Who is the Treasure Valley cheering for in the Super Bowl … Seahawks or Broncos?

STATESMAN STAFFJanuary 26, 2014 

Based on geography, the Treasure Valley is smack-dab in the middle of the Super Bowl story line. We’re 404 miles from Seattle as the crow flies (or roughly an 8-hour drive), and we’re 639 miles from Denver (or a 12-hour drive). The Valley is loaded with Seattle and Denver fans, and we wanted to know who will have the louder voice, so we broke down a few statistical (and very unscientific) categories to help reach a conclusion before next Sunday’s big game (4:30 p.m., Fox).

MERCHANDISEAND GEAR SALES

If fans speak with their wallets and wardrobes, then the Seahawks are clearly a favorite in the Treasure Valley. The Seahawks have generated the most sales of any NFL team at the Pro Image stores in Boise, Meridian and Nampa this season. The Broncos are fourth, behind the 49ers and Cowboys.

As recently as five years ago, the Broncos were more popular than the Seahawks, said Travis Hawkes, who owns the Pro Image stores. The Seahawks’ updated color scheme — featuring lime green — helped spark a change. “It’s kind of become the cool stuff to wear,” Hawkes said.

The Seahawks ranked No. 2 last year at Pro Image behind the 49ers. They’ve been No. 1 this year, since the summer.

• Advantage: Seahawks — big

WHOSE FANS ARE MOVING TO IDAHO?

If it were just a battle of recent Idaho transplants, this would be no contest. Nearly 86,000 Washington residentshave migrated to the Gem State since 2005, compared to just more than 15,000 Coloradoans, according to the U.S. Census.

Though the data contains a large margin for error — and we also realize that not every outsider moving into our state settles in the Treasure Valley area — the numbers aren’t all that surprising, given that Idaho and Washington share a long state line.

In 2012, the moving numbers were 10,398 (from Washington) and 1,186 (from Colorado). Which begs the question:

If their football teams were so darn good, why’d they leave?

• Advantage: Seahawks — even bigger

POLITICAL LEADERS AND THEIR PICKS

We’re seekings answers, the truth and a forecast into the future — so naturally we went to our leaders to see what they thought about next weekend’s gathering of football muscle. We reached out to a few politicians in Ada and Canyon counties and asked them the same simple question:

Seahawks or Broncos?

Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd is pulling for the Seahawks, while Eagle Mayor Jim Reynolds and Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas are in the Broncos’ camp.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter is sticking with his longtime allegiance and won’t pick anyone except the Packers.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said he is rooting for “the winner.’’

• Advantage: A slight lean in favor of the Broncos

THE PULSEOF SOCIAL MEDIA

You can’t do anything without social media these days, and we went straight to Facebook to see which team regular everyday football fans are invested in.

A solicit on a couple of our accounts produced more than 300 answers.

The results were competitive (a hint of things to come?):

There were 152 votes for the Broncos, and 141 votes for the Seahawks.

A few other people took the time to say they didn’t care, or throw some serious love at Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (he’s popular).

Speaking of popular, Jason Haberman didn’t pick a team on Facebook, but he might have had the best/most popular answer: “I’m rooting for baby back ribs.’’

• Advantage: Broncos — by an inch

AND THE CONCLUSION IS ...

The Treasure Valley digs the Seahawks' uniforms and Peyton Manning. (As for the game, it's too close to call, which is exactly how it should be.)

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