As a New England native and professional sports fan, the past two decades have brought a wealth of titles. This got me interested in looking at which regions have had the most professional sports success. In this article I first visualize the championship history, and then take an initial stab at figuring out what regions have had it best.
In this section I look at the historical record. I've broken up the past 75+ years into 3 time chunks. To define the regions, I used this wikipedia article (opens in new tab). The regions are sorted by total titles in the periods, and I only show the top 15 here. The history uses this key, and you can also click on the year boxes for more information.
2018 to 2000:
1999 to 1980:
1979 to 1960:
So which regions have had it best? To get a sense for this I did the following:
- A region gets 5 points for winning a championship and 1 point for losing
- In 2007 for example, Boston earns 6 points, since the Red Sox won the World Series and the Patriots lost the Super Bowl
- To capture a sense of momentum from year to year, I start from the beginning (1960 here), and calculate the following score for every region each year:
- score[ yearn ] = sum( yearn wins and losses ) + 0.5 × score[ yearn-1 ]
- In the next section you can play with the formula yourself.
The ranked result is (only regions with a first place are colored in):
Try It Yourself
Adjust the weights to explore the rankings, recalling the formula:
For example you can weight some sports more, or make the effect of the past weaker or stronger:
This was a fun project. There are a lot of things I'd like to do better:
- Show the full history.
- Try a different visualization for the ranking.
- Obviously all teams within a region aren't beloved by all fans there, just take the Yankees and Mets. I could somehow account for that.
- Do a more complex ranking, factoring in things like:
- A region should get more credit the smaller the market is.
- Factor in how much success is spread among multiple teams/sports.
Hopefully I'll get to all that soon. In the meantime, let me know what you think!