Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 16 January 2007 18:00If you're a fan like me, face it, you're biased. Or, at the very least, you're opinionated. Most of us see our teams through rose-colored, maroon-colored, blue and gold-colored, or fill-in-the blank-with-your-team's-color-glasses.
--eed proof? Last fall I noticed an interesting poll on ESPN.com. The question was "Who is the best team: Ravens, Patriots, Colts, Chargers?"
What made the poll more interesting is that after voting, you could move the cursor over your state to see how the people in your state voted.
With the NFL season at the midway point, people from Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana and California all thought the pro football team from their own state was the best in the AFC.
Forty-eight percent of Maryland fans believed the Baltimore Ravens were the best team. Twenty-four percent favored Indianapolis; 21 percent went with the San Diego Chargers, and only 7 percent picked the New England Patriots.
In Massachusetts, 67 percent of the voters said the Patriots were No. 1; 15 percent picked the Chargers; 13 percent supported the Colts and just 6 percent picked the Ravens.
Meanwhile in Indiana, 73 percent of the fans said the Colts were the best team; 17 percent favored the Chargers, 6 percent liked the Ravens and 3 percent said the Patriots were the best.
Finally in California, 50 percent liked the Chargers; 30 percent favored Indianapolis; 11 percent liked Baltimore; and 9 percent said New England is No. 1.
The pattern is clear. We may criticize, doubt, and second-guess how good our team really is, but when push comes to shove, we'll still back them.
Another tendency is that we're more likely to support a team from another part of the country than to support a rival from our area.
What, if anything, can we learn from this?
Objectivity is hard to come by.
Ultimately, it matters little what we think, but it should reassure owners that most people will loyally support their hometown team.
The Kansas City Chiefs may only make the playoffs occasionally, but as long as fans are willing to fork over the big bucks to attend games or buy
Chiefs merchandise, the Chiefs' owners will stay in business.
Another apparent truism - while we blindly support our team, we won't hesitate to denigrate a nearby rival.
I found it rather humorous that fans in Maryland picked New England as the fourth best team in the poll, while fans in Massachusetts returned the favor by picking Baltimore as the fourth best team.
It's almost like saying, "No matter how good you are, our team is the best and yours is the worst."
Being a fan means not having to be logical.
Did you know the first Super Bowl game in 1967 was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game? It was held at the not-sold-out Los Angeles Coliseum, and was broadcast by both CBS and NBC.
Ticket prices for the game ranged from $6 to $12, and a total of 338 media credentials were issued to the game. The price of a 30-second TV commercial was $42,000.
By contrast, tickets to the 1999 Super Bowl were priced at $325; 30-second commercials went for $1.6 million. The game was covered by 2,300 media members, broadcast to 800 million people worldwide, covering 180 countries and 24 languages. (From the book "Amazing But True Sports Stories")