Thursday, February 7, 2013

Well, They're Not Anonymous NOW

If you follow a sport, you can probably rattle off the best teams in the league, and the worst teams in the league. You can also rattle off the most high-profile teams in the league- which aren't necessarily the best, just the most iconic.

There's another end to it, though.

With most iconic must come least iconic. The worst teams in the league at least have that notoriety. The question at hand here, is who's the least iconic. The most anonymous. The team you're most likely to forget is even there.

There's a way to measure that. Some might use size of fanbase. I use Sporcle.

As of this writing, 2,867,962 people have played a quiz in which they were asked to name the 32 members of the NFL (in 6 minutes). 1,264,070 people have done so for MLB (5 minutes), 1,169,813 people have done so for the NBA (6 minutes), 743,079 people have done so for the NHL (5 minutes), and 81,405 people have done so for MLS (3 minutes). All are substantial sample sizes. And not everyone names everybody. People leave teams on the table. Sporcle keeps statistics for how often each answer in their quizzes is named. From that statistic, we can find, at least to a somewhat reasonable degree, the most well-known and most anonymous teams in each league. I'll link to the full results- I'm not going to make you go through the quizzes- but I'll relay the top 5 and bottom 5 for each league. I wager a place like ESPN might come up with different numbers, but then, their results might be skewed by any piece of news that happens to be on the page at the time.

And it should be noted: New York is the largest city in America. And we're not asking popularity. We're just asking people to recite their name.

Let's start with MLS. The most well-known:
1. Los Angeles Galaxy (named by 91.8% of respondents)
2. New York Red Bulls (79.5%)
3. Chicago Fire (73.3%)
4. DC United (66.0%)
5. Columbus Crew (65.9%)

And the most anonymous:
15. Sporting Kansas City (42.5%)
16. Philadelphia Union (28.2%)
17. Portland Timbers (22.7%)
18. Vancouver Whitecaps (20.7%)
19. Montreal Impact (7.8%)

Moving to the NHL. The most well-known:
1. New York Rangers (92.5%)
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (91.2%)
3. Detroit Red Wings (90.4%)
4. Boston Bruins (89.9%)
5. New York Islanders (87.8%)

And the most anonymous:
26. Phoenix Coyotes (75.0%)
27. St. Louis Blues (74.9%)
28. Columbus Blue Jackets (72.9%)
29. Buffalo Sabres (72.1%)
30. Nashville Predators (68.4%)

Next, the NBA. The most well-known:
1. Los Angeles Lakers (97.1%)
2. Boston Celtics (95.0%)
3. Miami Heat (94.1%)
4. New York Knicks (92.1%)
5. Chicago Bulls (90.0%)

And the most anonymous:
26. Portland Trail Blazers (73.8%)
27. Toronto Raptors (72.9%)
28. Golden State Warriors (72.7%)
29. Milwaukee Bucks (68.7%)
30. Memphis Grizzlies (68.4%)

MLB's results. The most well-known:
1. New York Yankees (98.0%)
2. Boston Red Sox (97.3%)
3. Chicago White Sox (95.0%)
4. Cincinnati Reds (94.0%)
5. New York Mets (91.7%)

The Cubs came up 7th, the Giants 11th, the Dodgers 12th, the Cardinals 14th. Like I said, wonky. And the most anonymous:
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (77.9%)
27. Cleveland Indians (77.7%)
28. San Diego Padres (77.5%)
29. Milwaukee Brewers (76.3%)
30. Kansas City Royals (74.9%)

And finally, the NFL. The most well-known:
1. New England Patriots (94.8%)
2. New York Giants (94.8%)
3. New York Jets (94.4%)
4. Dallas Cowboys (92.2%)
5. Miami Dolphins (91.5%)

And the most anonymous:
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (80.4%)
29. Buffalo Bills (79.9%)
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (77.6%)
31. St. Louis Rams (77.1%)
32. Kansas City Chiefs (76.6%)

There is another quiz for the Big 4 in general, but I don't know that it's usable because some teams have the same nickname (Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, Panthers). But suffice to say the bottom eight in the quiz are all NHL teams.

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