I’m not a reporter (nor do I play one on TV) but in an effort to write a fair and balanced column about the upcoming Super Bowl for my local paper, I conducted a somewhat scientific survey to determine which of the two teams, the New York Giants or New England Patriots, had the most fans among my fellow Sheltonites. I hypothesized that since our town is situated somewhat in the middle between New York and Boston, the supporters would be equally divided as well. Boy, was I wrong! But before revealing the results, let’s take a look at how the data was gathered.
Being a bit on the shy side, I began by polling my closest friends…until a quick analysis of their responses made me realize the flaw in this plan. By limiting it to just my friends, I was skewing the data unfairly towards one team, since a big part of what bonded us as buddies (and Americans) was our shared love for the mighty New York Football Giants. So to maintain my poll’s integrity, I expanded the search to my facebook “friends” by posting the same question on both my wall and on several pages dedicated to Shelton. But again, the responses came back heavily in favor of Big Blue.
Now, I know that Shelton, like Giants Stadium*, is full of smart, hard-working, good looking people, but I felt there had to be some Patriots fans out there. But where were they? And why weren’t they responding to my survey?
Concerned, I dusted off my old psychology books and reread the chapters on conducting proper studies and surveys. When I got to the part about confounding variables, which, as Giants fans know, are any extraneous variables whose presence affects the variables being studied so that the results you get do not reflect the actual relationship between the variables under investigation (or, for you Patriot fans, they’re the thingies that make the other thingies seem to be one thing, but are actually something else.)
This helped me recognize that a major problem with my poll was that it was only conducted as a written survey. Because of this, I could not trust the validity of my results, which seemed to show that Shelton was full of Giants fans, because in reality, it could be equally populated with Patriot fans, but the nature of the survey made it so that only Giants fans were responding. Why? Because the average Patriot fan can’t read!
With that in mind, I set out to personally interview people in order to rule out the illiteracy theory. I decided to start at Downtown Danny O’s because, well, they have beer there. And as it turned out, some Patriots fans as well Granted, it was 2:00 pm on a Tuesday, when most people should be working, but still. I was just glad I could finally put a couple tally marks in the Pats’ column.
In fact, I was so happy, I offered to buy them a round of drinks, which they eagerly accepted. Our beers were delivered by a very pretty waitress, whose appearance inspired a lively conversation about Tom Brady’s hair. “I betcha he’s a VO-5 man,” said one. “No way!” said the other. “Brady’s all man. None of that expensive salon stuff for him! He prob’ly just rubs a bar of Ivory on his head in the shower.” “Whatever he does, it’s working,” the first one sighed wistfully. “You got that right,” his friend agreed, raising his glass. “To Brady!” they toasted. “QB of the Century! Just imagine if he had played for the Red Raiders!”
“Wait, you guys are from Derby?” I interrupted. They both nodded. Well that explains things, I thought as I mentally erased their tally marks from my list and set off in search of a Shelton Patriot fan.
It shouldn’t be this difficult, I whined as I wandered through Walmart, where every other customer appeared to be wearing a Manning #10 jersey. After all, Shelton IS in New England. There should be some people supportive of the “home” team. But where could I find them? I know it’s an oxymoron, but I had to think like a Patriots fan. So I sat in the parking lot and asked myself, “If I were a Pats Backer, where would I hang out?”
A few moments later, inspiration struck, and I raced off to my destinations. But the dog pound, sewage treatment plant, and city dump didn’t turn up anything either, save for a few Jets fans. Maybe Shelton really was a Giants town. Could it be that Pat Carey only sells homes to fellow Giants fans? Might having hometown hero, Dan Orlovsky, taking over for Eli Manning’s brother have something to do with it? Or is it just that thanks to our quality education system, strong local leadership, and supportive parents, we were all simply raised right?
Whatever the reason, Shelton is clearly Giants Territory. At least in the eyes of this unbiased columnist. But if you want the facts to back it up, here are the actual numbers: Of the 53 people who responded to my poll, 32 are rooting for the Giants, 16 are pulling for the Patriots, and 5 claimed to not care. Toss out the last group and the data indisputably shows Shelton favoring the Giants by a 2:1 ratio. Or, as the Pats fans will surely call it, a Twenty One Radio.
But all kidding aside, whatever team you favor, I hope you have a safe and entertaining Super Bowl. And Go Big Blue!!!
* I know the new stadium is called MetLife,
but until someone pays ME for the naming rights,