The Dallas Cowboys, despite a season defined largely by extended periods of mediocrity, improbably, inexplicably find themselves on the cusp of their first playoff berth in three years. It all comes down to Sunday. If they beat the Redskins, they're in. If they lose, they're out.
One would expect that America would be thrilling to the prospect of its favorite football team finally returning to postseason respectability. Not so. America -- at least the one that votes in ESPN SportsNation polls -- seems to be over the 'Boys.
Roughly three-fourths of respondents in a SportsNation poll indicated they'll be rooting for the Redskins to beat the Cowboys on Sunday night. As you can see from the map above, the preference holds in every single state except Texas, where Dallas is favored by a relatively slim 55-45 margin. Just to put that in perspective, that's two points worse than Mitt Romney.
The poll was enough to lead BuzzFeed to pen an obit of the "America's Team" nickname, not that anyone has deployed that phrase in a serious fashion this millennium. BuzzFeed bolsters its case by linking, inexplicably, to a Reddit thread about the Chiefs. (To quote from BuzzFeed's comments section: "Regardless of content, is this what passes for an "article" any more? Journalism is dead." Response: "It's Buzzfeed. If you're looking for hard hitting news I suggest you look elsewhere.")
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The survey should come with a number of caveats. As of this morning, 180,000 people have responded, an infinitesimally small portion of the football-loving population. Keep in mind, too, that the voters all voluntarily responded to a SportsNation poll, which tells you something. Finally, the Redskins have Robert Griffin III, who is absolutely impossible to dislike, sort of like a teddy bear who happens to be freakishly good at picking apart your team's defense. So take the whole thing with a grain of salt.