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Football and Facebook: NJ Residents Back San Francisco in 2013 Super Bowl

Facebook data shows most Jersey users are rooting for the 49ers, switching their allegiance (temporarily) from the Giants or Eagles

It's not a surprise that most Facebook users in New Jersey started the football season solidly supporting the New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles.

"While winning seems to matter, NFL teams have local followings that are probably heavily influenced by family ties and/or where a person grew up," according to Facebook, which recently compiled data on users who are fans of an NFL team on the social network.

But now that the locals' seasons are over and the Baltimore Ravens are heading to Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers, Jersey residents have shifted their allegiance.

Perhaps surprisingly, the vast majority of New Jersey Facebook users favor the West Coast 49ers, with fans from Cape May, Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties pulling for the Mid-Atlantic's Baltimore Ravens.

In fact, San Francisco's boosters dominate the nation, claiming fans virtually everywhere with the exception of the Mid-Atlantic region and South.

But football fans can be a fickle lot when their home team is eliminated. The Facebook analysis showed all of New Jersey rooting for the New England Patriots throughout the playoffs, until they were knocked out by the Ravens in the AFC Championship game.

Facebook also analyzed users' friendships to learn "which rival teams' fans are most likely to hang out on Sunday to bond over beer and wings despite their conflicting allegiances." 

Giants fans are most likely to be friends with New York Jets fans, the analysis showed, followed by fans of the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

Eagles fans most often associate with Steelers fans, followed by fans of the Cowboys, Giants, Patriots and Washington Redskins.

The Jets, despite being headquartered in Florham Park and sharing MetLife Stadium with the Giants, claim only a small portion of Long Island as fans' top team in the Facebook analysis.

Tell us: Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

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