Can You Guess America’s Favorite Sport?

I am a huge fan of sports. Well, not all sports, but definitely some of them. Okay, mostly just soccer (aka football), but still I was super interested when I found Vox’s article 40 maps and charts that explain sports in America.

But then I saw this chart.

I immediately wanted to know where soccer was. Soccer is the largest sport in the world, and while it may not be very big in America, I was pretty certain it was starting to get more popular, especially with global events like the World Cup.

So I downloaded the data for myself from MakeoverMonday and began to explore it.

As I explored the data, I quickly realized that while Vox’s article does eventually provide good detail and narrative about each sport and their respective American league (including soccer and the MLS), they were missing one crucial aspect.

Animation.

This entire article would fit so much better as an animated data story, especially this one graph. So I took it on myself to make this.

I present to you: A Competitive Field

I truly think that any chart that is showing change over time becomes so much more interesting when animated. The aspect of time is so crucial to this data, that it is almost foolish not to animate it.

In terms of the data, my chart of course ended up looking roughly the same as Vox’s. I did however try to go into more detail for some of the changes we see in the data. Vox focused on the large shift between baseball and football in the 1960s while I preferred to watch the smaller shifts in the 90s between the other sports.

And of course I was looking for the emergence of soccer.