The good folks at Deadspin got in on the analysis of ESPN SportsNation polls earlier in the week when they noted that 57 percent of respondents preferred to move the Super Bowl to Saturday, and there was a distinct East-West divide over the preference for a Saturday or Sunday Super Bowl.
It’s hard to argue with Deadspin’s rationale for the regional divergence - a Sunday Super Bowl keeps folks in the Eastern and Central time zones up late on a work/school night, while the game is more of a late afternoon/early evening affair in the Mountain and Pacific regions.
But it should be noted that when Deadspin did their analysis, barely 5,000 people had registered their opinion nationwide. By the time more than 40,000 viewers had voted, the regional difference was still there but was significantly less pronounced, and the national popular vote was much closer to a 50-50 split.
It’s possible that the larger sample size simply allowed for a regression toward the mean.
But there’s another, more interesting explanation. The ESPN poll was likely posted overnight, meaning that the first 5,000 respondents (i.e. those captured in the Deadspin analysis) were more likely to be from east of the Mississippi, hence the increased national preference for a Saturday game. Furthermore, the earliest Eastern voters were probably early risers who may have an early bedtime on work/school nights and therefore be even more likely to vote for Saturday. Meanwhile, the earliest Western voters may have been predominantly night owls who may have been even less concerned about the effects of a Sunday game on their regular schedule.
- sportsstates posted this