Every state has one team that they live and die by. For many states, such as Ohio, the team is obvious, but for others, such as Pennsylvania and Texas, many great teams fight for that title. This article will be broken up into segments: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, in that order.
Today, we'll look at the Midwest, which consists of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Illinois: Chicago Cubs
The Lovable Losers have not only captured the hearts of much of Chicago, but the love has spread throughout the whole state too. Fans by the thousands flock to Wrigley field every year to watch their Cubbies, and tickets are almost impossible to get without paying big bucks on Ebay or Stubhub.
The Cubs also have support in many neighboring states too, such as eastern Iowa, western Indiana, and a little bit in southern Wisconsin.
Indiana: Indiana Hoosiers Basketball
The Hoosiers' lead in Indiana has become much slimmer over the past few years, due to their rapid decline and the Colts' increasing popularity. The Hoosiers have a tradition that has been present since the 1950s.
They became a national power during the Bobby Knight era, and since recently, have hung onto that title. While the losing hurts, fans still pack Assembly Hall to cheer on their Hoosiers.
Iowa: Iowa Hawkeyes Football
Football is huge in Iowa. For that reason, plus the fact that Iowa State is annually horrible and Iowa doesn't have any professional teams, the Hawkeyes are the really deal in, coincidentally, the "Hawkeye State."
Tickets are as hard to get at Kinnick Stadium as they are at Wrigley, and sometimes games are sold out within five minutes of going on sale. 70,585 fans rock Kinnick every Saturday during the fall, and it is consistently rated one of the toughest places to play by many sports networks including ESPN.
ESPN's College Gameday also called Iowa City one of the best spots they've been to, considering the hosts had to stop talking for a few minutes because it was too loud.
Michigan: Michigan Wolverines Football
Like Indiana basketball, he Wolverines have definitely taken a step back in recent years. The awful pro teams will never come close to matching Michigan football's support, but Michigan State basketball has definitely gained ground. Still, Michigan's tradition is holding on.
It is amazing how the Wolverines can go 3-9 and still fit 110,000 fans into the Big House. They are tough on their coaches, such as Loyd Carr, even when they are doing a good job. The Wolverines need to be careful, though, because if the losing and mediocrity continue, Spartans basketball could overtake them as the favorite team in Michigan.
Minnesota: Minnesota Vikings
College sports are horrible in Minnesota, and the Twins really aren't that big, so when it comes down to the favorite team, you have to go with the Vikings. Vikings fans always get into the games, dressing up in anything possible, and they make the Metrodome an extremely hostile environment on Sundays during the fall.
Even when the Vikings are mediocre, the fans see them as playoff material and expect no less than an NFC North crown. This year, many fans are expecting a Super Bowl berth, which means pretty lofty expectations for the Vikings in 2009-2010.
Missouri: St. Louis Cardinals
Along with border buddy Illinois, Missouri is one of the few states that is all about baseball. The Rams had their run in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and Missouri Tigers football is getting there, but the Cardinals are the real deal.
Few fans are more proud of their team than Cardinals fans, and they are very loyal to their team. If the Cardinals are on a cold streak, the fans are still loyal and don'y immediately call for the firing of a coach.
It makes sense why they were named the most friendly fans in baseball. Friendly doesn't mean bad, though, as Cardinals fans are some of the most loyal fans in the country. Plus, the recent playoff success doesn't hurt either.
North Dakota and South Dakota: Minnesota Vikings
What sports do you think of when you hear North Dakota? ...I've got nothing. With the exception of maybe Montana and Wyoming, North Dakota may be the worst state for major sports. South Dakota isn't much better, and both states are probably more into hunting and fishing than baseball or football.
Still, if I have to pick a favorite, I have to go with the Minnesota Vikings. Both states share a border with Minnesota and there is really nobody else around to cheer for. Still, while the Vikings may be the favorite team, i don't think major sports are a priority for Dakotans.
Ohio: Ohio State Buckeyes Football
This is a no-brainer. Sure, the are some Browns, Indians, Bengals, and Reds fans, but none of them come close to matching the support of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Close to 100,000 fans watch the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe every Saturday and millions more cheer them on from their living rooms.
Although the Buckeyes are on a drought, though it doesn't seem fair to call three national championship appearances in a decade a drought, their fans are still extremely loyal and back their team no matter what.
Ohio State rebuilds every year and is always strong. No matter how much mud the SEC slings at them, Ohio State will always be an elite college football team.
Wisconsin: Green Bay Packers
The Packers actually have some competition in Wisconsin, given Badgers football is also very big in the state. The Packers just have something special, though. They play in by far the smallest city with an NFL team, but have a huge fan base. People flock from not only all over Wisconsin, but all over the country to watch the Packers play at Lambeu Field.
Tickets are impossible to get through the Packers, since all tickets are sold out to seaosn ticket holders, and they are very expensive on Stuhub and Ebay, because of their high demand.
Want season tickets? Good luck. If you go on the waiting list now, you won't have them before you die. It is very clear that the Packers are the favorite team in Wisconsin.
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