Where's Waldo? Not in Jersey!

Published on 10-Sep-2014 by bpfiester

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Review

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Where's Waldo? Not in Jersey!

Facebook has become America’s news source, water cooler banter, photo albums, and that tacky Christmas letter your long lost cousins and former fraternity brothers send around the holidays.

Facebook has also become the opinion column and a virtual op-ed piece where anybody who can find the correct sequence of keys can tap out a reasonably rational thought. Or they can click a mouse to copy, paste, and either plagiarize or pass on someone else's rational thought.

Then again, who's to agree that it's even rational?

A recent survey amongst NFL fans produced a fascinating paint-by-number map of the United States where every single county in the country voted on their team loyalty.

The results were quite stunning.

Facebook map of NFL favorite teams' bases

The Denver Broncos spanned the largest fan base, all the way from northern New Mexico to half of Montana to the middle of Nebraska and up to South Dakota. That’s like half the Louisiana Purchase.

Other teams holding a firm grasp on fan loyalty are the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and Seattle Seahawks. The surge in Seahawks fans isn’t surprising, given they're the defending Super Bowl champions and the bandwagon is steamrolling out West faster than the Donner party.

It’s quite astonishing that, literally, the only Cardinals fans in the country reside in the entire state of Arizona. Well, hope they enjoy hosting the Super Bowl this year, because their hometown team ain’t going to be playing in it.

Did anybody notice that there are only 31 teams represented on this map? Blasphemy! There are 32 teams in the NFL, the most popular sport in America -- and lately, that's in spite of itself -- so how a team could be missing from the 3,144 counties that exist today must be a publishing miscue. Right?

Well, no.

The answer lies near the East River -- which itself isn't a river at all -- where a $3 toll on the Jersey Turnpike will get you to the Hackensack Meadowlands and across the Hackensack River into East Jersey. Gertrude Stein may have famously said of Oakland, "There's no there there," but that's only because she didn't see this stretch of land first.

And it's here that the New York Jets have the distinction of not capturing one single county as their team.

Perhaps the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets need to build their own stadium and not share everything with the Giants. Perhaps they should actually play home games in the state of New York to build a loyal fan base.

An season-opening victory against the hapless Oakland Raiders should at least give them some momentum as their 2014 season opens with tempered expectations. After all, the Jets are starting second-year QB Geno Smith, who finished last season with a 66.5 QB rating and threw an inverse number of INT’s (21) to TD passes (12).

The Jets are fortunate to play in one of the weakest divisions in football, the AFC East. But hell, the Bills won on the road in Chicago, and the Dolphins upset the Patriots in South Beach.

What does this mean for the Jets? They obviously need help in the marketing department if not one frickin' county in America can identify with them. Not even Bergen County.

Since the Giants have won four Super Bowl titles in the past 27 years and the Jets last won a title a few months before the original Woodstock Festival, fans are siding with the G-Men over the J-Men.

A failed Mark Sanchez era didn’t help, and trading their best player -- CB Darrelle Revis -- to the Buccaneers didn’t instill confidence in the fan base, or the coaching staff for that matter.

But that doesn't mean Jets legends can't grow larger than life.

The Jets' allegedly high-profile free agent signing of WR Eric Decker barely made the back page of the New York Times. What will it take for the Jets to get one stinking county in America to wear the evergreen-and-white jerseys?

The start the New York Giants had to the 2014 season last night might help. It’s about time for North Jersey and 95% of New York to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Perhaps a Jets-Giants Super Bowl would inspire the Meadowlands fans. Hosting the Super Bowl last year certainly created a bandwagon.