Indians fans are odd birds. We complain and gripe about the team even as we bleed red, blue, and white. And we talk about the team. And talk. And talk. These findings are the result of more than 35 years of field research. I’ve crunched the numbers to determine what we talk about when we talk Tribe. One of the interesting findings of this research is that these percentages hold up year after year, regardless of the team’s actual won-loss percentage.
There are 15 topics that were statistically significant. While this appears to be a comparatively large number (for example, Yankee fans have only three topics–”Why the Yankees will win the World Series this year,” “Why haven’t the Yankees won a World Series in X years?,” and “How great Derek Jeter is”), the preponderance of discussions that focus on team history are slightly higher than comparable breakdowns for other MLB teams. However, the lack of optimism reflected in the discussion topics is consistent among small market teams.
The percentage breakdown of topics about which Indians fans talk is as follows:
How awesome they are this year — 14%
How horrible they are this year — 14%
Actual discussion of the most recent game — 11%
Speculating whether you’ll ever see a World Series win in your lifetime — 9%
Griping about past trades — 9%
How great that ’95 team was — 9%*
How much they stank during your childhood — 8%
Possible scenarios that would get them to win the division — 7%
Griping about the ownership — 6%
What would have happened if we had signed ______________ — 4%
Why we should trade ____________ — 4%
How great Bob Feller was — 2%
How much you hate Jose Mesa for blowing Game 7 — 1%**
Is there anybody in AAA they could call up? — 1%
Why the Indians are cursed — 1%***
*Note: Prior to 1995, this topic was evenly divided between “How great Rocky Colavito was and did you ever see him play in person?” and “Were you around to see the 1954 pennant team?”
**Note: Prior to 1997, this topic was “What a jerk Pete Rose was for ruining Ray Fosse’s career.”
***Note: This topic is a statistical anomaly. Actual discussion of the Indians being cursed invariably leads directly to discussion of why all Cleveland sports are cursed and why it sucks so bad to be a Cleveland sports fan, both topics that are beyond the scope of this study.