A friend of mine, who happens to be a 49ers fan, recently sent me a link to a study of friendships between NFL fans on Facebook. The data is compiled to showcase the fanbase of NFL teams across America, the fanbase of the playoff teams minus the teams that didn't make the playoffs and a map of the fans of the 2 Super Bowl teams. All this was done by selecting a "winner" for each county in the US. The study goes even further by dissecting common fan friends for each team and does so with surprising results.
I'll provide a link to the study here.
The Steelers Diaspora has been well documented on this site and many other places, so I'll save you from having to hear the story again, but these maps give us insight as to just exactly where Steelers fans landed in the fallout of the 70's and 80's, though the data they selected doesn't tell the whole story since there is no way to see the number of fans in each county, just which team has the most. For example: In Los Angeles (where I live), It's dominated by Raiders fans, but I would guess the total number of Steelers fans is greater here than some of the other places highlighted on the map.
The numbers reported are interesting in and of themselves and it's unfortunate we didn't make the playoffs to find out even more about where Steelers fans are. So I will only discuss the last piece of data reported and the one I found most interesting...who are the NFL fans we are most commonly associated with. If you're looking to feel good about yourself as a Steelers fan, then this is the data that will back that up. Every fan of an NFL team can count on a Steeler fan to be in their top 3 group of friends except for The Vikings which ranked us 4th. 23 team's fans have Steelers fans in the top 2 and 8 team's fans have us 1st overall. Most surprising about the last bit is that some of these teams have been our biggest rivals over the years. Those teams include: Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Dallas and....bum, Bum, BUM!!!!! BALTIMORE!
I'd like to leave the rest for discussion, but perhaps the most important thing to note in this data is that while a Ravens fan is most likely to have a Steelers fan as a friend, Ravens fans don't even crack our top 5. I know we, the fans, both hate (and respect) each other, but this data would suggest that we hate Baltimore a little more than they hate us, even though Terrell Suggs tries his hardest to have us believe otherwise.