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  #1  
Old 02-04-2007, 05:31 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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States without professional sports teams.

I've often wondered what it was like living in a state that has no major professional sports teams. Is there a general feeling of disconnect? Who, for instance, do people living in central South Dakota cheer for during football season? What baseball team do most people in Alabama support?Etc..
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2007, 05:55 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Having been to both SD and AL, I've noticed the South Dakotans usually root for the Minnesota or Colorado teams. Alabamans tend to go towards their Goergia neighbors.

There's lots of states out there though: Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, etc. A lot of those states root for their collegiate teams. Don't discount the importance of local high school or regional collegiate sports for them guys.

Tripler
Yeah, when Minot, ND is five hours away from Fargo or Grand Forks, you tend to focus on the local stuff.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:10 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler
Don't discount the importance of local high school or regional collegiate sports for them guys
I've noticed the couple times I've been in SD that high school baseball was a huge topic in places like Sioux Falls.

But it can also be huge in small towns in states that do have pro sports teams.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:14 PM
Operation Ripper Operation Ripper is offline
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Regarding Alabama, if we are talking football I'd averr it depends on what part of the state you are talking about. The Saints have a big fan base in the south, the Titans are building one in the north and the Falcons have always been a state-wide favorite. No real "disconnect." But, and this is a BIG but, college football trumps all in AL, even when there were pro-football teams active in the state (WFL, USFL, etc.). As far as baseball is concerned, overwhelming Braves fan base, with a little Cardinal thrown in. Pro basketball, hockey fandom is neglible. IMHO.
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:42 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Around here, folks basically root for whomever they want. Seattle and Denver seem to be the most popular, but you'll find fans of any team you care to name. This might be influenced by the fact that this is a college town, so the population comes from rather far-flung places.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:05 PM
percypercy percypercy is offline
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I'm not going to speak for the whole state of Arkansas, but the Razorbacks are pretty popular in my family of TN/AR residents since for the most part the TN people couldn't care less.
-Lil
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:20 PM
CrankyAsAnOldMan CrankyAsAnOldMan is offline
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I grew up in Nebraska. No pro teams there. College football has always been a pretty big deal, although that is partly a function of the team's success (that is, focusing on college teams may not the outlet for our neighbors in, say South Dakota or Wyoming). Some people tend to identify with teams that are reasonably nearby--especially those within reasonable travel distance. I grew up a Royals fan for the sole reason that I went to a few games as a kid. Kansas City and Denver are both pretty close for people in many parts of Nebraska.

I don't know if the lack of pro teams is the reason, but I do know that attendance at local and regional amateur sporting events is heavy. People make a pretty deal out of the college world series in Omaha, for example. I was told that when the NCAA held the Elite 8 volleyball final in my small hometown, they had the best attendance they have had in the history of the tournament.
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:35 PM
MadPansy64 MadPansy64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
Around here, folks basically root for whomever they want. Seattle and Denver seem to be the most popular, but you'll find fans of any team you care to name. This might be influenced by the fact that this is a college town, so the population comes from rather far-flung places.
Twin Bridges MT (pop. <400) seems to have more than it's fair share of Packers fans but otherwise Denver or Seattle, pro baseball and basketball are generally ignored, and Hockey seems split between Calgary & Denver. We do tend to go totally apeshit about 8-man football, girls volleyball and peewee hockey, however.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:41 PM
Operation Ripper Operation Ripper is offline
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In AL, our art even reflects our passion for football.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:52 PM
Laggard Laggard is online now
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How about if you live in East St. Louis which I believe is in Illinois? Do you cheer on the Bears or Rams?
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2007, 08:55 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Many Alaskans root for Seattle teams. (Seahawks, Mariners)
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2007, 09:16 PM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggard
How about if you live in East St. Louis which I believe is in Illinois? Do you cheer on the Bears or Rams?
For East St. Lou the local TV is St. Louis based so I don't think that the river and state line mean much. I grew up in St. Louis and the population within the local broadcast footprint followed the Cards.

I live in the KC area now and the fan base for the Royals and Chiefs (located in KC,MO) is the same way with the Kansas population.

[B]CrankyAsAnOldMan[B] stated what I think is common. If a pro team is within a reasonable travel distance then it probably has the majority of the fn base.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2007, 12:45 AM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Former Oklahoma resident here.

I was always an Oklahoma Sooners fan (hey they used to get paid like professional athletes ). People don't necessarily have a specific favorite pro team... at least not one based on geography.

I like all teams Texas when it comes to the pros, but that's just me.
Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, Stars.
Boo to Astros, Texans, Spurs, Rockets
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2007, 05:53 AM
samclem samclem is offline
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Better suited to IMHO, so let's move it.

samclem GQ moderator
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2007, 06:03 AM
e-bow e-bow is offline
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How about Hawaiians? Is there a general predilection for Southern Californian teams, or is there truly a complete disconnect?
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2007, 06:04 AM
Jurph Jurph is offline
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Most of Delaware's population is in Wilmington, and roots for Philadelphia teams in their favorite sports. However, south of the C & D Canal, the population's roots extend towards Baltimore and Washington D.C. The local accent owes a lot to the Baltimore accent, and most of our tourists are from the D.C. suburbs. So downstate, you've got lots of Orioles and Redskins fans. Most of this is cheering for the same team your dad cheered for, so there aren't as many fans of the Nats and the Ravens.

There are also team "fads" locally - when I was in middle school, I can remember everyone wearing big puffy team jackets for the Raiders, or wearing Chicago Bulls jerseys to gym class. Baseball caps were all stylish but an Oakland A's green-and-gold hat was the thing to have. I don't know much about sports, so this could be due to those teams winning multiple championships against their cross-town rivals, or scoring lots of goals when the other team's batsman lost his nerve and fumbled a hole-in-one.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:07 AM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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Most San Diegans apparently didn't know we had a football team until 2004. Before then, they rooted for the Denver Broncos. If you ever see someone wearing Chargers gear in San Diego, they were probably a Broncos fan four years ago and are currently overcompensating. I try not to associate with these people.
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:17 AM
Only Mostly Dead Only Mostly Dead is offline
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It's an interesting topic.

And I have a follow-up question for it:

What happens to network game telecasts? A lot of times, there is a "local market" priority. It can be rather marked in a place like the stretch of I-95 between Baltimore and DC (where I live), in which affiliates need to choose a team allegiance to broadcast. It helps for football that Fox has the contract for NFC, and Redskins get Fox 5 DC (though not always Fox 45 Baltimore), while CBS holds the AFC contract, so the Ravens get CBS 13 Baltimore (though not always CBS 9 DC). But baseball is a pretty hotly disputed ground for television broadcast, and thanks to Peter Angelos' maneuverings, the Nationals are almost entirely shut out of broadcast, though the Orioles are easy enough to find.

But if there is no local market based on in-state preference, what happens in states like the Dakotas or Oklahoma? Do they default to the nearest geographical team, even if it's a state or two away? Is it a random toss-up on which game they decide to show? Do they just try and show the most interesting match-up each week?
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2007, 10:31 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Two years ago, for their 50th Anniversary, Sports Illustrated did a 50-states theme. Every week, they focused on a different state and one page had a poll as to which is their favorite teams in each major sport. (Stupidly, the California issue had separate polls for Northern California and Southern California - it would have been nice to know which teams get more statewide support.)

I've managed to find it on line. Bearing in mind that this is from 2004 (Washington Nationals still Montreal Expos, Charlotte Bobcats didn't begin until September, Hornets had not yet played in OKC), here's the list.

State - Favorite MLB - Favorite NFL - Favorite NBA - Favorite NHL - Favorite Pro Sports overall
AL - Braves - Titans - Lakers (only 9%, 58% said no fav) - Red Wings (only 3%, 71% said no fav) - Braves
AK - Mariners - Seahawks - Lakers - Devils - Seahawks
AZ - Diamondbacks - Cardinals - Suns - Coyotes - Diamondbacks
AR - Cardinals - Cowboys - Lakers - Red Wings (only 6%, 62% said no fav) - Cowboys
CA(N) - Giants - 49ers - Kings - Sharks - 49ers
CA(S) - Dodgers - Chargers/49ers (tie) - Lakers - Ducks - Lakers
CO - Rockies - Broncos - Nuggets - Avalanche - Broncos
CT - Yankees - Giants - Celtics - Rangers - Yankees
DE - Phillies - Eagles - 76ers - Flyers - Eagles
FL - Marlins - Dolpins/Buccaneers (tie) - Heat - Panthers - Dolphins/Buccaneers (tie)
GA - Braves - Falcons - Hawks - Thrashers - Braves
HI - Giants - 49ers - Lakers - Ducks (only 8%, 57% said no fav) - 49ers
ID - Mariners - Broncos/Seahawks (tie) - Jazz - Avalanche - Mariners
IL - Cubs - Bears - Bulls - Blackhawks - Cubs
IN - Cubs - Colts - Pacers - Blackhawks - Colts
IA - Cubs - Packers - Bulls - Wild (only 7%, 72% said no fav) - Cubs
KS - Royals - Cliefs - Lakers - Red Wings (only 9%, 64 % said no fav) - Chiefs
KY - Reds - Titans - Lakers - (no NHL poll) - Reds
LA - Braves - Saints - Hornets - Stars (only 5%, 68% said no fav) - Saints
ME - Red Sox - Patriots - Celtics - Bruins - Patriots
MD - Orioles - Redskins - Wizards - Capitals - (no Pro Sports overall poll)
MA - Red Sox - Patriots - Celtics - Bruins - Red Sox
MI - Tigers - Lions - Pistons - Red Wings - Red Wings
MN - Twins - Vikings - Tmberwolves - Wild - Vikings
MS - Braves - Saints - Lakers - Red Wings/Ducks (tie) - Saints
MO - Cardinals - Rams - Lakers - Blues - Cardinals
MT - Yankees/Mariners (tie) - Broncos - Lakers - Avalanche - Broncos
NE - Cubs - Packers - Lakers - Avalanche - Packers
NV - Giants - 49ers/Raiders (tie) - Lakers - Avalanche/Red Wings - Raiders
NH - Red Sox - Patriots - Celtics - Bruins - Patriots
NJ - Yankees - Giants - Nets - Devils - (no Pro Sports overall poll)
NM - Diamondbacks - Cowboys - Lakers - Avalanche - Cowboys
NY - Yankees - Giants - Knicks - Rangers - Yankees
NC - Braves - Panthers - Lakers - Hurricanes - Panthers
ND - Twins - Vikings - Timberwolves - Wild - (no Pro Sports overall poll)
OH - Indians - Browns - Cavaliers - Blue Jackets - (no Pro Sports overall poll)
OK - Cardinals - Cowboys - Lakers - Stars - Cowboys
OR - Mariners - Seahawks - Trail Blazers - Red Wings (only 6%, 62% said no fav) - Trail Blazers
PA - Pirates - Steelers - 76ers - Penguins - Steelers
RI - Red Sox - Patriots - Celtics - Bruins - Patriots
SC - Braves - Panthers - Lakers - Hurricanes (only 8%, 64% said no fav) - Braves
SD - Twins - Vikings - Timberwolves - Wild - Vikings
TN - Braves - Titans - Lakers - Predators - Titans
TX - Rangers - Cowboys - Mavericks - Stars - Cowboys
UT - Yankees - 49ers - Jazz - Avalanche - Jazz
VT - Red Sox - Patriots - Celtics - Bruins - Red Sox
VA - Orioles - Redskins - Wizards - Capitals - Redskins
WA - Mariners - Seahawks - Supersonics - Canucks - Mariners
WV - Pirates - Steelers - Lakers - Penguins - Steelers
WI - Brewers - Packers - Bucks - Red Wings - Packers
WY - Rockies - Broncos - Jazz - Avalanche - Broncos
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2007, 11:16 AM
brianjedi brianjedi is offline
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Man, that Kentucky poll must have been taken... actually, I have no idea where it could have been taken.

The Reds are only popular in Central Kentucky, basically, because Western Kentucky is the heart of Cardinal Nation. The Titans aren't really that much more popular than the Rams or Bengals, and I've never met a Lakers fan and I've lived here all my life.

All pro sports are secondary to Kentucky basketball, though.
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2007, 11:26 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Excellent and believable list there, cmkeller, at least as far as TN and AL are concerned. Have any of you seen the online map of fanbases for the NFL teams? I have been unable to locate it again after seeing it several months ago.

It was a USA map with colored areas showing the zones of support for the nearest pro football team. It didn't try to take into account the support or fandom of people outside the geographical area, like somebody in Nashville who was a Jets fan, nor did it extend the coverage out too far from the city where the team is located. For example, the Titans zone didn't get too far south into Alabama, and (as best I can recall) had hardly any showing in Mississippi (which tended to be for the Saints).

As I can remember, the Florida zones for the Dolphins, Jaguars and Buccaneers were fairly small and didn't come close to covering the state.

Anyway, that's a neat map if anybody knows where to find it.
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  #22  
Old 02-05-2007, 12:42 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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brinajedi:

Quote:
Man, that Kentucky poll must have been taken... actually, I have no idea where it could have been taken.

The Reds are only popular in Central Kentucky, basically, because Western Kentucky is the heart of Cardinal Nation. The Titans aren't really that much more popular than the Rams or Bengals, and I've never met a Lakers fan and I've lived here all my life.
Obviously, the list I posted isn't as detailed as the full poll. Your comments are certainly valid: the Bengals are less popular than the Titans by only one percentage point in the poll (14%-13%), and the Lakers' rank is only supported by 12% of Kentuckians, 44% saying they have no favorite (I made such comments for some states, but only when the favorite had less than 10% and it was the only team mentioned in its category.) On the other hand, second to the Reds in baseball is not the Cardinals, but the Cubs. All the page says about the poll area is "Harris Interactive poll, conducted online, of 402 Kentucky residents who identified themselves as sports fans. Margin of error +/- 5%."

Anyone who wants to see more specific breakdowns can go to this page and click their state on the map, then click "See our coverage of this state" on the resulting page.

There's some really interesting stuff there. Probably the biggest surprises for me were that the White Sox are not second-favorite baseball team in Illinois (the Cardinals rank ahead of them), and that Alaskans don't seem to think of the Canucks as their favorite NHL team. (Not a surprise was the non-mention of the Devil Rays in Florida's poll.)
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2007, 01:02 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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I did note on the SI page that "No favorite" actually out-polled both the 49's and the Chargers in SoCal. Most of us would rather ignore football than root for a team from San Francisco.

Last edited by silenus; 02-05-2007 at 01:03 PM..
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  #24  
Old 02-05-2007, 01:09 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Living in New Mexico, It seems like about 25% of football fans follow Denver, another 25% follow Dallas, and the other 1/2 root for take yer pick. At least in Albuquerque, the UNM Lobos have a huge following. I was raised in Denver, and can't recall nearly the buzz over college sports. I suspect that the lack of local major league pro teams results in a lot more support for college sports and minor league teams.
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2007, 01:10 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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This does give rise to a local joke:

Why doesn't Wisconsin have a football team?
SPOILER:
Because if they did, then Minnesota would have to have one, too.
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  #26  
Old 02-05-2007, 05:14 PM
HubZilla HubZilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-bow
How about Hawaiians? Is there a general predilection for Southern Californian teams, or is there truly a complete disconnect?
Niners and Raiders for football. Chargers to a more limited degree. Because of the military transfer population, you find fans of every team, though.

Interestingly enough, there were a lot of Steelers fans for last years Super Bowl. The theory was since so many had grown up in the 70s, lots of people were elementary school fans of the Steelers dynasty.
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  #27  
Old 02-05-2007, 05:47 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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Originally Posted by e-bow
How about Hawaiians? Is there a general predilection for Southern Californian teams, or is there truly a complete disconnect?
I was a big Braves fan up until a couple years ago, which I attribute to TBS showing their games all the damn time. I spent an entire summer watching their games and learning baseball. And to be honest, I loathe or am indifferent to California teams (even though I live there now).

I never really noticed a strong following for any particular teams strictly based on geography. As far as I can tell, Hawaii people rooted for either 1) whoever is really big at the time, 2) whoever we have local ties to, 3) whoever is televised the most locally or at the most convenient times, and 4) no one.

I never really got the vibe that Hawaii was big on American professional sports. We had (have?) an arena football team, but I knew no one who said they watched or cared about them. We have home-grown players and players with Hawaii ties in most professional sports, and there's enthusiasm for them-- they'll get mentioned in the news when stuff happens to them. Hawaii is like that with any local product, though; for a while no one could shut up about Jasmine Trias on American Idol.

Sumo is pretty popular, which isn't really surprising given the number of Japanese people and the fact there are/were 2-3 prominent names with Hawaii ties.

Generally, the strongest enthusiasm is for our college sports-- specifically our football and men's and women's volleyball teams. The other sports, like baseball and basketball, will enjoy occasionally enjoy seasons of popularity, but nothing gets the spotlight like UH football and volleyball.
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  #28  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:02 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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Louisville is obsessed with University of Louisville sports and University of Kentucky sports. Cincinnati's pro teams get a passing glance, but I can't remember being THAT fired up back when the Bengals were competing for Super Bowls. And I think there's some sentiment for the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to having had their Triple-A affiliate for a long spell, but now we've got the Reds' Triple-A affiliate.

Even though we're closer to Indiana than Ohio, we don't pay much attention to Indiana's pro teams. We are barely 100 miles away from Indianapolis, but the coverage of the Colts' Super Bowl victory in the Courier-Journal is kind of modest. It didn't even get the entire front of the sports section. And no one cares about the Pacers.
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  #29  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:05 PM
brianjedi brianjedi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snooooopy
Louisville is obsessed with University of Louisville sports and University of Kentucky sports. Cincinnati's pro teams get a passing glance, but I can't remember being THAT fired up back when the Bengals were competing for Super Bowls. And I think there's some sentiment for the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to having had their Triple-A affiliate for a long spell, but now we've got the Reds' Triple-A affiliate.

Even though we're closer to Indiana than Ohio, we don't pay much attention to Indiana's pro teams. We are barely 100 miles away from Indianapolis, but the coverage of the Colts' Super Bowl victory in the Courier-Journal is kind of modest. It didn't even get the entire front of the sports section. And no one cares about the Pacers.
Oh yeah, Louisville Community College does have sports teams. *snrk*
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  #30  
Old 02-05-2007, 07:25 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjedi
Oh yeah, Louisville Community College does have sports teams. *snrk*
And when was Kentucky's last Orange Bowl berth?
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  #31  
Old 02-05-2007, 10:32 PM
Jplacer Jplacer is offline
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Here in South Carolina, the Braves are by far the most popular baseball team. Their radio broadcasts "cover Dixie like the dew."

In football, the Carolina Panthers hold their training camp in my town and most people are Panthers' fans.

Although, I have noticed that alot of older residents who were born and raised here like the Washington Redskins for some reason.
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  #32  
Old 02-06-2007, 01:35 AM
appleciders appleciders is offline
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Oregon has no pro football team, but there's a fair-to-middlin' Seahawks population, and a lot of people (myself included) have imported their favorites from wherever they moved in from. There's some love for the Niners, too.
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  #33  
Old 02-06-2007, 05:36 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist
This does give rise to a local joke:
Why doesn't Wisconsin have a football team?
That joke might work if you started off with a state that actually doesn't have a team.
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  #34  
Old 02-06-2007, 06:18 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jplacer
Here in South Carolina, the Braves are by far the most popular baseball team. Their radio broadcasts "cover Dixie like the dew."

In football, the Carolina Panthers hold their training camp in my town and most people are Panthers' fans.

Although, I have noticed that alot of older residents who were born and raised here like the Washington Redskins for some reason.
No, man. No way do people care more about the Panthers than they do about college football. I'd be willing to bet that in the vast majority of the South, not just people with no nearby pro teams, college football is totally king.
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  #35  
Old 02-06-2007, 10:29 PM
Jplacer Jplacer is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia
No, man. No way do people care more about the Panthers than they do about college football. I'd be willing to bet that in the vast majority of the South, not just people with no nearby pro teams, college football is totally king.

I was just talking about pro teams.
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  #36  
Old 02-06-2007, 11:04 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jplacer
I was just talking about pro teams.
My point is, it seems to me that people around here don't really care much about pro teams, whether we had one or not.
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  #37  
Old 02-07-2007, 07:13 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
No, man. No way do people care more about the Panthers than they do about college football. I'd be willing to bet that in the vast majority of the South, not just people with no nearby pro teams, college football is totally king.
If taken literally, this statement is essentially true. I'd say it's definitely true in Alabama. I'd be less certain of the typical Tennessee fan, though. There's a fairly strong support for UT's Vols statewide, but the Vandy Commodores don't get a lot of support off-campus. And even the Memphis and Murfreesboro teams aren't all that heavily supported.

At least the Middle Tennessee fans I know of are considerably more Titans fans than college fans, and I suspect (but can't really say for sure) that that support drops off as you go east towards Knoxville. UT is king in the east of the state.

If I had to rank the SEC states in terms of college-vs.-pro fandom, going from highest college to highest pro, as a percentage of statewide football paid support (based on actual attendance at games and not just nominal TV-watching support), I'd start with this list and then adjust it by way of actual data (which I don't know even exists ):

Alabama (no in-state pros to support)
Florida (too many teams to consider, but by far the biggest football state)
Arkansas (this is mostly a guess)
Georgia (Falcons not as big as UGA and Tech combined)
Louisiana (LSU way more than the Saints)
South Carolina (agreeing with Zsofia here)
Tennessee (Titans probably get 40-50% of the state's paying loyalty)
Kentucky (pure guesswork, UK and Louisville aren't as well supported as AL and FL teams)
Mississippi (until Ole Miss and MS State start winning, their fans are pretty blase')

I'd love to hear arguments from residents of SEC states as to how far my guesses miss the mark. As I have tried to say, I can't quote any actual stats, and these are mostly gut hunches. Just trying to respond to Zsofia's comments.
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  #38  
Old 02-07-2007, 07:34 AM
Walkabout Walkabout is offline
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In WV, it's split by region. I grew up in southern WV, and I heard the most about Cleveland teams. In northern WV, there's definitely a lot of support for Pittsburgh teams, and over in the eastern panhandle you get quite a few Redskins fans.
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