January 21, 2004

Where's all the talent coming from? Page 2

Metropolitan Statistical Areas and the NFL

Some of these states cover vast territory. City figures allow for more precise mapping, but Metropolitan Statistical Area (“MSAs”, which are large population clumps around a city or cities) figures provide more easily comparable data.

First, amazing is that the Los Angeles area (including commuter areas) produced 97 active NFL players aggregating the LA-Long Beach, Orange County and Riverside-San Bernardino PMSAs.

But which areas produce the most for their population? In the chart above, the highest MSAs per capita, excluding small MSAs (those that don’t exceed 5 players), are listed.

Where’s Los Angeles? Los Angeles and its commuter areas produced incredible numbers overall of NFL players, but the area’s huge population (12.7 million) knocked its per capita production down to 7.6 players produced per million people. Washington DC is also no longer the highest per capita when compared to other MSAs, rather than states. The next thing that stood out to me was that Gainesville and Tallahassee, homes of the University of Florida and FSU, were second and third in the country in per capita production (obviously not total production).

Ground Zero for NFL Player Production

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So, for curiosity’s sake, where can one live near the biggest NFL producing towns? It depends on how you define “live near.” NFL gold-digging groupies adorn spandex and take note. If you define “live near” as a 150 mile radius, or about two hours of highway driving, then Fairfield, Texas is the place. 135 NFL players attended high school within a 150 mile radius of Fairfield. Here is a map (larger circles denote more players attended high school in that city).

After Fairfield, comes Warrington, Pa., and several other small Pennsylvania and New Jersey Towns, which are within 150 miles of Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York and 134 NFL players’ former high schools. Next are Los Angeles and a series of bordering cities that are within 150 miles of 129 NFL players’ former high schools.

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If you, instead, focus “live near” down to a 100 mile radius, Anaheim, Calif. and six cities very close thereto, lead. 122 NFL players went to high school within 100 miles of those cities (also interesting is that most of it is in a very tight corridor down the Pacific coast, with much of the circle covering ocean and non-producing desert):

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