More often than not, if someone is yelling, “Go bears!” in the wild, that person is a fan of Chicago’s football team, not cheering on the entire wild species (unless that person has Timothy Treadwell tendencies). But the comparison got ambitious Reddit user TwentyThreeEightyOne wondering: Are there more Bears fans than actual bears? He went on to compare the number of fans of each NFL team to the number of the team’s namesakes that actually exist. Well, all but one.
Redskins: I’m not touching this one.
In cases such as the Buccaneers, the results were easy to calculate: There are around 2.7 million fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but exactly zero 17th- to 18th-century pirates still alive. Some teams required a bit more research. While looking for a comparison to the Cleveland Browns (who have 3,738,429 supporters, despite their haplessness), the user combed through statistics tracking people with the last name “Brown.”
Things get a little murky by the time we get to the Miami Dolphins:
My standards for reputable sources have fallen so far at this point in this regrettable project that I’m just going to use Quora, where “Patricia Barquin, Enthusiast” believes that there are well over seven million.
So what of the bears? There are roughly 12,092,476 Chicago Bears fans and only 1,148,364 bears, at least per this report. To be fair, it’s not exactly an academic study, but it is all pretty fun to consider. If there’s one thing that can be taken away from this it’s that there’s no good reason for most NFL team names, and also that if cardinals, ravens, and falcons joined forces, they could easily wipe out the human race, or at least all the football fans.