The Upshot, a visual journalism project of the New York Times, released an interactive map showing the allegiances of baseball fans across the country. Using Facebook “likes” plugged into zip codes it was able to produce a percentage breakdown of favorite teams on a rather precise scale. As expected, the domain of the Twins covers Minnesota (or almost all of it, more on this), most of the Dakotas and snags hand-fulls of counties in the border regions of Nebraska, Iowa and of course Wisconsin. But there is one spot, one corner, one of our own beloved counties that dares to cheer for someone else.
The strongest support for the Twins comes from outstate; this isn’t a surprise as rural Minnesotans, especially up north, tend to be born and raised in our land of 10,000 lakes. Plenty of life-long Twins fans live well out of day-trip distance to Target Field. In fact, some of the most die-hard fans I’ve ever met live in Fargo.
But there’s something amiss in our baseball team’s appeal. Apparently the Twins aren’t good enough for some “Minnesotans” (or Un-Minnesotans). Houston County, the southeastern tip of the state, has over a 10% majority of Brewer fans! “The Molitor Line” (the border between Twins and Brewer fans) mostly falls in our favor and puts most bordering counties of Wisconsin in the realm of the Twins, but somewhere downriver of Lake Pepin it appears to cross the Mississippi.
I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it. But here is the evidence!
How can this be? All of the other 86 counties have over half Twins fans, but Houston County has less than a third! Something should be done. We need charities to send TC related paraphernalia, blankets, bats, posters, used jerseys even. Send them to Houston County, MINNESOTA. Help them remember what state they are part of! Help them remember how much better Minneapolis is compared to Milwaukee!
We can only right this wrong together.
Photos by: Erik Bergs (via: NYTimes.com)