3 Things We Learned From Twitter’s NFL Fan Map

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If you, like us, have always wondered exactly how the millions of NFL fans around the United States break down by state, county, and team, then wonder no longer. This week, the fine folks at Twitter Sports unveiled a handy visual representation of where each NFL franchise’s fans can be found throughout the country. The map allows users to see which NFL team is the favorite in each county, compare two clubs’ fan bases, and see what percentage of supporters are found inside and outside a team’s home state, among other things. Check out Twitter’s analysis of its findings here, then click through for more images and three things we learned from the Twitter #NFL2014 fan map.

Los Angeles needs an NFL team of its own

There are more Buccaneers fans in California than any state but Florida. There are more Falcons fans in California than any state but Georgia. There are more Ravens fans in California than any state but Maryland. As we skimmed through each team’s state-by-state representation, the common, oft-repeated theme was California. An overwhelming majority of NFL clubs have a significant portion of their fan base in California, and it makes sense. Because Los Angeles has been without a team since the Raiders headed back to Oakland and the Rams (who still pull 10% of their fan base from the City of Angels) moved to St. Louis, there are thousands, maybe millions of football fans in California who could love, embrace, and support a Los Angeles NFL club. That should be more than enough argument for the NFL to stop talking about L.A. and start putting a team in L.A.

The Texans and Raiders are doomed to play second fiddle

Even more intriguing to us than the visual breakdown of each county’s favorite NFL team was the flip side, a map showing each county’s second-favorite NFL franchise. While the “favorite team” map breaks down into massive sections representing each club’s home base (with the more popular teams enjoying the largest reach), the second-favorite team map is a virtual hodgepodge of colors. The biggest areas dedicated to a single club were the largest states, as the Raiders are undoubtedly the second-most popular team in California, and the Texans are clearly the second-most favorite in Texas. Sorry, Oakland and Houston, but your home states are absolutely 49ers and Cowboys territory, respectively.

The Broncos are rivaling the Cowboys as “America’s team”

The Harris Poll recently pointed this out, and Twitter’s data backs it up. The Dallas Cowboys no longer own the sole title of “America’s team.” While Dallas has a far-reaching fan base (which is good, because the Cowboys are having a hard enough time getting home-field advantage in AT&T Stadium), it appears to be basically matched by Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. The record-setting quarterback has helped much of the country fall in love with the Broncos over the past few years, and Denver enjoys a national reach on par with Jerry Jones’s club. The Niners, Steelers, Packers, and others also stretch well across the country for supporters — try out the tool for yourself to compare any two organizations like we did with Denver and Dallas.