Cory Isenberg

Cory Isenberg is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter

@coryisenbergTD

With Super Bowl LV just a few weeks away, and Pittsburgh Steelers fans once again on the outside looking in, I was interested to see some of the surveys that have come out heading into Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games.

The AFC game between Kansas City and Buffalo, and the NFC contest pitting Green Bay against Tampa Bay, featured a Super Bowl Rooting Interest poll on Twitter.

The Bills drew 22 states, while the Chiefs and Buccaneers each had 10 states and the Packers had eight states behind them.

It wasn’t necessarily the number of states that was interesting, but rather where those states were located.

For instance, which teams did Hawaii and Alaska get behind? Why would Hawaii back Buffalo is a head scratcher, while Alaska was behind the Packers.

It looks as though after Tampa Bay got Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, former hometown favorite Tom Brady, who played for the Patriots, brought in the rest of the teams from New England including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

In addition to Alaska, the Packers got the support of Utah, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Kansas City grabbed most of the Midwest, but the Bills drew Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Texas and Louisiana, along with a big chunk of the eastern states.

In Pennsylvania, it went strictly geographically, with those in this state backing the Bills.

The survey was based on Geotagged Twitter Data along with fan hashtags.

Now, after Sunday’s games, those losing teams will once again have to roll to another side.

While I thought this poll was interesting, it didn’t necessarily make a lot sense until you read what it was based on.

There pretty much are polls out there about anything if you look long and hard enough.

I guess it’s kind of the same thing when our area basketball or football teams are out of the PIAA playoffs, we begin to show more interest in other regional squads.

You can always see the trend when teams, especially those that had been in the playoffs, graciously back their fellow conference and district rivals on their journeys onward.

Worth noting: For the first time in history, a female will be among the officials at the Super Bowl.

Sarah Thomas will become first woman to referee at Super Bowl LV.

It is the latest landmark in Thomas’ career after she became the first woman to officiate in a major college football game, a college bowl game, before being made the NFL’s first female official in 2015.

After being named in the seven-person crew for the game on Feb. 7, the NFL announced on Tuesday that Thomas will be the down judge in a group headed by referee Carl Cheffers.

Also joining her will be veteran referees Fred Bryan, Rusty Baynes, James Coleman, Dino Paganelli and Mike Wimmer. The group has 88 years of NFL officiating experience and 77 combined playoff game assignments, including past Super Bowls. 

Cory Isenberg is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5080.​ Follow her on Twitter @CoryIsenbergTD.

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