You've seen the "Fan Confidence Poll" on the left hand side of this page, right? You've probably even voted in it a couple of times.
What you might not know if you haven't taken the full tour of the SB Nation network is that these fan confidence polls are also on all the other blogs that are part of a regional group, and that all of the polls for the D.C. sports teams are aggregated on the SB Nation D.C. front page.
Now here's what some may find shocking: D.C. United currently has a higher fan confidence rating (68) than any other local team.
United's rating is higher than the team that had the best record in all of hockey last year (60).
And their rating is higher than the team that just added a two-time Super Bowl winning coach who is already changing the organizational culture (61).
And their rating is higher than the team that just drafted the undisputed top rookie in the 2010 class (61).
It's really incredible that D.C. United's rating is so high, despite them still sitting at the bottom of MLS's Eastern Conference. I've got some theories as to why.
Fans of other D.C. sports teams have long suffered through many seasons of disappointments, and are not yet willing to fully buy in to the confidence that the media is trying to create surrounding their teams. The Redskins, Nationals, and Wizards are all coming off awful seasons, but each has had some very positive signs in the past few months of a major turnaround. But their fans (especially those of the Redskins and Wizards) have seen this kind of stuff before. They don't want to get too confident until they see some results.
United fans, on the other hand, are used to winning. They may see our early season struggles as just a bump in the road. DCU is still the most successful club in MLS history. Could that be a deciding factor in our confidence?
Looking across the other regional sites seems to throw a wrench into that theory. The most successful NFL team of all time has a fan confidence rating of only 55, according to SB Nation Pittsburgh. So much for history. And yet a peak at the New York page shows us that the Red Bulls have a confidence rating of 77. And they haven't won a goddamn thing. Maybe fans of MLS teams are just overconfident across the board?
I'm not quite sure of the correct explanation. But it's something I'm going to keep my eye on as the season progresses.