Once again, a sampling of a small slice of America is being interpreted broadly and expansively to reflect the attitudes of the millions of folks who inhabit this great nation of ours.
This time, ESPN has declared that America’s team still is America’s team, with 8.8 percent of the country making the Dallas Cowboys their favorite pro football franchise.
As usual, however, the devil has built a duplex in the details. For starters, there’s no mention of the margin for error arising from assuming that the views of 1,500 can be extrapolated to more than 313 million. With the top five teams separated by only two percentage points, that’s a fairly critical wrinkle.
Perhaps even more importantly, the truth is that the Cowboys came in second. Behind “pass.”
That’s right. A full 10.3 percent of the 1,500 people polled didn’t indicate a favorite team.
So all we really know is that 132 people in America are Cowboys fans. And that 150 people in America don’t have a favorite NFL team.
Of course, that information wouldn’t create the kind of headline that would drive traffic to ESPN.com.