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Super Bowl Team Tones: Analyzing Patriots and Seahawks Blogospheres

Abstract

Situated within the media fever before and after Super Bowl XLIX, 269 original blog posts and 91 sets of appended comments from websites devoted to the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are analyzed for significant differences using Diction 7.0, a common word-‐counting program that measures tone in dozens of ways. More than a dozen variations are found within the blog messages. Some of these are present across all messages, while others existed only before the game was played or arose only after New England’s dramatic win in the closing moments of Super Bowl XLIX. Post-‐game variations include greater optimism in the tone of New England Patriots bloggers and greater hardship and denial in the tone of Seattle Seahawks bloggers. Results are discussed from the perspective of social identity theory, with the conclusion that variations in message tone appear to approximate broad narratives about the two organizations, their fan bases, and the game itself

Doug L Mendenhall

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