFL: Last sports bastion of white male conservatives”

“Of people who identified themselves as part of the NFL fan base 83 percent were white, 64 percent were male, 51 percent were 45 years or older, only 32 percent made less than $60,000 a year, and, to finish the point, registered Republicans were 21 percent more likely to be NFL fans than registered Democrats. Another factoid: NFL fans were 59 percent more likely than the average American to have played golf in the last year….”

hmmmm. well, i don’t play (or like to play) golf. maybe that explains why i’ve never watched a super bowl game. (~_^) (in fact, i think i’ve only ever seen one *full* american football game.)

from the atlantic, here’re some stats on the fanbases of other sports:

sports - nba mlb demo

sports - nhl nascar demo

so, sports fans — mostly men (no surprise there), very white (except for in basketball), and football and hockey attract the whitest and wealthiest fans (those two attributes are, perhaps, not unrelated).

from vox, here are some possible american nations maps for jayman (~_^)…

the fanbases of football teams:

sports - american nations - football

baseball:

sports - american nations - baseball

basketball:

sports - american nations - basketball

and a hockey tweet map (proximity to canada!):

sports - american nations - hockey tweet map

jumping over to europe for a sec, here again from vox, a map of the percentages of football (soccer) fans attending professional matches. i hope that at this point i don’t have to draw the hajnal line for you (~_^):

sports - europe - football fans

the distribution of dedicated football fans in europe appears to coincide pretty well with the distribution of those who like to get out and play amateur sports themselves (from this previous post):

wvs - membership voluntary organizations - averages

maybe sports fans are w.e.i.r.d.? that IS what i’ve thought my whole life. (~_^)

sorry i don’t have any data here for sports fans in the rest of the world. ‘fraid i’ve exhausted my limited interest in sports for this year. more next february! (^_^)

previously: the home team

(note: comments do not require an email. or a golf handicap!)

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the home team

here’s something i don’t get — and have never understood to be perfectly honest with you: why are, for instance, the seattle seahawks and the denver broncos called the seattle seahawks and the denver broncos when NONE of the players are from either seattle or denver?

i know none of them are, because i checked the players’ bios on wikipedia [these are the “active” players on the teams’ rosters]. here’s where they were all born/raised:

seattle seahawks:
Tarvaris Jackson – Montgomery, AL
Clinton McDonald – Jacksonville, AR
Zach Miller – Tempe, AZ
Richard Sherman – Compton, CA
Heath Farwell – Fontana, CA
Benson Mayowa – Inglewood, CA
Derrick Coleman – West Los Angeles, CA
Caylin Hauptmann – Los Angeles, CA
Brandon Mebane – Los Angeles, CA
Walter Thurmond III – Los Angeles, CA
Bobby Wagner – Los Angeles, CA
Marshawn Lynch – Oakland, CA
Robert Turbin – Oakland, CA
DeShawn Shead – Palmdale, CA
Paul McQuistan – San Diego, CA
Malcolm Smith – Woodland Hills, CA
Doug Baldwin – Gulf Breeze, FL
Cliff Avril – Jacksonville, FL
Ricardo Lockette – Albany, GA
Bruce Irvin – Atlanta, GA
James Carpenter – Augusta, GA
Chris Clemons – Griffin, GA
Max Unger – Kailua-Kona, HI
Michael Bennett – Avondale, LA
Lemuel Jeanpierre – Marrero, LA
Breno Giacomini – Cambridge, MA
Steven Hauschka – Needham, MA
Kellen Davis – Adrian, MI
J.R. Sweezy – Mooresville, NC
Russell Wilson – Cincinnati, OH (Richmond, VA)
Alvin Bailey – Broken Arrow, OK
Michael Bowie – Tulsa, OK
Luke Wilson – LaSalle, Ontario
Jordan Hill – Harrisburg, PA
Jon Ryan – Regina, Saskatchewan
O’Brien Schofield – Camden, SC
Tony McDaniel – Hartsville, SC
Byron Maxwell – North Charleston, SC
Golden Tate – Hendersonville, TN
K.J. Wright – Memphis, TN
Christine Michael – Beaumont, TX
Clint Gresham – Corpus Christi, TX
Mike Morgan – Dallas, TX
Russell Okung – Fort Bend, TX
Red Bryant – Jasper, TX
Earl Thomas – Orange, TX
Jeremy Lane – Tyler, TX
Percy Harvin – Chesapeake, VA
Kam Chancellor – Norfolk, VA
Michael Robinson – Richmond, VA
Bryan Walters – Bothell, WA
Jermaine Kearse – Lakewood, WA
Chris Maragos – Racine, WI

denver broncos:
Chris Kuper – Anchorage, AL
Duke Ihenacho – Carson, CA
Sione Fue – Lodi, CA
Ronnie Hillman – Long Beach, CA
Winston Justice – Long Beach, CA
Malik Jackson – Los Angeles, CA
Omar Bolden – Ontario, CA
Aaron Brewer – Orange, CA
Julius Thomas – Stockton, CA
Virgil Green – Tulare, CA
C.J. Anderson – Vallejo, CA
Mitch Unrein – Eaton, CO
Terrance Knighton – Hartford, CT
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Bradenton, FL
Tony Carter – Jacksonville, FL
Kayvon Webster – Miami, FL
Andre Caldwell – Tampa, FL
Champ Bailey – Folkston, GA
Wesley Woodyard – LaGrange, GA
Demaryius Thomas – Montrose, GA
Jeremy Mincey – Statesboro, GA
Joel Dreessen – Ida Grove, IA
Brock Osweiler – Coeur d’Alene, ID
Marquice Cole – Hazel Crest, IL
Orlando Franklin – Kingston, Jamaica
Montee Ball – McPherson, KS
Jacob Tamme – Lexington, KY
David Bruton – Winchester, KY
Chris Clark – New Orleans, LA
Peyton Manning – New Orleans, LA
Trindon Holliday – Zachary, LA
Eric Decker – Cold Spring, MN
Sylvester Williams – Jefferson City, MO
Robert Ayers – Jersey City, NJ
Nate Irving – Newark, NJ
Mike Adams – Paterson, NJ
Knowshon Moreno – Bronx, NY
Zac Dysert – Ada, OH
Matt Prater – Mayfield Heights, OH
Danny Trevathan – Youngstown, OH
Steve Vallos – Youngstown, OH
Wes Welker – Oklahoma City, OK
Steven Johnson – Media, PA
Shaun Phillips – Philadelphia, PA
Brandon Marshall – Pittsburgh, PA
Britton Colquitt – Knoxville, TN
Quentin Jammer – Angleton, TX
Louis Vasquez – Corsicana, TX
Manny Ramierz – Houston, TX
Michael Huff – Irving, TX
Paris Lenon – Lynchburg, VA
Vinston Painter – Norfolk, VA
Zane Beadles – Casper, WY

see? no one from either seattle or denver. the only guy who might arguably be described as being from seattle — and he plays for seattle, too — is bryan walters who is from bothell, wa, which, wikipedia tells me, is in the seattle metropolitan region. if i were feeling generous, i’d count him as being from seattle. maybe i will. i’ll think about it. (~_^)

again, i have to admit that i just don’t get it. must be my ass-burgers. WHY are the teams named for the cities even though (almost) none of the players are from those cities? i say just get it over with and call the teams the “microsoft seahawks” or the “regent drilling broncos.” or even just the red and blue teams. either of those options would be more honest, afaics.

also, more interestingly (to me anyway), is WHY do people from seattle and denver identify with these players with whom they share no connection — except for the fact that they transfer some of their wealth over to the players (via the owners who, of course, keep a lion’s share of that wealth)? i understand that it has to do with innate feelings of “tribalism” — wanting to belong to and identify with a group — but, well, i guess i have a hard time comprehending the appeal of artificial groups like this.

what DOES make sense to me (as far as any sports game could) are sporting events built around real groups — groups of people that have some sort of ties to one another:

– ashbourne’s royal shrovetide football match where the game is between the town’s “up’ards” and “down’ards,” i.e. individuals actually born in the town to the north or the south of the local river.

kabaddi in india and pakistan which is — or was traditionally, anyway — played between “the young males of the rival clans or villages fighting it out in sport” [pg. 165].

– i think that buzkashi, too, was traditionally played by rival clans/tribes, but don’t quote me on that because i can’t recall where i read that. it might not be the case anymore either. (btw, see this cool article!: Buzkashi: Experiencing the World’s Deadliest Sport – h/t t.greer!)

the professionalism rot set in early in american football. according to wikipedia, one of the first american football teams — the latrobe athletic association established in 1895 — was originally played by local amateurs from latrobe, pennsylvania:

“In 1895 the local Latrobe YMCA organized a local football team and announce that the team play a formal schedule. With the decision, Russell Aukerman, an instructor at the club and a former Gettysburg College halfback, was named as a player-coach. Meanwhile, David Berry, an editor-publisher of a local newspaper, the Latrobe Clipper, was chosen as the team’s manager. Harry Ryan, a former tackle from West Virginia University, was then elected as the team’s captain. The then team began to conduct daily practices in early August. Since many of the players held jobs unrelated to football, those men working different shifts were accommodated with evening drills when they could not attend regular sessions in the afternoon. Their practices were held on a vacant Pennsylvania Railroad lot at the corner of Depot and Alexandria Streets, which was lit at night by a street light.”

two years later, the entire team was made up of professional paid football players who hailed from all over the country. *sigh*

so, what do i know? nuthin’ apparently. guess the only thing i can say is: go bears?! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. da bears!)