The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
If you’ve noticed a lot of survey-related news on other soccer sites today, it’s because Barclays has released the results of their Global Fan Survey, a who-said-anything-about-a-press-stunt poll of 32,000-ish football fans around the world. This is essentially one story, but the media has been parceling it out in tiny micro-stories throughout the day, which is why we’ve had separate articles devoted to Fernando Torres being the Premier League’s most popular player, Cristiano Ronaldo not being the Premier League’s most popular player, Thierry Henry being the Premier League’s all-time most popular player, the Premier League being the world’s most popular league, and football just generally being popular like you can hardly imagine in all areas not bearing the taint of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now, obviously, I wouldn’t want to cast aspersions on the neutrality of a survey that’s conducted by the sponsor of a football league, offers the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to watch a game in that league as a prize for participating, and then finds that that same league is followed by 98% of all football fans on Earth. That may look like, I don’t know, nonsense—giving the Premier League a 43-point advantage over La Liga as it does, and an 80-point one over Serie A—but I’m sure the people asking the questions were no less than expertly rehearsed. If these numbers were meaningless, why would so many news outlets be reporting them? Huh? Huh?
Can’t answer that one, can you, champ.
And, look, I mean, If Barclays wanted to be self-serving, why were there any questions about Thierry Henry at all? Doesn’t he play in Spain? Exactly.
Anyway, in the interest of bigging-up science, here are a couple of other results from the survey that so far haven’t gotten major play in the press. Maybe they’re saving them for tomorrow. Or maybe there’s a whole new round of numbers on its way about the world’s favorite element of the Premier League logo (the lion) and the world’s favorite letter in the word “Barclays” (the B, by 70%). We’ll see. These are real, by the way:
Fans who describe football as their most frequent topic of conversation: 80%
Fans who describe football as mattering more to them than their families and partners: 49%
I leave you to contemplate those numbers (probably out loud, while ignoring faint cries for help from your girlfriend in the next room) at your leisure.
by Brian Phillips · December 11, 2008