Maps showing the social media fandom of teams in various sports have been burning up the internet for a while now, but Twitter's new one for the NFL is probably the best one I've seen. It shows you where you'll find followers for every NFL team, with some coming from counties that are thousands of miles away.
To use it, choose your team on the left and zoom into county view to see where their support is strongest. You can also use the comparison tool to compare any two teams you're interested in. Or you can click on any specific county and see which teams are most popular there.
This view divides the New York City area up into stark zones, one for the Patriots one for the Giants, one for the Eagles, and one for the Steelers. The Jets don't own any territory if you simply ask which team is most popular in any given county.
But even though the Jets aren't the most popular team in any county in America, another view lets you see that there are significant numbers of @nyjets followers all throughout this region:
Similarly, even though Eagles fans are only heavily concentrated in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, there are smatterings of them all around — creeping up into Jersey and hopping into portions of western and central New York:
You can also use the map to explore a specific rivalry, like the one between the Dallas and DC football teams:
You can see that while Washington's team is popular just in a relatively narrow band of Virginia and Maryland counties, the Cowboys dominate Texas and three neighboring states with smatterings of fans all around the country.
A few more observations:
— Alaska's geographical literal-mindedness is rooting for the Seahawks is interesting, given that Alaska isn't actually close to Seattle.
— The map pretty clearly establishes that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan should be reallocated to Wisconsin.
— LA County and Orange County prefer the 49ers to the much-closer Chargers, which is a significant lost business opportunity for San Diego's franchise.
— Calling the Panthers the "Carolina" Panthers rather than naming them after North Carolina or the City of Charlotte has been remarkably effective in winning the affections of South Carolinians.
— The Oakland Raiders are not the most popular team in their own home county!