The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots will meet Sunday in Super Bowl LI in Dallas, Texas.
In the Chicago area, there are about 40,000 potential Falcons and Patriots transplants to taunt dejected Bears fans.
While an exact count of NFL fandom is difficult, one representation is how many Cook County residents were born in the main territories for each team. Facebook publishes a list of the favorite NFL team for each county. Using that data, we can determine the extent of each team’s territory. In the case New England and Atlanta, it matches up really well with state lines.
Falcon fans — outside of a few border counties in Alabama — stick mainly within Georgia. Patriots fans dominate Massachusetts, but also the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, around 14,000 Cook County residents were born in Georgia. Another 26,000 came from the six New England states. Not every fan was born in the team’s home state (especially for Super Bowl-mainstay New England), but not every former resident is a football fan. We’re hopeful the two cancel out a bit.
But those 40,000 fans represent only 0.07 percent of the more than 5 million people in Cook County. Chances are good if you want to avoid fans of this weekend’s combatants, you can do it.
Or, if you are part of that 0.07 percent and want to watch the game with like-minded fans, check out Halsted Street in Lincoln Park. The city’s only Falcons bar, Kelsey’s, is just down the street from one of many Patriots-friendly pubs.