Does the phrase "Red Sox Nation" give your a case of the **** chills? Well I don't know where it came from but to me Red Sox fans seemed certainly less obnoxious before its inception back around 2003-2004. While its roots (though somewhat mutated) seemingly stem from the old "Royal Rooters" who used to sit in the rightfield stands at Fenway Park back in the early 1900's, this bunch is just a load of Mass-hole marketing.
"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of **** that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order." - Hank Steinbrenner.
Where I'll disagree with Hank is that, yes you will see a great number of Red Sox hats and jackets around the country. Evidence from my own experience stems from an August 2, 2003 game at Camden Yards when the O's were playing the Sox in what was at the time the 2nd largest crowd in that park's history. That ballpark was packed to the hilt with Red Sox fans.
However when it comes to evidence of which team is more popular, and not frontrunner kind of popular just because the Red Sox just won the 2007 World Series popular. I would tend to say that there is no team more loved or hated than the New York Yankees and following that is probably the Dallas Cowboys.
Here's the facts though, when it comes to total attendance the Yankees were the only team to break the four million mark once again in baseball in 2007, ranking first in that category with 4,271,867, averaging 52,739 also first in baseball.
As road attendance goes in 2007, in 81 games Boston led baseball with an average of 38,641, while the Yankees in 80 road games were second with an average of 37,227.
When it comes to popularity of MLB merchandise sales as of Opening Day 2007, the Yankees topped that by an overwhelming margin ahead of Boston, with a Market Share of 25.4% to 8.2%.
How do I know the Yankees are a more popular road draw? Simple, in addition to playing one less road game in 2007, one has to factor in their games against Boston. Both Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park sell out when the two teams play each other. Yankee Stadium fits about 57,000 max while Fenway Park can get to about 38,000 max. Thus that's a 19,000 seat swing in road attendance in favor of the Red Sox just by size of the two stadiums.
Might I also add what makes the Yankees attendance marks at home even more impressive is that they also compete against a solid Mets team that itself drew an impressive 3,853,955 fans of their own averaging 47,579 which ranked third in baseball. The Yankees also have to compete against eight other professional teams in the area along with various college programs. Whereas Boston is the only MLB show in town and last season with the B's and C's out of the playoffs, the Red Sox had the town to themselves from late April on.
You may not like Hank Steinbrenner, what he said or how he said it, but plain and simple the facts are there to back it up.