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The National Football League will be playing their third weekend, college football their fourth, the local high school football season reaches its mid-point, the Major League Baseball season is entering its final weeks and fall will officially be recognized this Saturday. Indeed, a lot is going on to stir the emotions of sports fans.

On September’s second weekend, the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles fans were in their usual form booing their favorites as they left the field at halftime of their opening game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Pittsburgh Steelers limped to a 21-21 overtime tie with the almost-never-victorious Cleveland Browns, and the Penn State Nittany Lions brutalized the Pitt Panthers 51-6 in what is most likely the next-to-last game of what used to be a great cross-state rivalry. On the diamond, the Philadelphia Phillies continued a late-season swoon greatly diminishing their unexpected playoff run while fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates were left to hope their favorites could achieve a .500 season.

There is little question that Pennsylvania fans are passionate about their favorite teams. But who those favorite teams are can be disputed throughout the state. Recently, I came across an independent study done by a gentleman named Christopher Connors, whose mission was to identify the favorite sports team in each of our states. As for Pennsylvania, his comments were:

“Penn State alumni are scattered all through the state and thousands of young boys grow up dreaming of playing for the blue & white. Penn State has always been able to lay claim to having perhaps the best game day environment and fan base of nearly any school in college football. While professional teams are the favorites in Philadelphia and Pittsburg, statewide, it is Penn State football.”

While you may agree or disagree, but just for fun the roll call of Connors’ findings follows.

Alabama – University of Alabama football
Alaska – University of Alaska-Anchorage ice hockey
Arizona – Phoenix Suns
Arkansas – University of Arkansas football
California – Los Angeles Lakers
Colorado – Denver Broncos
Connecticut – University of Connecticut women’s basketball
Delaware – Philadelphia Eagles
District of Columbia – Washington Redskins
Florida – University of Florida football
Georgia – University of Georgia football
Hawaii – University of Hawaii football
Idaho – Boise State University football
Illinois – Chicago Cubs
Indiana – University of Indiana basketball
Iowa – University of Iowa football
Kansas – University of Kansas basketball
Louisiana – LSU football
Maine – Boston Red Sox
Maryland – Baltimore Ravens
Massachusetts – Boston Red Sox
“Were you expecting another team? Despite the success of the New England Patriots and the Boston Celtics, every fan in Massachusetts dreams of making it to Fenway Park to cheer on the Red Sox. The Red Sox are interwoven into the fabric of the state and New England region. They are undeniably the most popular team. They are larger than life.”
Michigan – University of Michigan football
Minnesota – Minnesota Vikings
Mississippi – Ole Miss football
Missouri – St. Louis Cardinals
Montana – University of Montana football
Nebraska – University of Nebraska football
Nevada – Las Vegas Golden Knights
New Hampshire – Boston Red Sox
New Jersey – New York Yankees
New York – New York Yankees
North Carolina – University of North Carolina Basketball
North Dakota – Minnesota Vikings
Ohio – Ohio State football
Oklahoma – University of Oklahoma football
Oregon – University of Oregon football
Pennsylvania – Penn State football
Rhode Island – New England Patriots
South Carolina – University of South Carolina football
South Dakota – Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee – University of Tennessee football
Texas – Dallas Cowboys
Utah – Brigham Young University football
Vermont – Boston Red Sox
Virginia – Washington Redskins
Washington – Seattle Mariners
West Virginia – University of West Virginia football
Wisconsin – Green Bay Packers
Wyoming – Denver Broncos

The tremendous appeal of college football is evident as the sport was tapped as the fans’ favorite in 20 states. The remainder of the survey showed the fan favorites as National Football League – 12; Major League Baseball – 9; Men’s College Basketball – 5; National Basketball Association – 2; followed by the National Hockey League, College Ice Hockey and Women’s College Basketball each with 1.

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