November 12, 2007

College Football, The SEC. 2006 Attendance Map.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-SEC — admin @ 5:25 pm


The Southeastern Conference (or SEC) was formed in December 1932, and began play in 1933.  It was formed when 13 schools from the Southern Conferencece left to form their own conference.  10 of these schools still play in the SEC.  At the end of 1991, the SEC expanded to 12 schools, with the addition of Arkansas (from the disbanded Southwest Conference), and South Carolina (who had been independent).  Since 1992, the SEC has been split into 2 divisions.  The Eastern Division is made up of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.  The Western Division comprises Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi (usually referred to as “Ole Miss”), and Mississippi State.  The winner of each division plays in the SEC Championship Game, held each December at the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta.  Here are the biggest rivalries in the SEC.  Alabama vs. Auburn (“The Iron Bowl”).  Florida vs. Georgia (“The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”).  LSU vs. Arkansas (“The Battle for the Golden Boot”).  Alabama vs. Tennessee (“The Third Saturday in October”).  Florida vs. Tennessee (“The Third Saturday in September”).  Auburn vs. Georgia (“The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”).  Thanks to the NFL Helmet Store, Midwest Collectibles, Elite Deals, CBS Sports Store, and Sports Unlimited Inc. websites.

November 9, 2007

College Football, The Big 12. 2006 Attendance Map.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-Big 12 — admin @ 9:32 pm


The Big 12 was formed in 1994, and began play in 1996.  The schools of the Big 8 joined with four Texas-based schools from the disbanded Southwest Conference.  Although the Big 12 does not officially claim the history of the Big 8 as it’s own, most fans see the Big 12 as an enlarged version of the old Big 8.  [The chart on this map lists total conference championships as the sum of Big 8+Big 12 Titles; and the sum of Southwest Conference+Big 12 Titles.] 

Keeping with the rivalries theme of my last NCAA football map, here are the main rivalries in the Big 12.  Oklahoma vs. Texas: “the Red River Shootout” (politically correct name is ”Red River Rivalry”).  Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: “the Bedlam Series.”  Texas vs. Texas A&M: “the Lone Star Showdown.”  Texas A&M vs. Baylor: “the Battle of the Brazos.”  Kansas vs. Missouri: “the Border War” (p.c. version: “Border Showdown”).  Kansas vs. Kansas State: “the Sunflower Showdown.”  Five of these annual match-ups have trophies for the winner (the A&M-Baylor game doesn’t).  Three more rivalries also have trophies, but aren’t big enough (I guess) to have an actual name.  Thanks to the NFL Helmet Store, Elite Deals, Joes Sports, and Midwest Collectibles webites.  Also thanks to All-Time Database (  I will do the Southeastern Conference next.

November 8, 2007

Baseball of the Northeast, 1992.

Filed under: Baseball,Hand Drawn Maps — admin @ 9:13 am


I made this map in 1992, back in the days before the internet:  my source for team information was “The Baseball Almanac, 1991″ by Dan Schlossberg.  The minor league team’s affiliations are noted by small crests or icons of the parent club.  The green and tan baseball diamond in the center of New York State represents Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall Of Fame.  Many of the smaller minor league teams shown here are defunct, like the Albany-Colonie Yankees, the Geneva Cubs, the Watertown Indians, the Welland (Ontario) Pirates, the St. Catherines (Ontario) Blue Jays, and the Utica Blue Sox.  Some of the logos here I took the liberty of inventing, like the Blue Sox crest, and the one for the Frederick Keys, in Maryland.  I carved out domains for the Major League teams, trying to be as realistic as possible, while still maintaining a graphic balance.   The New York Yankees got all of Upstate NY, northern and coastal New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut.  The New York Mets got all of Long Island, NY, plus a Met-colored bar cutting a swath through northern NJ.  This style of representing fan bases proved too problematic and arbitrary, though.  My maps have evolved to where I now usually depict team crests larger or smaller, depending on average attendance.  Showing each team’s “sphere of influence” would entail a census-taking of Herculean scale, and would ultimately be open to dispute. 

November 6, 2007

College Football, The Pac-Ten. 2006 Attendance Map.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-Pac 10 & Pac-12 — admin @ 6:40 pm


Any sports fan knows of the galvanizing power of a good rivalry.  The Pacific Ten (or Pac-Ten) is great because the conference is essentially comprised of 5 separate in-state rivalries.  The rivalries are: the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars;  the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers (aka “the Civil War”);  Stanford Cardinal and California Golden Bears  (San Francisco Bay area);  Southern Cal Trojans and UCLA Bruins (Los Angeles area);  the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils.  In fact, the 2 Arizona colleges joined the conference as a pair, in 1978.  Thanks to the NFL Helmet Store, Midwest Collectibles, and Elite Deals websites.  

November 5, 2007

NCAA Football, The Big Ten. 2006 Average Attendances.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-Big Ten — admin @ 7:26 am


The Big Ten is actually an 11-team conference, since Penn State joined in 1990.  It boasts 3 of the top 4 draws in all of American collegiate football (Tennessee is third).  The amount of spectators that the big-time college football programs draw is staggering.  In 2006, 57 teams had average attendances over 40,000.  The helmets on this map are sized proportionally to reflect the teams average gate.  Thanks to the NFL Helmet Store for the photographs.  

November 4, 2007

Japan: The 2006 J-League, with attendance figures.

Filed under: Japan — admin @ 2:10 pm


I like the J-League because it has sprung up out of nowhere, and has such maniacal fans.  The fans make the games a colorful spectacle  Also, the caliber of play is better than one might expect, and you are likely to see some pretty nice goals here.  The Urawa Reds are poised to become Japan’s first “big” club.  They draw the biggest crowds (45,500 average), and finally won the league title last season.  Albirex Niigata draw extremely well (38,700), in spite of being a mediocre club.  FC Tokyo, Yokohama F. Marinos, and Oita Trinita average in the 20,000 to 24,000 range.  There are 10 clubs with respectable gates of between 13,000 and 18,000.  The J-League averaged 18,292 per game in 2006.

November 1, 2007

The Golden Age of Baseball.

Filed under: Baseball,Hand Drawn Maps,Retro maps — admin @ 8:00 pm


Between 1903 and 1952, there was no franchise movement among the 8 National League and 8 American League baseball clubs.  This map shows all 16 clubs, with emblems, cap crests and uniform details from that time period.  Included is an inset map of the Greater New York City area.  In it, the locations of Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees), the Polo Grounds (NY Giants), and Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers) are marked.   The evolution of these three clubs’ crests and the evolution of the ball clubs’ colors are also shown here.  This map was drawn in 1993, and would not have been possible without the incredible book “Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century” {at Amazon, here}.  That book was researched, written, and illustrated by Marc Okkonen.  His artwork for this book can now be found as the main uniform database (from 1900 to 1994) for the Baseball Hall of Fame site “Dressed to the Nines – A History of the Baseball Uniform“. 

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