The Ultimate Pseudo-Mathematical Analysis Of Sports Fandom

Introducing the Rootability Curve.

Behold the Rootability Curve! This curve, built with 100% real Sports Calculus, is our attempt to describe the shape of general fan support for teams and players: Everyone loves an underdog champ, though the more you win, the more your triumph is seen as boring and even villainous. But if you’re so good that your victories become historically momentous events, the public can’t help but love you again. See below for some examples of what we mean.

Graphic by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

At the upper left, ultimate underdogs like Jeremy Lin and Florida Gulf Coast. At the nadir of the curve, the Lakers, Yankees, and Duke: very good teams that never go away, perpetually inspiring jealousy and resentment in all fans who didn’t grow up pulling for them. And on the upper right, Jordan, Messi, Federer: athletes and teams so brilliant that to dislike them is to dislike sports itself. We’re pretty sure we nailed every one of these exactly on the nose, so there’s no reason to critique our choices on Twitter or in the comments. Carry on!

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