Panthers fans have no loyalty? How about a faulty metric?

Geoff Burke

Greetings CSR,

This will be my first ever fanpost. I get emails from Google news concerning the Panthers and I read an article entitled Carolina Panthers have least-loyal fanbase from Creative Loafing Charlotte. Within that article was a link to the original article from Now this article wanted to assess which team is really "America's favorite team." How was this done you ask. By facebook of course. Per the article

"Ten years ago the best way to get a sense of a team's fanbase might have been to do an assessment of TV ratings for each team. These ratings were (and still are) not released in detail for public consumption. Today we have a better method for determining how many fans like each team. Specifically, finding out how many fans "like" each team"

So basically what the writer did was look at how many likes each team had in order to gauge the popularity of each franchise. And then he decided that he would get a little bit more creative and see how these likes broke down according to geography. Because "perhaps being America's team is more about the area in which you encompass than anything else."

So basically he mapped out the Facebook likes according to congressional districts and judged whether or not the local team controlling that market was the favorite within its region. For example, the Carolina Panthers should be the most liked team in the Carolinas. So using this metric he did a breakdown of how popular a team was within its own geographical viewing area and "market." This is the reason I wanted to post this to CSR to see what the community thought.

Within North Carolina and areas in South Carolina near the Charlotte area the Panther are the favorite team. Unfortunately, in the South Carolina "low country" most people are Dallas Cowboy fans. Therefore he concluded that Carolina Panther fans are the least loyal of all NFL fans. I hope you will read the article and get an idea of what the entire article entails. For the purpose proposed it was not a bad endeavor and there are some really cool graphs and maps to look at.

This post is because I make my living as a scientist and I have a few issues with his conclusions. In science we have a process called "peer-review." Basically a lot of people as smart or smarter than you in your area of expertise look for all the holes in the paper you submitted before giving it the thumbs up and allowing it to be published. We will now participate in the peer review process concerning this article.

My first complaint was using Facebook to gather data but like he said earlier it's readily available were as other data points were not. But, within the Facebook data there was no good control. Allow me to explain. In the congressional district metric the data was not controlled for migration. I would have liked to seen a table factoring in the home town of the fan in relation to the team they like. For example, I live in Tampa Bay Sucs (Bucs) territory but I bleed Carolina blue. But according to his map the Sucs dominate their local fan base. Now, if those cowboys fans, in South Carolina, migrated from the Texas viewing area then it makes sense that they (the cowboys) would seem to dominate a region which should be controlled by the Panthers franchise.

Secondly, I'm not willing to concede that TV ratings data is not readily available to the public. I believe it was Jaxon that posted a link to a website which listed what games were available where during the season. The author could have easily correlated the ability for a Ain't fan to view his team in say Long Island.

Those were my chief complaints. If you are curious which NFL team is America's favorite then you'll just have to read the article for yourself because I ain't telling.

The content of these posts are those of the user/fan making the post only

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