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Who is Really America's Favorite Football Team?
February 1, 2013 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Deadspin scrutinizes the Dallas Cowboys' claim of being "America's Team"
posted by Renoroc (49 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dallas used to be good but now are increasing irrelevant, they just bought a giant HDTV, and their cheerleaders are doing a reality show. Yep that's America.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Once "American Football" becomes an international sensation where every nation in the world has one team that it sends to the Mega World Championships, only then could America claim to have a "Favorite" team. Fuck the Cowboys and anyone who buys into this stupid crap. The team sucks anyway!
posted by ReeMonster at 12:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well I didn't vote for them.

I also think having an official team is a terrible waste of resources. At the next bi-weekly meeting I'm going to offer a proposal instructing the executive officer of the week to conduct a special investigation as to whether having an official football team is really necessary.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:50 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows the Cowgirls jumped the shark in the 80s when someone re-wrote "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" to be about football.

(Man having a hard time googling that one up, unfortunately)
posted by k5.user at 1:01 PM on February 1, 2013


I just figured that if the Cowboys can't earn the title of "America's Team" through popular support they'll just get the Supreme Court to declare it.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:03 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


No coincidence to me that the smaller-market teams seem to dominate the "percent of loyal fans near hometown" metric.

If you live in Houston, there's a decent chance you grew up somewhere else, and your football affiliation is not a foregone conclusion. But far fewer people move to New Orleans or Buffalo or Pittsburgh these days, so if you're a football fan from one of those cities you're far more likely to have grown up there.
posted by savetheclocktower at 1:07 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can be "America's Team" and still be terrible.
posted by HostBryan at 1:09 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


*Looks skyward, rending garments* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on February 1, 2013


they just bought a giant HDTV

I have no idea why I'm defending the Dallas Arlington Cowboys, but both that article and the TV are from 2009.
posted by item at 1:13 PM on February 1, 2013


Say what you want, but that's some righteous beanplating.
posted by notyou at 1:14 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The facebook graphic posted the other day was unambiguous. Dallas fandom spans more square miles than any other team and it isn't especially close. Number of fans?

My money would be on the New York Giants.
posted by bukvich at 1:14 PM on February 1, 2013


Typos in the bar graph: "Dalls," "San Franciso," "San Dieo."

Yet somehow they managed to get "Cincinnati" right.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suppose this pretty much lays out exactly where I fall when it comes to football fandom, but I am a resident of Texas and until I just now read (well, skimmed) that article, I had absolutely no idea that there is a team called the Texans.
posted by item at 1:21 PM on February 1, 2013


...or that there is no longer an Oilers.
posted by item at 1:23 PM on February 1, 2013


...or that there is no longer an Oilers.

You probably just saved me from a faux pas. Mind you, it might distract people from telling the story of the time I referred to the team's uniforms as "costumes".
posted by benito.strauss at 1:26 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had absolutely no idea that there is a team called the Texans.

...or that there is no longer an Oilers.


The Texans are a whole decade old, apparently, and there hasn't been a Houston Oilers for almost 20 years now, nor any Oilers at all for 15. (Except in Edmonton, where the real Oilers continue to exist.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2013


Pittsburgh.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:45 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the Bills are Canada's favourite NFL team since they go play in Toronto once a year. Does that help?
posted by GuyZero at 2:38 PM on February 1, 2013


I think the Bills are Canada's favourite NFL team since they go play in Toronto once a year. Does that help?

Not the case outside the GTA. BC's got quite a lot of Seahawks fans, the rest of the prairies are all over the place (Packers, Vikings, Steelers, Giants, you name it) and I think there's probably a disproportionate number of Patriots fans in Atlantic Canada since lots of them are Red Sox and even Bruins fans already.

My parents (Nova Scotia/Ottawa) were Cowboys fans for some reason, and I grew up worshipping in the church of Tom Landry. Meeting Tony Dorsett in person (at a suburban Denver shopping mall, where he was shilling for Lee jeans) was the highlight of my childhood to that point. The Jerry Jones era has mostly cured me of the Cowboys affliction, though.
posted by gompa at 2:47 PM on February 1, 2013


lol, man, the Jets just can't get a break.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:47 PM on February 1, 2013


The only team worth calling "America's team" is the Green Bay Packers, whose city-based ownership so offended the rich dudes who run the NFL that they changed the rules so it can never happen again.

Also, they are memorably included in this MST3K montage. PACKERS!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:54 PM on February 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


In Philadelphia, America's favorite team is any team playing against Dallas.
posted by three blind mice at 3:08 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dallas may or may not be America's Team(tm) but I know this much: They ain't the Super Bowl's team. Once you get past 10-15 years, you can't live off that glory anymore.
posted by azpenguin at 3:13 PM on February 1, 2013


Good point about the Packers.
posted by BeeDo at 3:17 PM on February 1, 2013


The Pittsburgh Steelers are really America's team, because they have the most fans living other places than their home city, and because they aren't arrogant enough to call themselves America's team. And also because, back when the Cowboys were any good, the Steelers would regularly clean their clock.
posted by tommyD at 3:26 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I may not like the result but I can't argue with the methodology. Not many more American ways to decide than to pick the winner of a plurality in a series of winner-take-all contests held in various geographical districts across the nation.
posted by ckape at 3:50 PM on February 1, 2013


back when the Cowboys were any good, the Steelers would regularly clean their clock

Not when it counted most.
posted by gompa at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2013


I thought the way they blithely asserted that Facebook "likes" are a better metric of fandom than TV ratings was interesting.
posted by TedW at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2013


Having grown up in Dallas during the 90s Super Bowl era, I like the Cowboys. Seeing the blisteringly irrational response they seem to engender in others makes me like them even more.
posted by rosswald at 4:25 PM on February 1, 2013


Seems like jersey sales or something like that would be a much better metric.
posted by lubujackson at 4:26 PM on February 1, 2013


Luv ya blue! Go Oilers.

And they did, all the way to Tennessee… sniff
posted by jabo at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2013


i've been a cowboys fan since i was a wee small child. i've seen them through the bad, the good, and the bad again. like rosswald, the fact that people hate them so much just makes me love them more. i'm disappointed to see the "cowgirls" joke here because it's always sounded sexist/homophobic to me (just like calling their current QB tony homo). we're better than that. insult them because they're terrible or because the owner is a jerk or because they can't find a good coach due to the jerky owner or because they're self important. so many things to critique without being like "haha, they're girls and it's funny because girls are weak!"

also, if anyone cares who doesn't already know, the oilers left houston, went to tennessee, and a year or two later changed their name to the titans. in throwback games, they still wear the oilers uniforms.
posted by nadawi at 4:46 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


My dad is a Cowboys/Yankees fan, which basically makes him the worst person on the planet. His defense is that he grew up in Odessa, which I guess I can understand, and his favorite baseball player was Mickey Mantle, which I guess I also understand but the combination of the two just makes him come off likes front running POS.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:32 PM on February 1, 2013


Football is America’s favorite sport. As such, it's privileged to pre-empt everything else on the tube and, though there are only something like 11 minutes of actual play action in every game, the super bowl gets days of lead up coverage and something like 12 hours of programming on game day. The rest of that time is occupied by pompous low brow commentary. Fans have plenty of time to go get another beer, or drain the last one into the porcelain and order a pizza.

It’s a different story for the players, who have relatively short careers and sacrifice their minds and bodies for a moment in the sun. Football leads all other sports in brain injuries. Retired players have reported cognitive issues and some have chosen suicides that specifically leave the brain intact so that it can be studied. So, maybe it’s a good thing that the fans can’t see their faces when they’re playing.

As for Dallas, what can I say… Dealey Plaza and another traumatic head injury? Oh yeah, it’s home to “America’s Team”.
posted by Huplescat at 5:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: "Typos in the bar graph: "Dalls," "San Franciso," "San Dieo."

Yet somehow they managed to get "Cincinnati" right.
"

Apparently the Indiana Pacers gave up on basketball and switched to baseball, according to one of the tables.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:36 PM on February 1, 2013


Neat. Now include college teams. Because, as we know, (statistically) no-one south of Richmond, VA or east of Texarkana, TX cares about the NFL anyway.

Throw the Notre Dame fans, the Big Ten and the SEC into a pot and, baby, you got a stew going with dashes of the west coast and ACC for seasoning.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cowboys/Yankees fan, which basically makes him the worst person on the planet.

I have heard this before and I disagree with the association. The Yankees have essentially bought success, which is unfun. The Cowboys are perhaps guilty of an overconfident style, but are just another team.
posted by rosswald at 5:53 PM on February 1, 2013


I thought the way they blithely asserted that Facebook "likes" are a better metric of fandom than TV ratings was interesting.


Unless you have the rather expensive DirecTV "Sunday Ticket" package, you have a fairly limited slate of games to watch every week. In a typical week during the season, there are five games broadcast in any given area, out of 14-16 being played. These games feature ten teams out of the NFL's 32. As a football fan in Boise, Idaho, I can 'like' any of the 32 teams, but I can generally only watch on TV whoever is playing against the 'local' (within 800 miles) teams or the big national teams like Dallas or Pittsburgh.

It's been said before, but the NFL on Television Wikipedia page is fantastic.
posted by Hatashran at 6:02 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Correction: six games, 12/32 teams.
posted by Hatashran at 6:08 PM on February 1, 2013


They need to do this for the Maple Leafs in Canada.
posted by jamincan at 6:09 PM on February 1, 2013


back when the Cowboys were any good, the Steelers would regularly clean their clock

Not when it counted most.

Yes, when it counted most. You see, I'm old enough to remember the great Chuck Noll (he of the corny sweater) and the slightly less great Tom Landry (he of the corny hat).
posted by tommyD at 6:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So? Cowboys are without a doubt also the most hated team. One Dallas hata explained that he dislikes Dallas specifically because they call themselves "America's Team".
posted by telstar at 6:47 PM on February 1, 2013


The Cowboys are perhaps guilty of an overconfident style, but are just another team.

The Cowboys used to be able to pay far more than most other teams. They used to be the Yankees of the NFL*. When they could, they were almost always among the top teams in the NFL. Since the salary cap has taken effect, the Cowboys have been far less successful.

*Oddly enough, the Dodgers are becoming the Yankees of baseball, with their new TV deal.
posted by drezdn at 7:44 PM on February 1, 2013


They need to do this for the Maple Leafs in Canada.

I just did it; or a little bit at least.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the #3 most popular team in Canada, after Montreal and Vancouver. #4 is the defunct Quebec Nordiques, and #5 is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who I think have some of the "everybody-loves-a-winner" juice that makes their football colleagues a popular team everywhere. That, and they employ the man who won us the gold medal in hockey. The rest of the top 10 are the Oilers, Flames, defunct "Winnipeg Jets (1972-96)", Bruins and Senators. (The active Winnipeg Jets are #15, with barely 1/3 the likes of the defunct team. This ends your daily meditation on nostalgia.)

The least popular teams are the terrible, Southern or both: in reverse order, Columbus, Minnesota, Florida, Carolina, Islanders. There is also no fan base of the defunct Hartford Whalers, Atlanta Thrashers or Minnesota North Stars.

In the provinces with active teams, the most popular team is the active team, with the Canucks a clear #1 in BC, Oilers #1 and Flames #2 in Alberta; the Jets You Remember #1 and the Jets You Have #2 in Manitoba; and the Leafs #1 in Ontario, but the Senators #4 after the Canadiens and Canucks. The Canadiens are clearly #1 in Quebec, with the Nordiques #2.

Is Toronto Canada's team? Hell no. As I mentioned, #3 overall. The Leafs are the #1 team in Ontario, but no other part of the country. Here's the teams ahead of them:
BC: Canucks, Canadiens
AB: Oilers, Flames, Canucks, Canadiens
SK: Canucks, Oilers
MB: Jets (72-96), Jets, Canucks
QC: Canadiens, Nordiques, Penguins, Canucks, Bruins
Maritimes: Canadiens
Territories: Canucks, Canadiens, Oilers

Canada's team -- if we have one, surely a multicultural nation can be a multihockey one as well -- is clearly le bleu, blanc et rouge, tha best 'ockey team in da world, the only hockey team you can take to the bank. And Toronto needs to get over this.

Not that I expect this to happen.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:48 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Canada's team -- if we have one, surely a multicultural nation can be a multihockey one as well -- is clearly le bleu, blanc et rouge, tha best 'ockey team in da world, the only hockey team you can take to the bank. And Toronto needs to get over this.

Toronto is over it, for the most part. It may be that nobody likes the Leafs more than Toronto, but neither does anybody (except Quebec) hate them more than Toronto.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 AM on February 2, 2013


I detect a red state bias in the labeling of the Cowboys as "America's Team." I always thought that the Cowboys applied that label to themselves, because they wanted to contrast Tom Landry's prayer huddles to the alleged Frisco sodomites of the '49ers or some such nonsense. Fat lot of good that did the Cowboys in the Superbowl, eh?
posted by jonp72 at 8:57 AM on February 2, 2013


Homeboy Trouble, please forward your analysis to the CBC for no other reason than the fact that it would be real nice to have someone other than the Leafs in the early game on a Saturday night.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:02 PM on February 2, 2013


I grew up in the Bay Area during the 49ers glory years, so I always disliked the Cowboys since they were the consistent rival to my favorite team.

As an adult, even during the years when the 49ers were more or less irrelevant as a legitimate contender, I continued to dislike the Cowboys, perhaps unfairly, due almost entirely to the "America's Team" designation. They always seem to garner a disproportionate amount of media attention even when they are having a completely mediocre season, which is annoying to those of us who look at the Cowboys as just another team and don't quite get why a so-so, non-playoff team garners so much coverage.
posted by The Gooch at 10:29 AM on February 3, 2013


I may not like the result but I can't argue with the methodology.

I can: basing it on number of Facebook "likes" may say as much about the success of a team's social media strategy as about the team's inherent popularity. Not to mention that Facebook usage is not representative of the populace as a whole.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2013


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