Sports Illustrated released its yearly Sports Fandom survey on Thursday, Nov. 10, revealing a 232% increase in Chicago Cubs fans among Millennials, and a 156 % increase in the overall Cubs’ fanbase size.
Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States of America, but researchers and experts are flabbergasted at how many new Cubs fans have emerged from the bushes.
“I’m perplexed,” said Sports Illustrated senior editor Emma Spain. “The Cubs were bad for so long, but WGN America made them household icons. Now they aren’t on WGN America, and their fanbase grows. It makes no sense.”
Slight increases and decreases in fanbases are common on a yearly basis, but such a sizable increase is impossible to predict.
“Our prediction models, based on a specific formula calculated for each professional team, had the Cubs’ fanbase decreasing by 3%,” said mathematician John Horton Conweigh.
One theory is the popularity with the Cubs’ color scheme.
“Blue and red is such a common combination in baseball, but Cubs’ blue and red just brings a different hue to the table,” said graphic designer Todd Radum. “Most teams have a navy blue, but Cubbie blue has been proven to sit well with both sexes.”
Other baseball experts have pointed to the lack of success the Chicago White Sox have experienced over the past half-decade.
“White Sox fans are starting to get fed up with spending all that money and not having it translate into wins on the field,” said ESPN’s Buster Only. Especially after last season’s Adam LaRoche incident involving his kid, it’s just not a good look for the White Sox.”
Sports Illustrated plans to run extensive studies on what factors directly correlate with the Cubs’ rise in fanbase population. It is unclear when to expect the study results to be completed.
“We just have no clue what the data will present,” Conweigh said. “It’s only after we receive all the data and start to sift through it that a timetable can start to develop.”
Until the extensive study results are available to the public, only theories will suffice.
This article was taken from the Zircon issue of The Dordt Diamond