Falcons No Longer Most ‘Hated’ Team in Louisiana as Saints Fans Take Aim at a New NFL Rival
Do the New Orleans Saints have a new rival in the NFL?
For decades, Saints fans have had a very pointed disdain for the Atlanta Falcons. Every season when the New Orleans Saints schedule would drop, fans would circle both dates with their NFC South rival with an extra red circle around the home date as they looked forward to bringing the noise to Atlanta in the Superdome.
Don't get it twisted, the Saints and their fans are capable of chewing gum and walking at the same and very much still do hate the Atlanta Falcons, but the Tom Brady factor in Tampa Bay has definitely elevated the "hatred" that faithful Who Dats have for the Buccaneers—another NFC team that we've also despised for quite some time now.
But are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the new most hated NFL team when it comes to Saints fans? According to new data, that seems to be the case.
The gang over at sportsbetting.ag looked at over 200,000 tweets, tracking specific keywords, hashtags, and direct phrases about "hating or disliking a particular team."
For example, negative phrases like "I hate the Steelers," or "I hate the Patriots." Tweets with a little more "colorful" language were also tracked. Over 200,000 tweets were tracked.
Based on the map of results, the most hated team in each state is usually a division rival of the team in the region, but there are a few teams that are hated beyond just their division foes (ex: the Dallas Cowboys).
As a matter of fact, the Dallas Cowboys are the most hated team in the country, coming in at #1 in a total of eight states. The Buccaneers aren't far behind with a total of six.
Cowboys - 8 states
Bucs - 6 states
Packers - 6 states
Raiders - 5 states
Eagles - 4 states
Jets - 4 states
49ers - 3 states
Rams - 3 states
Seahawks - 2 states
Steelers - 2 states
Ravens - 2 states
Patriots - 2 states
Chargers - 1 state
Chiefs - 1 state
Bears - 1 state
It's interesting data that definitely translates to real life. This year, I've had more people reach out to buy my Saints season tickets for the Cowboys and Bucs game at the dome more than any other home game on the schedule. As a matter of fact, I only have two games left up for grabs and the Falcons are one of them.
I don't think there has ever been a season where that wasn't the most coveted game to attend, but again—the Tom Brady factor is very real, and come Halloween, we will see that hatred translated into 70,000+ screaming Who Dats inside of the Caesar's Superdome.
By the way, thanks to COVID, Tom Brady has never played in that fully-packed Superdome atmosphere as an NFC South rival, so October 31 should be very interesting in New Orleans.
Let's hope the Saints can feed off of that energy and turn it into a win!