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Which sport reigns supreme in each major league city?

Feb 18, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

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Because I’m bored, let’s follow-up that Josh Hamilton post with a survey of each Major League Baseball city to see what sport — using my totally subjective There Can Only Be One criteria — reigns supreme in each city. Which team, if the city could vote and only keep one, would stay:

  • New York: High school hoops has a rich history, but professionally I think baseball. Specifically Yankees. Anyone really disagree?
  • Boston: Probably the most “all sports” town on the list, but I’d have to say Sox.
  • Toronto: Leafs, Leafs, Leafs, Leafs.
  • Baltimore: For a long time baseball, but I do a lot of sports radio in Baltimore and it seems like the Ravens have dominated for years. And really, before the 80s, the Colts probably did too.
  • Tampa Bay: Who knows? Anyone? Not the Rays, that’s for sure. Probably the Bucs. More probably shuffleboard and bocce ball.
  • Detroit: Great baseball town, but they seem to live and die with the Wings more. My relatives who live there all do anyway. I could be persuaded that Detroit is primarily a baseball town, though.
  • Cleveland: Browns. By far. Even when they didn’t exist for a few years.
  • Chicago: This is an interesting one. I feel like it’s a Bears city, but I’d like to hear arguments on it. Walking around there in the summer and the city just reeks baseball, so it’s probably closer than I imagine.
  • Kansas City: They don’t tailgate for the Royals like they do for the Chiefs and that’s not for lack of a parking lot.
  • Minneapolis: I assume the Vikings. Gleeman should weigh in, though. Youth hockey may trump it all.
  • Seattle: I really don’t know, but given that they’ve sent away a baseball team and a basketball team to other cities in the past, the Seahawks probably by default.
  • Oakland: Kind of weird because (a) they’re so close to San Francisco; and (b) the people who dress up and act insane for Raiders games all probably live outside of Oakland, but based just on what you see, the Raiders.
  • Houston: Texas = football. Even with the Oilers leaving.
  • Los Angeles: It’s a status city and good Lakers tickets have to be pretty high up there as far as status symbols go.
  • Dallas: Cowboys could go 1-15 and the Rangers could win the series and it’s still a Cowboys city.
  • Atlanta: Probably college football more than anything, but the Falcons pretty obviously trump the Braves. I think, as far as local support goes, it’s probably more of a front-running town than anything.
  • Philadelphia: I really don’t know. All sports, to be sure. But it may very well be a baseball town more. There are no shortage of Philly people here, so you tell me. Gun to my head I say the Phillies and Eagels are close, but I don’t know if that’s been the case for all that long a time.
  • Washington: It begins and ends with the Redskins and anyone who tells you differently is an insane person.
  • Miami: Well, I don’t think it’s controversial to say it’s not the Marlins. Dolphins all the time, the Heat are a big deal when they’re good.
  • St. Louis: Maybe the most baseball town of them all, even if I think that Best Fans in Baseball Thing is silly.
  • Cincinnati: I think it’s a Reds town. I don’t know too many people here in Ohio who disagree.
  • Milwaukee: It’s over 100 miles to Green Bay, but I bet it’s still more Packers than Brewers. If you disqualify the Packers for distance it’s the Brewers by default. Still a great baseball town, though. It’s not the Brewers fault that people go Packers crazy.
  • Pittsburgh: A good baseball town to be sure, but it’s the Steelers by far. They’ve become a regional thing, even. It stretches well into Ohio and many points north, south and east as well.
  • San Francisco: I think the Giants have to be it, at least since they moved to AT&T Park. And now the 49ers are moving out of the city, so it’ll probably become more pronounced.
  • San Diego: My brother isn’t the most reliable narrator in the world but he’s lived in San Diego for almost 20 years and says the Chargers are it. Having gone to a lot of Padres games I have to agree with him.
  • Denver: Broncos, Broncos, Broncos.
  • Phoenix: I really have no idea. Like, no sense at all. The Suns have tenure, obviously, but I’m not sure what that means. Spring training makes the whole city basebally for a while. I know people get behind the Dbacks when they win.  Man, I’m rather stumped on Phoenix.

So that’s my take. Talk amongst yourselves.

215 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    I agree with the Yankees for New York. But I would have to say the Patriots in Football for Boston unless you don’t consider Foxborough part of the Boston Sports Area.

    • chill1184 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I think it would be safe to say that Foxborough is apart of the Boston being only 22 miles away.

    • Jack Marshall - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      That’s just plain wrong. Nobody who follows sports seriously in Boston would agree. Even with the Sox at a low ebb after last season, the ranking for decades has been Sox, Bruins, Pats, Celtics., with some jockeying in the last two positions. The Pats have made a run at second place, but Boston is a baseball town, first and foremost.

      • belichickrulz - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        I disagree. That was certainly true for most of the 20th century, but it began to change when Duane Charles Parcells became head coach of the Patriots. It was cemented with the Belichick/Brady combo. Don’t get me wrong, the Sox dominate during the NFL offseason. But from training camp to the Super Bowl, the Patriots are #1 in New England.

        And the Bruins haven’t been the #2 team in Boston since guys like Ray Bourque and Terry O’Reilly were playing. They’re a distant 4th… and if MLS wasn’t even more poorly run than the NHL, they’d be #5.

      • cardsfanandi - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        You can disagree if you want, but you’re wrong. I lived a block and a half from Fenway for 3 years, and I’ve never seen the pandamonium that is Kenmore square when the Sox are in town. I’ve gone to Bruins games and Celtics games, but there’s absolutely nothing like a Sox game in the city. I’ve never actually been to a Pats game, but from what I hear, it just isn’t on the same level. I knew I couldn’t wear my Cardinals gear walking around town without getting harassed, but I wore my Rams shirts and never heard a word from anyone. That’s a pretty big indicator with Massholes.

  2. manifunk - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Philly is Eagles-first. Even when the Phils were good and the Eagles mediocre, you would still hear “E-A-G-L-E-S!” chants at Phillies games.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      I disagree, I think they are neck and neck now after decades of being Eagles first.

      Think about it – the “E-A-G-L-E-S!” chant used to be very common place at Phillies games all through the 90′s and until about 2006. I am not saying it doesn’t happen at all anymore, but it is insanely rare – whereas it used to be common. Maybe it will revert back someday, but I would call them even right now

      • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        Not quite neck and neck. 60-40 Eagles at best, probably closer to 70-30, which still beats like 90-10 Eagles back in the days of the Vet when the terrible Eagles sold out every game and the terrible Phillies struggled to get 10k in the stadium any given night.

      • hockeyfan28 - Feb 18, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Philly is the flyers and eagles then the phillies that city loves that hockey team win or lose

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 18, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Don’t think you are going to find many who agree with you :)

      • hockeyfan28 - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        1 did :)…I grew up outside Philly WIP, the daily news, the inquirer read and listened to all that stuff for years…., they had one of the top attendances in the league even when the flyers where awful in 2007 people stop following the Phillies when they’re out of contention which will probably be sometime after the 4th of July this year the Eagles are 1 but the Flyers are 2 then the Phillies then the Sixers

    • areyesrn - Feb 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Eagles all the way…even when the Eagles suck

    • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:36 AM

      Lemme just put it this way…NOBODY naps during an Eagles game. No matter how bad they are. The Eagles are religion in Philly. Yea its easy to say bc baseball has a 162game schedule, but some1 up there made the correct point. If the phils are out of contention, literally nobody watches

      When I hear E-A-G-L-E-S eagles! It sends chills down my spine and makes the hair raise on the back of my neck every time

  3. kelshannon19 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Let’s get this straight. The oilers didnt leave Houston because of fan attendance. They left because of the sh*t head owner Bud Adams. He wanted a new stadium and didnt get one. Right after they left the Texans were announced. Houston is all about the Texans. Sold out every game since 2002- their first season.

    • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      I took Craig’s comment to mean “even though the Oilers’ Owner gave Houston the middle finger and left the city, Houston is STILL a football town first.”

  4. marshmc - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Chicago is 100% a Bears town. In the summer it can get very baseball-y and the Hawks and Bulls will also do well, but Cutler stories will reign supreme even in June.

    Unless of course Jim McMahon or Steve McMichael is up to something.

    • johnnynewguy - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Congrats, on missing the point of the question. Its which sport not which team.

      • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:47 AM

        haha johnny ur a lil slow. Can the sport not be identified by the team?

        congrats on missing the point of the question yourself…

    • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:39 AM

      If I was a bears fan I would HATE having cutler on my team. The only stories of him are related to pick 6′s and bad body language

      whats worse than a mope qb who throws his teammates under the bus

  5. sparty99 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Like I said in the other post, the Hockeytown moniker is overblown. Detroit would give up the Wings in a heartbeat if it meant the Lions would win the Super Bowl.

    • mazblast - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Based on the guys from Detroit with whom I went to school and the folks from there whom I have known since, I think the Lions are a poor third, behind the Tigers and Wings. They want the Lions to be successful but NEED the Tigers first and Red Wings second to win.

    • kalinedrive - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      I think Detroit is a baseball town in terms of more numerous fans, but hockey has the most passionate fans. If the Tigers continue to be competitive (i.e. a playoff team) for the next 5 years, they’ll move back into the prime spot. The Lions are 3rd because of the Pontiac years and the decades of futility. The place would go nuts if they made it to the Super Bowl, but generations of fans are more devoted to the Red Wings and Tigers.

    • aiede - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      We may call it Hockeytown, and the Tigers may do 3+ million fans/year, but the pent-up demand for Lions success in Detroit would make it a football town in a second if the franchise were even remotely competent. In my life as a Detroit sports fan, I’ve celebrated one World Series championship, 3 NBA titles, 4 Stanley Cups…and one Lions playoff game win.

      The Lions drew 54,000 fans per game to 65K-seat Ford Field during their 0-16 2008 season. When they were even somewhat decent in 2011, the stadium got so loud that their opponents led the league in false start penalties. Being even a casual Lions fan makes you more rabid than the facepainty-est of fans of an NFL team that’s had any success since the 1950s.

      (Within the past six years or so, I’d argue that the Tigers have overtaken the Wings in head-to-head fandom using the ratio of Old English D’s to Winged Wheels you see on the rear windows of cars around here.)

    • Detroit Michael - Feb 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Detroit (or really metro Detroit) supports all of its sports teams well, but there is not doubt that its favorite sport is football. The only debate is whether fans like the college game or pro football the best.

  6. heyblueyoustink - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Native Philadelphian here, I think football ( even though i’ve come to see the Eagles like an ex girlfriend at this point ) is still, slightly, king of the roost in this town. But, baseball has been here longer, and has an extremely strong following that makes it very very close.

    However I hear we may be getting a lingere basketball franchise. *That* might be a game changer.

  7. mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Philly is still a football town unfortunately. Coming off a year where both the Eagles and Phillies were bad and going into a year where neither look special, the Phillies have absolutely no buzz here compared to the Eagles’ buzz, most of which is negative, but still buzz. Negativity beats apathy. Both teams are lucky the Flyers and Sixers are terrible because in a 4 sport town like Philly, you can get usurped quickly.

    In short: someday this will probably be a Phillies town. Right now and for the forseeable future it is an Eagles town. In the 90s it was a Flyers town and in the 80s it was a Sixers town, but the Eagles have history on their side so as long as old people are alive it’s an Eagles town.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Phillies have no negative buzz around here? Are you serious?

      • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        No, the Phillies just don’t have buzz at all really. The bit of buzz they have is generally negative, but it’s so small in relation to the buzz that the Eagles have that it’s inconsequential.

        And the level of buzz on both fronts is significantly less than it has been in usual years. There’s a high level of disgust with all four franchises right now.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        I have to repectfully disgree. You can’t swing a dead cat without finding an article bemoaning some aspect of what the Phillies did or did not do this off season, is Utley through, is Jimmy and/or Ryan too old, why won’t the Phillies give Manuel a contract extension, etc. And in the fan base – you telling me you can’t find fans ready to get into fist fights over RAJ’s competence or lack there of?

      • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:44 AM

        I agree with mustbechris wholeheartedly. Eagles related news/media/chatter outweighs that of the Phillies tenfold

        Thats the gods honest truth

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Tenfold?

  8. phillyfan97 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Have you ever been to a Flyers-Pens game in Philadelphia. C’mon man.

    • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      The Flyers do very well but their fanbase centers around itself. The Union are the same way on a MUCH smaller scale. Many Flyers fans are not four sport fans, they’re just Flyers fans, and they’re very diehard about it. Eagles and Phillies tend to be a bit more incestuous.

      The town is not a Flyers town, though in many ways it’s becoming a bit of a hockey town, and there is a difference between the two. That said, there’s absolutely no gameday experience like a Flyers game. The Eagles and Phillies can’t compete with that and they probably know it.

      • digbysellers - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Respecfully and totally disagree with that…a Flyers game is the best gameday experience in Philly? Really? When was the last time you saw the parking lot filled with people hours before a Flyers game…tailgating, drinking, people who don’t even know each other hanging out, etc? Ummm, not any I’ve been to this year. For a “game day experience” there’s no question that Eagles games take the cake around here. People show up for a Flyers game 15 mins before puck drop…hours before Eagles games. A game day experience has to include the day…not just the game.

      • phillyloveallday - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        It’s hard to compare the gameday experience between the NFL and NHL since in the NFL each team only has 8 home games. Plus it’s almost always on sundays when most people have off from work. Conversely, there are 41 home games in hockey falling on any day during the week. The NFL gameday experience is just more unique because there are only 8 home games each year and people cherish the experience. Personally I love the flyers game day experience especially during the playoffs. It has a festival type atmosphere and quite frankly nothing (in life) beats tailgating a flyers playoff game on a nice warm day in april or may.

  9. ksyeszir - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    If you had to get rid of one team in Chicago I think the white sox would be the only option but as far as only keeping one team… I’d pick the Blackhawks or the Bulls. Can’t decide between the two but I’m sure most people are gonna say bears just because its football

    • Alex K - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I don’t think you are off at all with the Sox being first to go. I would rank the order they would be kept like this:

      1) Bears (Not by me, but the majority)
      2) Cubs
      3) Blakhawks
      4) Bulls
      5) White Sox

      • whitesoxman77 - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        re-order the Cubs and the Blackhawks and I think you got it. I think fans would rather see hockey than baseball unfortunately. And as a White Sox fan the fact that we would be the first ones gone is depressing but true

      • Alex K - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        I don’t agree about the Hawks being more popular. The city will implode that one sweet day when the Cubs win the World Series.

      • jeffbbf - Feb 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        yeah – Hawks fans are more intense/fanatical, but there are simply many, many more people in the area that follow the Cubs as opposed to the Hawks. The Bulls and White Sox need to be winning to get a 2nd glance from anyone but the die hards. Kind of a shame.

      • johnnynewguy - Feb 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Its all baseball all the time. We are a baseball mad town. How many other teams have statues of broadcasters in Chicago? Why is an entire neighborhood named after a team’s stadium that hasn’t won anything in 105 years? Why does a mayor set off the air raid sirens when a baseball team makes it to the world series not winning just making it there? It is so baseball centrist that it is almost sad since both teams in the total course of their history have been fairly unsuccessful.

      • Alex K - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Of course we love our baseball. But I think the majority of people in the city prefer football. Within my tiny sample of friends and co-workers I am probably one of two people who would not put the Bears (Football) first.

        I’m not saying that to take away from the love of baseball in Chicago. I’m saying it because I find it to be true. There is football (Bears) talk on sports talk radio year round. Baseball isn’t getting many, if any, mentions from November-January.

    • chicagoteamster - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      The back-and-forth of 2 in-town MLB teams is the metranome of a Chicago summer; if we had the Chicago Cardinals on the South Side, then you could tell me about how this is a football town.

  10. chill1184 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    In regards to the Steelers, Steeler fans are everywhere. In my area (Hudson Valley NY) one can always find a fan wearing Black and Gold in addition to myself. I’ve found at least two bars that advertise themselves as Steeler fan bars (if that makes any sense).

  11. southpaw2k - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I have a hard time saying Boston is a football town considering the Patriots were largely irrelevant prior to 2001. They’re still second fiddle at best considering the AFC title game had a large contingent of Ravens fans in the stadium. Also, aren’t we underselling the Bruins?

    And I would argue that the Orioles owned Baltimore until the Ravens came to town. Even in the days of Johnny Unitas.

  12. qcubed3 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    As a Phoenician, I’d say it’s pretty much a tie between the Dbacks and the Cardinals. The Suns are popular, but I think the 2007 Suns/Spurs playoff game, where Amare and Boris Diaw stood up after Steve Nash was checked into the stands, and then were thrown out for the next couple of games, really put a damper on anyone’s love of the NBA thereafter.

    • Caught Looking - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Robert Sarver hasn’t helped the situation either. Seems like the local fan base despises the owner and the team has become largely irrelevant as a result.

    • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      The Coyotes used to draw very well before the ownership situation became the mess it is now. Back in the late 90s days of Roenick and Tkachuk and Khabibulin, they were huge and filled their arena. Then they moved out of the city and have to deal with the uncertainty of whether or not they’ll even have a team the next year, which is terrible for getting people to invest time and money into season tickets. It’s a crime what the NHL has done to that franchise.

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Yes, but how much of that is because most people in Phoenix are not from Phoenix and many are from northern cities? In 1997, I went to a Coyotes/Flyers game in Phoenix….the number of Flyer jerseys in the stands probably out numbered Phoenix jersey’s 10 to 1.

  13. steveflack - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Seattle? It’s a soccer town.

    • manifunk - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      We’re talking about sports though, not European athletic competitions

    • Jonestein - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      My nephew moved up there a couple years ago and was blown away by how popular the Sounders are. But still, it’s probably Seahawks > Sounders > Mariners in that area, based on his observations.

      • blacksables - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        That’s because of all the Canadians coming across the border when there is no hockey.

  14. taktrevor - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    I think Philly, with gun to head, would take the Phillies. I would. The Eagles haven’t even attempted to win a championship in decades, the organization has been run for a profit only under Lurie. I know the coaches and players want to win, but that’s not enough. It’s an organization that values extra picks and since the Reggie White lawsuit, cap space over talent on field for the last 20 years. There have been some small 4-6 year runs in the late 50s/early 60s, same for 70/80s, Buddy was exciting but unproductive, and the Reid teams, argh, unfulfilling.

    Then the Phillies. Most losses ever. EVER. But they do have two world titles. I can’t make much more of an argument, because they are only blip good too, and often woefully bad.

    You know what, you put the gun to the head to most Philly sports fan, they’d probably just ask you to pull the trigger and end the misery. Maybe that’s a better bet than going all in on any of our teams.

    • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      The Eagles still take a top spot over the Phillies, but it seems to be reluctant now whereas it was feverish just a few years before. “Neither” might be a prevailing answer at this point.

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      “The eagles haven’t even attempted to win a championship in years”
      Huh? ……The Eagles have made the playoffs in 6 of their last 10 seasons including a trip to the Super Bowl. I imagine it sucks for their fans that they haven’t won a title but you must be watching some other team or you just don’t know your football. P.S. I’m a Giants fan and I hate the Eagles but love the rivalry.

      • taktrevor - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        I know what they’ve done. I’m sure you bemoan moves the Giants make. Well in Philadelphia, you have a new first time coach, and he starts real good. The fanbase, national media, local writers, and everyone pretty much says what needs improvemnt: run the ball, manage the clock, make 2nd half adjustments. You always hear a coach must coach the players, not just a system. However it never changed. Why? Because the seats were full, a new stadium was built with more full seats, theres a season ticket waiting list, and what Lurie bought for less than 200M is now worth 1.1B. Eagles fans know, the team is running a profit first business. When’s the last time you heard the Eagles being mentioned up against the cap? That’s because we don’t retain good players, and don’t sign good players. Tell me about Nnamdi, I’ll tell you we finished with 20M in cap space that year. It really doesn’t feel to us like the idea is to win a championship. They live off the fervent fans. I’ve sold my season tickets two years ago. I know a lot of people are just plain worn out.

    • phillyfan75 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      This is just a dumb post.

  15. mybrunoblog - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Come on man. The NFL changed its logo 5 years ago. Time to update.
    And yes the Yankees are the top dog in New York but the other 8 pro sports teams have great followings too.

    • steveflack - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      8? I only count 5 pro teams in New York.

      Ohhhh, you’re confusing New York with New Jersey. It’s ok, the NFL does it all the time.

      • kopy - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I agree, but it’s technically 6 now in the Non-NJ NYC market.

        Yankees
        Knicks
        Rangers
        Mets
        Nets (I think this is where you went wrong)
        Islanders

        I put them in the order of what I would guess would be the most dominant, but I only have loose connections with the area.

      • mybrunoblog - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Steve I understand your familiarity with NYC is not strong. Please be aware that we tend to include all the NYC metro area teams into our fold. If you want to be technical yes there are only five major pro teams within the 5 boroughs of NYC. The Giants, Jets, Islanders and Devils are all part of the entire package here.
        In modern sports lots of teams no longer play in the city they represent. Cowboys, Redskins, Bills, Angels, and soon to be the 49ers.
        There are 8 million people in NYC and another 14 million in the NYC metro area (Long Island, lower counties near NYC, north, central New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut.

      • papasadappa - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        I would only tweak kopy’s rankings a little

        Yankees
        Rangers
        Knicks
        Mets
        Nets
        Islanders

        When football is in season though those two teams are paramount

      • steveflack - Feb 18, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Sorry, I totally forgot the Islanders even existed. I thought you were lumping the Devils in. I’m fully aware of NYC. Born and raised, third generation New Yorker. lived in Brooklyn, all my life. So, yeah. I get it. But I will never except two football teams that are based in New Jersey as New York teams. If you can’t take the subway there, it’s not New York.

  16. thomas844 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Great analysis, Craig. There is none here I can really disagree with. Browns fans are crazy (literally, I know from experience) about their team. If they are this intense over a losing team, I can only imagine what they would be like if the Browns pull off a Super Bowl victory.

    As a Reds fan myself I also agree with your Cincinnati analysis. We like our Bengals and even our Bearcats basketball and football, but Opening Day is a holiday in our town. We get some flack for our mediocre attendance, but for a small market town, I say 30K average per game is pretty darn good.

    • mazblast - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Good analysis, but you left out Xavier basketball. It arouses more passion than UC football, but less than HS basketball.

      Reds
      ————
      UK basketball (curse them)
      ————
      UC basketball
      HS basketball
      ————
      HS football
      XU basketball
      UC football
      ————
      Bengals

      (Not a Cincy native, but have lived here 43 of the last 46 years)

      • thomas844 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        That’s right, how could I have forgotten Xavier! The Crosstown Shootout is always a big deal (even before the massive brawl a couple years back).

  17. isucubie23 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Born and raised in Chicago and work for Chicago sports media. It’s a Bears town through and through, but when the Cubs are actually good and in the playoffs, it’s a close race. But the Bears move the needle no matter how good they are.

    Baseball divides the city in the summer, but the Bears unite it once again each fall.

    • johnnynewguy - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      No. Thanks for stealing Miller Lite’s billboard slogan from a few years back but baseball reigns supreme. Its about sheer numbers. Baseball has more teams in Chicago so more people are invested in them. Yeah people love the Bears but its a zero sum game. Its either them or don’t watch the NFL. You don’t see two Chicagoan’s getting into fights about football. The Cubs could sell 3 million tickets and they could be dog crap. Chicago is all baseball all the time. This is why as soon as Jordan left the Bulls stopped selling out. Why it took the Blackhawks winning a Stanley Cup to get interest again. Why the Bears played at Wrigley Field till the early 1970′s. And why Harry Carry is more beloved by the city then Bobby Hull or Stan Mikta.

    • chicagoteamster - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Brewers fans in Chicago suburbs of Lake and McHenry counties should be added to the baseball fan tally for the metro area.

  18. irishdodger - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I think to pick which team reigns is to create a baseline where all teams are on the losing end of their respective W/L ledger. I think NYC will always be a basketball city first but w/ the Yanks contending since 1996, it’s changed the perception. Boston will always be a baseball team first IMO. St. Louis is a no-brainer. I’d go w/ the Bears in Chicago. Cowboys in DFW. Cali has too many diversions for its fans to make a correct choice. Lakers by default b/c the fans (i.e. celebrity fans) are more visible in the stands vs baseball & football. Just my two cents.

    • steveflack - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      New York has one of the strongest baseball traditions in history. There were a few years there in the 70s in between the 69 Mets and the 77 Yankees when the Knicks were strong, but I just don’t see it.

  19. sportsfan69 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    What about Cincinnati? The Reds, Bengals, Bearcats, Buckeyes, and high school football.

  20. mncharm - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Absolutely right on w/r/t Minneapolis. Pains me to say it, but Vikes have topped the Twins for a long time.

    Also right that if amatuer sports counted, youth hockey would dominate and it wouldn’t be close.

    • billyboots - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Maybe he’s right about the Cities, but not the southern half of the state. Around Rochester, it’s almost a 50-50 split between the Vikings and Packers and it leans even more towards the Pack as you go further east. SE MN is more about the Twins than Vikings.

      As far as youth sports go, hockey is looked at as a rich kid sport down here. It’s all about high school football with wrestling/basketball fighting for second. Hockey isn’t even a high school sport for 2/3 of the schools in Section 1 & 2.

  21. ndbites34 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I’ve lived in Washington for 2 years now, and I think it’s safe to say a lot of natives care much more about the Caps than the Skins. Sure, the Skins get press, and with RG3 now it’s closer, but the return of the Caps was really heavily celebrated, and this is from someone who doesn’t really care for hockey at all.

    • nolanwiffle - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      As a native Washingtonian who has lived here all his life, I feel qualified to call you a nitwit.

      It’s always been a football town.

  22. Jason Lukehart - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    The Bears are certainly the most popular team in Chicago, but if there were only one baseball team, it’d be pretty close. I’d still lean towards it being a football town, but not by as wide a margin as most cities these days. The Bulls were obviously THE team in the 90s, but a distant third otherwise. Blackhawks fans are intense, but not as numerous (though I don’t live in the north suburbs, where I’m sure it’s more popular). The Chicago Fire are also a thing, but this city wants the Sting back.

    • mustbechris - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      It’s funny because the Bears are the team in Chicago, and the Cubs or even Hawks might be next, but if I had to attribute any sport to Chicago at a non-professional level (high school, college, on the streets, etc) it’s basketball.

      • johnnynewguy - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        You guys don’t understand the question obviously. Its not which team is most popular but which sport. In Chicago its baseball. There are more baseball fans then anything else. Not Cubs or Sox fans but BASEBALL fans. This is not a hard concept.

  23. Jonestein - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Spot on with the Cowboys. Like I said in the other thread, it’d be nice if this was a baseball town, but the Rangers could cure cancer and you’d still see Tony Romo jerseys in the stands at RBiA.

    • beefytrout - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Considering that I don’t see Tony Romo jerseys in the stands now, I doubt I’m going to start if the Rangers cured cancer.

  24. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    detroit is a baseball town all day. although crappy lions football is a CLOSE second. as far as the wings go, it’s become a niche thing here. there are plenty of fans, to be sure, but the majority of them are waiting for tiger baseball before getting interested in NHL playoffs. this year should be telling since it’s 50/50 the wings make the playoffs.

    now that i think about it, this town would probably let the tigers walk before the lions. and thats sad.

    • kalinedrive - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      The Tigers are the dominant team in Detroit in terms of numbers of fans. The Olde English D is everywhere.

  25. js20011041 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I think Tampa, and really the majority of Florida, is all about college football. The Buccaneers are a close 2nd, at least when they’re good. Despite the attendance problems, the Rays are pretty popular here and the TV ratings back that up.

    • Jonestein - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Every time I see a Bolts home game on TV, it seems pretty packed. Does the TB media give them much coverage?

      • indaburg - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        You’re right, Jonestein. The Lightning draw quite well. Last year, they were 7th in NHL attendance, just behind the Flames and ahead of more traditional hockey towns like Vancouver and Ottawa. It’s a fun ticket. Vinik has done a great job with the team.

    • indaburg - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I don’t know if Tampa Bay really supports college football either. The one college, USF, in the area with a football team draws dismally. But you’re right that for most of the state, it’s all about the Gators, Noles, or the U.

      • js20011041 - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Well, that’s the problem, it’s gator country. Excuse me while I vomit. USF’s football program is still very young, so it’s kind of like the Rays where most of the people in the area have grown up with different allegiances. I don’t like necessarily conflating popularity solely with attendance. There are so many issues that can affect attendance outside of popularity, as seen with the Rays. The Lightning are the only team in the area that is currently drawing well and they are very popular, but I would still say that the Lightning are behind college football (not specifically USF), the Buccaneers, and the Rays. They aren’t far behind though.

      • indaburg - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Good points. I have argued myself in the past not to confuse attendance with popularity when discussing the Rays. Their tv ratings are fantastic and with a more centrally located stadium, their attendance would improve greatly.

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