While its methodology can be questioned, its results are generally accepted.
BetOnline.ag, an online sports gambling site, says it analyzed Twitter posts immediately after Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games to track which team fans would be rooting for in next Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The not-so-surprising result? The majority of Americans would prefer to see the New England Patriots lose Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The website tracked hashtags and phrases like #flyeaglesfly, #goeagles, #gopats, #gopatriots and so on to calculate which team a user was rooting for.
The final tally found 438,070 tweets were in favor of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, with only 126,230 siding with the Patriots.
As lopsided as that number is, an even more stunning study of those figures shows just how united the country appears to be in its anti-Patriots sentiment.
The website not only tracked the hashtags, it also tracked the geotags of the tweets to determine state-by-state rooting interests.
Let’s just say the map of the final results looks as lopsided as Ronald Reagan’s victory over Walter Mondale.
Only five out of 50 states have the majority of their fans rooting for the Patriots. Not surprisingly, four of those states are in the New England region — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine.
The other state whose Twitter users are pro-Patriot? North Dakota.
Yes, the same state that is the home of Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz. Of course, Wentz isn’t playing in the game, and many North Dakota residents are loyal to the Minnesota Vikings, who were humiliated by the Eagles in the NFC title game. So it would be safe to assume North Dakotans are rooting against the Eagles more than they are pulling for the Patriots.
But that theory seems to go out the window when you look at the results from Minnesota, which had 2,300 tweets posted in favor of the Eagles, with only 950 for the Patriots.
Again, this is far from a scientific poll, but you don’t need to be a meteorologist to detect the anti-Patriot sentiment in the air.
Nobody denies the greatness of a team that makes it to eight Super Bowls in 17 years and has won five of those contests.
While fans may not care or realize they are witnessing one of the greatest runs of success in all of professional sports, if your team isn’t the one basking in that success, you don’t want to see fans of some other team doing it. (Of course it also doesn’t help the Patriots that they were involved in the “Deflategate” and “Spygate” scandals and many fans believe they get favorable treatment from officials.)
So just like most sports fans cringe at the thought of the San Antonio Spurs winning another NBA title, the Yankees winning a World Series or Alabama winning another championship in football, New England has become “America’s Team” for a different reason — the team most people will cheer against, not for.
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