We came across something interesting in terms of popularity of football team license plates with the State in Tallahassee and the numbers may surprise you.
Thursday night a television news report and online story by WTSP-10 News (CBS) in Tampa revealed, predictably, the University of Florida is by far the most popular “vanity” license plate (over 97,000) in the state. And, while not all of those purchasing that tag are football fans doing so to root for Gators, a great many of them are.
You would think the second most prominent school in the state, FSU, would be second in line for the plates, and you’d be correct with over 73,000.
Those two numbers by the way, rank #1 and #3 of any of the 97 “vanity” plates the State of Florida allows for schools, teams, causes, etc.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. The most popular NFL plate, according to the story and state records? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers with just over 31,500 of them. The Bucs tag trails only the Miami Heat NBA franchise (just over 37,000) for tops among all professional teams in Florida.
The Dolphins have nearly 17,000 license plates, and the fact that it’s almost 20,000 behind the Heat, is fascinating. Then again, the Heat were at the height of popularity with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade leading them to back to back titles earlier this decade. Oh, and the Dolphins haven’t been to a Super Bowl in almost 35 years.
The Jaguars, who up until this year had six 10 loss seasons in a row, are the next most popular pro football team plate at just over 8,900 and also, fourth on the sports franchise list overall.
A side note, the immensely popular Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, which has the best record in the NHL this season, is right behind the Jaguars with almost 7,300 license plates. That’s easily more than the Rays, Marlins, Magic and Florida Panthers on the list.
Back to the school license plates.
The University of Miami has almost 26,000 plates and UCF over 18,000 and USF almost 15,000. Again, not all of them are football fans, but a large portion of those buying the school license plate likely are rooting for the team on Saturdays.
Also, Florida A&M has a strong showing of pride among the schools list with just over 16,000 of the specialized vanity license plates in use in the state.
As we mentioned earlier this week, UCF continues to push the “National Champions” narrative that we think is making them look sillier and sillier. And there are some lawmakers who are trying to get a “UCF 2017 Football National Champions” special tag approved.
That’s apparently, unlikely to happen, despite the fact it would boost some sales.
Sanity will hopefully prevail on that.
Meanwhile when you consider that the Gators have almost 40,000 more of tags as the Bucs, Dolphins and Jags combined, you see how strong their fan base truly is.
Now, can the team on the field get back to respectability and more popularity, too?
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