A Tale of Two Cities

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Whttp://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extra_points/nfl_manning_brees1_576.jpgith Super Bowl XLIV less than a week away, more information is going to surface about the Colts and the Saints than you can shake a stick at. What will Reggie Bush eat for breakfast on the day of the big game? How many times will Peyton Manning be asked questions about his ties to the city of New Orleans? It can be a bit overwhelming, but at the same time I hate missing out on an opportunity to cash in on the hype. So I did a little bit of digging in our own database to see which city deserves to win the Super Bowl more (casting aside actual football playing ability). Better Fans I know that I risk a punch in the mouth by even attempting to break this down, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve watched a lot of football over the years…a lot. I’ve even been to the Superdome in New Orleans to watch a game and almost went deaf because of the raucous fans. The RCA Dome is no joke either if you’ve ever watched the Colts play on TV.

But what do the numbers say?  According to our NFL Attendance index, Indianapolis has consistently beaten the national average for fans that attend games by about 10 points over the last three years. New Orleans on the other hand has trended upward over the last two years (coincidentally following the same path of the team’s success…hmmmm), but has still been under the national average for the last three years. I’m sure that there might be other factors at play here (such as the wake of Katrina, the poor economy, etc), but I’m trying to keep this lighthearted and fun. So I’m just going to focus on the numbers and declare Indianapolis the winner in this area.

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More Fun It used to be that New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day had the market cornered on alcohol-fueled insanity but that is no longer the case. Super Bowl Sunday has emerged as a dark horse contender to challenge either of those days for the number one spot. So which city would be more fun to hang out at bar and watch the game in? I’m not even sure that I need any data to support this claim. However, in the interest of fairness, I’m going to use some anyway.

If you’re anything like me you like a little breathing room when you watch a game…it makes it easier to scream at the players that way. Some day they might even hear me. When looking at the number of bars per person in these two cities, each eclipses the national average (for cities over 100K people). Not unexpectedly, New Orleans edges out the national average by about 25%, while Indy scrapes by at a little over 3%. Seems like either city has some decent fun potential, but I’m going to give the nod to New Orleans.

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Aftermath So the game is over and a winner has been decided. Where would you feel safer in the event of a team’s victory? You’ve got one city that’s been a perennial sports doormat and another that already claimed a Super Bowl victory a mere 3 years ago. If history has taught me anything, it’s that when cities that aren’t used to winning win, chaos ensues (see Boston Red Sox, 2004). When a city with an “act like you’ve been there before” mentality wins, there’s usually a calm celebration followed by a sense of entitlement (see New York Yankees, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009).

Since ultimately it’s up to the police to maintain order in these situations, let’s take a look at which city’s police force is more up to the task. In looking at the most recent FBI crime incidence data and doing a comparison based on the number of incidents per 1000 people, New Orleans actually appears to be your safer bet (72.88 for Indy vs. 63.06 for N.O.). This is somewhat surprising considering the debauchery and madness associated with New Orleans, but the numbers wouldn’t lie. Tiebreaker goes to the Big Easy.

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The Winner So after careful deliberation and painstaking number crunching, it would appear as though New Orleans deserves to emerge as the winner of next Sunday’s big game.  That’s the data guy in me speaking.  The football fan still thinks Indy comes out on top because Peyton Manning is just too damn good. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime enjoy every bit of Super Bowl minutia that comes your way in the coming days because somewhere there was someone that went through a lot of trouble to dig up that info and share it with you.

Image Credit: Wikipedia