Skip

StubHub Data
October 12, 2012 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Baseball or Football? How Your Sports Choices ... Reveal your Politics. StubHub crunched their ticket data and found that baseball states tend to vote blue and football states tend to vote red. [via PostRoad's very excellent linkblog (nsfw)]
posted by caddis (51 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hockey or death!
posted by edgeways at 10:34 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


That states would lean these ways is perhaps not surprising, but more interesting: "For swing states, as their rankings in BFR changed over the months leading up to the 2008 election, so did the political polling in their state. In other words, when fans started buying more baseball tickets, their state polls showed shifts in Obama’s favor. When they bought more football tickets, McCain’s poll numbers jumped."
posted by caddis at 10:35 PM on October 12, 2012


Violent ground acquisition games such as football is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war. -- Derek Lutz
posted by smcameron at 10:48 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]




Does this mean we should move the elections to July?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:54 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can explain it much more easily: The South is obsessed with football and trends toward Republicans.
posted by Yakuman at 10:58 PM on October 12, 2012 [9 favorites]




I hate sports WHAT ABOUT ME?!

Wait, I'm not American. Sorry. Please carry on.
posted by fatehunter at 11:10 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hello Alex, I'll take "Obvious things about America" for a thousand.

Snark aside, while I'm emotionally involved in both baseball and football, it was apparent to me even as a kid that historically, baseball was all about the Northeast while football was all about the South.

You can fill in the red state/blue state dichotomy yourselves.
posted by Sphinx at 11:18 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm not watching baseball. Doesn't mean I'm going to vote for Romney, though. No amount of rum will get me to do either of those things.
posted by wierdo at 11:51 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


What, really? I thought football was about the Midwest. But I guess I'm a California kid, and I played volleyball in college, so what do I really know about it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:08 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I watch basketball, and I always vote. Graph that.
posted by Cranberry at 12:10 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm voting for Larry Bird.
posted by not_on_display at 12:10 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who is all rah-rah for UofM football, so it's easy to think that, Mars. The UofM/Buckeye thing gets tiresome. (to be fair, my friend is rah-rah UofM in a professional capacity, and otherwise engaged in a professionally social lifestyle/profession).

In general I don't like team sports. Except I can enjoy a baseball game, given good seats in a nice stadium. Some fond memories from Dodger Statium, Los Angeles.
posted by Goofyy at 12:13 AM on October 13, 2012


Okay, so there are three popular leagues in these sports; the NFL, MLB and NCAA football. NCAA baseball is played in the spring, and is much less popular than football anyway.

NFL teams and MLB teams are generally located in large cities, and in fact, mostly the same large cities. To the degree that there is a difference, it's that MLB teams are in larger cities -- there are 30 MLB and 32 NFL teams. There are 10 NFL teams in metro areas under 2.5 million, but only 4 MLB teams. On the other hand, there are 8 MLB teams in metro areas over 7.5 million, and only 5 NFL teams. (There is a 1:1 match for metro areas in the middle.)

NCAA football teams, on the other hand, are frequently located in smaller cities, and many of the most popular teams are in states with smaller populations. In fact, 13 of the top 30 NCAA Div 1 teams for attendance last year were in states without NFL/MLB teams. (For those interested: ALx2, NE, SCx2, OK, IA, OR, AR, UT, KY, VA, WV. MS is 31st.)

So we've managed to learn... that people in rural areas and small cities are more likely to vote Republican? That people in big cities are more likely to vote Democrat?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:02 AM on October 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


If you've never driven through rural Pennsylvania or Ohio on a Friday night (i.e., high school football game night) than you'd know love of that game is hardly a southern thing.
posted by bardic at 1:23 AM on October 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


“So who’s gonna win?”

This is the obvious question. The reason we can’t give a great guess is that the data mirrors current trends, not future ones.


A for effort. Please write back when you've figured out how to mirror the future.
posted by mannequito at 2:17 AM on October 13, 2012


Where's the representation for asportuals?
posted by Peccable at 3:15 AM on October 13, 2012


What sport do Greens like? Soccer? Cornhole? And I'm guessing Libertarians like hunting the poor as sport.

Being from Pittsburgh, my mind works like Steelers=blue collar=labor unions=Democrats. So I get it, but it doesn't feel right.
posted by peacrow at 3:44 AM on October 13, 2012


And, in a solidly high-school basketball state like Indiana, which also has an NFL team, the place is just batshit, teabag insane.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:53 AM on October 13, 2012


One could probably come up with a similar kind of correlation based on regional cuisine and political affiliation. Or regional weather patterns.

Or regional accents. "What your way of pronouncing Mefite says about your politics."
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:16 AM on October 13, 2012


There is nothing but partisan gridlock now and it is destroying our country. It is time for us to unite together and begin playing the sport of footbase.

I'm not sure yet what the rules of footbase are. I think the batter steps up to the plate, hits the ball, and a member of his own team can catch it and run for a touchdown.

Years from now I will be remembered for this invention as the great savior of our country, and my t-shirt royalties will make me rich.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:18 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, one has to wonder why Bo Jackson never pursued a career in politics.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:21 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Baseball is probably my favorite sport, but I always assume other fans are George Will types. Maybe I'm wrong.

If this is poll is true, I bet Wisconsin goes blue this year (poor Packers/Badgers).
posted by drezdn at 4:28 AM on October 13, 2012


I'm still waiting for football to start playing a season which is equivalent to the baseball season. I mean, how can you possibly gather meaningful statistics about which team is the best when you only play 16 games? Plus, if football had a 162 game season, imagine how many more aspirational high school and college football players could be employed, thanks to the need for constant replacements due to injury.
posted by hippybear at 4:44 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


GOOGLE RON PAUL ULTIMATE LIBERTARIAN FRISBEE
posted by Mister_A at 6:34 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The sample 'football' states that they mention tend to not have any pro baseball or football teams (with the exception of Louisiana), but do tend to have big colleges. I'm sort of shooting from the hip here, but that generally means that they're poor, and don't have the market to support professional league sports. That bit of data fits pretty well with the GOP's southern strategy.
posted by codacorolla at 6:41 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like to see a similar study about cycling, broken down by particular disciplines and stuff (I would guess that, e.g. BMX people tend to have different political attitudes than e.g. triathletes). Probably because I just read Mike Magnuson's Bike Tribes.
posted by box at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2012


Considering that college (and to a lesser degree, high school football) is a way to get training costs paid by government, transferring money from the public to the private sector, and show shockingly little concern for the health and well-being of the player/workers, this is... not too surprising.

Baseball at least has the grace to pay for and administer its own training system (for the most part).
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:14 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]



Snark aside, while I'm emotionally involved in both baseball and football, it was apparent to me even as a kid that historically, baseball was all about the Northeast while football was all about the South.


That's true right now, but I don't that historically this is exactly right. Baseball certainly starts as a Northern game, but so does football. Football starts as a college game, played largely in what today is the Ivy League plus a few others in the North, like Rutgers. The Southern universities took to playing football later; they certainly took to it as if they had invented it, but it didn't originate there. By way of example, Harvard's first season is 1873, Alabama's is 1892; the Crimson had a twenty year head start on the Crimson Tide. The first pro teams were established in the North and Midwest, what we'd basically call the Rust Belt today, and pro football is still not hugely popular in the South.

Baseball actually follows a similar pattern, but without the collegiate angle. It starts as a game of Boston and New York (roughly as ESPN covers it in 2012), spreads in fits and starts to the Midwest, and is eventually established as a game that's played (at the major league level) in Midwest/North.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:16 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Soccer (football,futbol,footy etc.) states vote "new world order'!
posted by incandissonance at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2012


Baseball is the thinking man's game.

(I like to remind my baseball-hating husband of this frequently.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:17 AM on October 13, 2012


One of my college professors had this thing he talked about with the shift in national focus from baseball to football as a reflection of national attitudes. The idea is that baseball is less of a specialist game than football; everyone on the field (except the pitcher sometimes) has to play more than one role, learning multiple specializations, and the game isn't timed but goes on as long as it has to. In this way it reflects a more pre-clock, agrarian society where people have to know how to do multiple tasks (as on a farm) and work has to go on for as long as it takes (not a length of time in a work day). Football, on the other hand, is a more modern, assembly-line type of game: everyone has a VERY specific specialization and the game is measured in blocks of actual time. Part of the theory was that attraction to games like baseball was nostalgic.

It's a sort of off-the-wall way of looking at it, but I think the fundamental shift in society that's reflected by our relationship to clocks and time management s one that we can see reflected in our sports.
posted by NoraReed at 8:26 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'll forgive me if I'm not entirely convinced by the analysis of top data scientists from StubHub. Or should I practice more credulity when reading things on the Internet? I'm still new at this.
posted by quadog at 8:31 AM on October 13, 2012


Baseball is the thinking man's game.

Last night, following the end of the (fucking, god damn, piece-of-shit, fuck-this-shit, motherfucking) Nationals game, I drunkenly took out my frustrations on a street sign until I realized that some people sitting on their porch were staring at me.

I'd like to think that that was my contribution to the Great Dialogue of Baseball.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:32 AM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is really great. Thanks for posting.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:39 AM on October 13, 2012


Not sure how much it helps but the analogy is really strange....

Baseball is the essential wealthy get wealthier sport -- no salary cap, teams own their sports networks, teams w/ fans w/ higher per capita income can charge more -- (i.e. even if the Rays had a premier jewel of a stadium right on the Bay, no way they got a population of bankers or the like who are going to pay $800 to sit behind home plate or charge $28 for outfield bleachers like the Red Sox can) -- and in many ways sort of I guess not as socialist as....


football....where one team is actually owned by its community (the Packers), a strict salary cap exists, parity is an expected and appreciated norm, etc.....

Myself, I see how baseball is a more intellectual sport, but it's ruined by letting LA, Boston, NYY and the like spend their way to winning and stay there.

Football, at least, every team sort of has a chance every year and your decisions have to be really careful -- for every team....if the Rays would have signed Crawford to a long term and he performed like he did, it would have shut them out for yours....Boston? trade him to another wealthier team, look for next big free agent....
posted by skepticallypleased at 9:10 AM on October 13, 2012


"In the past 30 years, 20 different teams have won World Series titles, compared to 14 different teams winning the NFL Super Bowl, 13 winning the NHL Stanley Cup and 9 winning the NBA championship. While a top tier payroll increases a team's chances of making the playoffs, it does not guarantee they will consistently win championships."
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:25 AM on October 13, 2012


Being from Pittsburgh, my mind works like Steelers=blue collar=labor unions=Democrats. So I get it, but it doesn't feel right.

I'm from a blue collar Pittsburgh family, and the only Democrats they vote for are blue dogs or the Clintons (because they gutted welfare).

There was a time when they would say a person who makes less than $100,000 and votes Republican is a fool. That was before Barack HUSSEIN Obama was elected.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2012


It's fun to be analytical about sports and their relationship to culture, but they often don't bear the weight we want to give them. We want to see our values reflected in our sports and other people's in their, but like Jack Kemp claiming that soccer was inherently socialist despite European soccer being substantial more free market than the NFL, you often have to ignore a lot of facts to make that work.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:36 AM on October 13, 2012


If you've never driven through rural Pennsylvania or Ohio on a Friday night (i.e., high school football game night) than you'd know love of that game is hardly a southern thing.

Yeah, football is popular many places. But when it comes to high school and college football, when considering the entire region, no place in the U.S. comes close to the South. It's not even close.
posted by justgary at 9:49 AM on October 13, 2012


What's your political leaning if you find the anti-trust exemptions for MLB and the NFL sending DCMA takedown notices for "rebroadcasting" "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent, is prohibited." abusive and therefore want nothing to do with MLB or the NFL?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:22 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


pro football is still not hugely popular in the South.

Yeah, this is why it feels weird to me to put NFL and NCAA football in a single category. My family is basically going to spend the next few months in front of the tv nonstop watching football, but there will be not a single pro game involved, period.
posted by naoko at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2012


If you look at television ratings red states and blue states are football states and there are no baseball states.

Stubhub's stats are as useful as OKCupid's.

Go Giants!
posted by bukvich at 12:40 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's important to remember, in divisive and decisive times like these we find ourselves in today, that all Americans, regardless of faith, color, or creed, must stand united against the ignominious evil that plagues this land, an evil that threatens to undo everything good and just in this our beloved and imperfect republic, everything we stand for as a nation – the designated hitter rule.
posted by Mister_A at 3:56 PM on October 13, 2012


Now we know why two-party politics is so damned boring. Jesus, a choice between two games that don't differ where it counts: not having actual minutes of gameplay in succession.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:41 PM on October 13, 2012


It's important to remember, in divisive and decisive times like these we find ourselves in today, that all Americans, regardless of faith, color, or creed, must stand united against the ignominious evil that plagues this land, an evil that threatens to undo everything good and just in this our beloved and imperfect republic, everything we stand for as a nation – the designated hitter rule The Saint Louis Cardinals.
posted by drezdn at 4:51 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rather than saying "The South loves football and votes Republican", how about connecting the dots instead?!

It''s not so much about professional sports, as it is about the environment that makes the sport ingrained into the culture, and that environment being one that is beneficial to the GOP. And we're not talking about the big teams here, but the real impact of the culture of football, which is far more prevalent in generally non-affluent small towns which put a great amount of emphasis on the local football team, both in terms of defining local heroes/winners/losers, local entertainment, and as a way out of that difficult life, with college scholarships and the like.

It's ironic that the GOP balks at efforts of colleges to bring talented minorities to their campuses, as a way of better representing the local community and offering greater opportunity, but they have never questioned the idea of sports scholarships, which allow admission to substandard students -- as well as numerous perks -- ultimately at the expense of better students who aren't able to attend.

If lawsuits like this are allowed to stand, then I have to wonder whether it could ultimately lead to the current system of sports scholarships coming to an end, as something that is essentially indefensible and biased towards... well... dolts.
posted by markkraft at 7:35 PM on October 13, 2012


Baseball is the thinking man's game.

Baseball is ridiculously simple compared to football. Baseball is all pitching vs batting, and fielders vs runners. A relatively simple football game takes dozens of plays which are learned by the offense and defense, and which are designed to evolve in real-time as the other side reacts. At the NFL level, they work out hundreds of plays that can be called. There's deception, maneuver, strategy - and it all depends on an all-out war in the trenches. And stupid turnovers or crappy special teams play can all change it in an instant. Hell, clock management in football is more complicated than any decision a baseball manager makes.

Of course, baseball fans spend more time thinking about the intellectual aspect of their sport. With football it's easier to get swept away by the visceral side of it, that hard-hitting battle in the trenches. Baseball you think about statistics, since the game is so low-impact they get to play ten times as many games as in football.

But this data is wrong about one crucial thing. The divide isn't between football and baseball, it's between NFL and NCAA football. I bet if you swapped those parameters you'd get a similar but not identical map. In the South and the Midwest you get more love for college teams than for any pro team of any sport.
posted by graymouser at 3:56 AM on October 14, 2012


So whats Cricket?
posted by mary8nne at 9:11 AM on October 14, 2012


Baseball is ridiculously simple compared to football. Baseball is all pitching vs batting, and fielders vs runners. A relatively simple football game takes dozens of plays which are learned by the offense and defense, and which are designed to evolve in real-time as the other side reacts. At the NFL level, they work out hundreds of plays that can be called. There's deception, maneuver, strategy - and it all depends on an all-out war in the trenches. And stupid turnovers or crappy special teams play can all change it in an instant. Hell, clock management in football is more complicated than any decision a baseball manager makes.

All that stuff happens, it just happens over the course of multiple games.
posted by gjc at 11:26 AM on October 14, 2012


« Older Cat + Dog = Fox   |   The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post