Sports fans across the country love their Kobe Bryant throwback jerseys. Just not the state where he plays basketball.
Last week, TicketCity shared a map of the most popular college basketball teams in every state, and now we get this map of throwback jerseys from Mitchell & Ness.
The Philadelphia-based throwback and replica specialists posted this look at the most popular throwback jerseys in each state, regardless of sport.
It’s a fascinating bit of state-by-state nostalgia, and we suspect it's by no means definitive since it represents the sales only one company. Mitchell & Ness doesn't carry a Michael Jordan throwback, which would probably be a staple in a handful of states. Still, it's a fun excercise.
Check the key on the site for a few of the jerseys you don’t recognize. A few of our thoughts are below the map.
• The 1997-97 Kobe Bryant throwback carries Delaware, Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Ohio but not California (that belongs to Joe Montana’s ’89 49ers jersey).
It’s shocking that that Steve McNair, Eddie George or even a Colts’ Peyton Manning didn’t carry Tennessee and no Green Bay Packer carried Wisconsin. Presumably, there are too many Brett Favre or Bart Starr throwbacks splitting votes in the Dairy State.
• Ray Nitschke’s ’66 Packers throwback is the top jersey in ... Kansas.
• Bryant is the pick in Ohio, again presumably because Cleveland and Cincinnati are splitting purchases in the Buckeye State. Big Red Machine shortstop Dave Concepcion is the top jersey across the river in Kentucky.
• Check the representation of Dallas Cowboys: Troy Aikman in Texas, Deion Sanders for Oklahoma and a real throwback in Roger Staubach in Montana.
• Deion Sanders is the top jersey in three states with three jerseys: Georgia as an Atlanta Falcon, Oklahoma as a Cowboy and Hawaii as a 49er.
• The no-brainers: John Elway (Colorado), Walter Payton (Illinois), Cal Ripken Jr. (Maryland), Larry Bird (Massachusetts), Barry Sanders (Michigan), Ozzie Smith (Missouri), Steve Largent (Washington)
We also love some of the picks in the flyover states or states without a pro team Ryne Sandberg (Alabama), Bo Jackson (Arkansas — NOT Alabama), Mickey Mantle (Idaho), Joe Namath (Iowa), Larry Bird (Mississippi), Steve Carlton (Nebraska), Ernie Banks (New Mexico), Fred Biletnikoff (North Dakota), Walter Payton (South Dakota), Lou Gehrig (Wyoming).