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Twitter freaks out about fake map that shows Marlins as Florida’s most popular sports team

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Most popular team in the state of Fish Stripes! That’s gotta count for something, right?

Photo by @dsosaphotography/Instagram

The Miami Marlins, still more than one week away from their first regular season game, lacking in established individual star power and universally considered a longshot to contend this year, were among the top Twitter trends in the United States on Monday. Why?

Because Barstool Sports posted this map:

Depending on which state catches your eye first, you might be duped into taking it seriously. The Denver Broncos ruling Colorado? Of course. And everybody knows that Georgia is the heart of “Braves Country.”

But then you see it—Florida filled in with Marlin blue, midnight black and caliente red.

Sharing a state with countless other professional sports teams and several of the nation’s most prestigious college athletics programs, what criteria could possibly favor the Marlins? They’re coming off an 105-loss season and considered underdogs against nearly all of their 2020 opponents. Many Fish Stripes readers literally were not old enough to remember what the most recent playoff run felt like. Others who do finally lost patience with the franchise following the latest round of rebuilding trades. Although morale is on the rise, the fanbase’s clout is at its nadir.

The source cited on the map—Sports Housing and Recreational Tourism Statistics—doesn’t seem credible. Have you even heard of it before? I haven’t!

...Wait a minute: Sports Housing and Recreational Tourism Statistics.

Ahhhhhh, gotcha. (For anybody who is unfamiliar with what “sharts” are, Google can enlighten you.)

I am generally reluctant to consume Barstool Sports content or broaden its reach, but must admit that this was well executed.

Who would you consider the real “most popular team” in Florida? Comment below.