The Blizzard of 2015 Might Be Over, But Deflategate Is Forever

Stats from Twitter and Google show that the great Northeastern blizzard was only a temporary distraction from reality (well, the Patriots).

Massachusetts literally plowed through what we hope is the worst of this winter’s weather, and though it took us away from the arguably unnecessary drama surrounding the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal, the distraction was short-lived. And according to social media and internet trends, the deflated football situation may actually be a more evergreen topic than we hoped.

As we all know, Twitter works as a database of online conversations, tracking trending topics around the globe. While said trends change drastically every day, Deflategate and Juno stood out as two prime topics among New Englanders over the past two weeks. Some may argue that people fuss over exaggerated matters until the next big drama comes around, but Deflategate, though, is not going away any time soon—maybe ever.

Using data constructed by Topsy, an analytics company and certified Twitter partner, we looked at data showing the popularity of Deflategate keywords in comparison to blizzard keywords on Twitter:

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Topsy is a real-time search engine that looks into conversation ranks on social media over the span of 30 days, primarily Twitter and GooglePlus. Above, we cropped down the graph to show data beginning on January 18, the day before the AFC Championship game—and also the day which spiked the Delfategate saga. [*]

As you can see, the topic of Deflategate dropped in the online conversation upon the news of the blizzard on Saturday, January 24. The blizzard keywords peaked on the 26th, likely thanks to @Twitter’s official handle telling its 35 million followers to use #blizzardof2015 as the blizzard-tracking hashtag. Now, nearly four days later, you can see that the blizzard exchange dropped while Deflategate is on the rise yet again.

Yes, this all due to relevancy. While the blizzard has come and gone, the anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl brings back the subject of the Patriots allegedly cheating. But let’s not forget that the Patriots found themselves in another scandal that doesn’t fall far from this one. Spygate, the videotaping controversy with the NFL, happened back in 2007, and to our dismay, it’s still a topic people are searching, according to Google Trends:

You can also see that Spygate is more popular now than when the drama even went down—very likely due to Deflategate reviving old skeletons, and also due to the exponential influx of the internet in day-to-day life with social media and smartphones.

If Spygate is an indication of how Deflategate will mark the Patriots’ history, this data only shows that people don’t actually forgive and forget. So come Sunday, when the Patriots face the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, even if they win, they might have already lost.

Note: Though the graph by Topsy is based on data observed world-wide, information provided by Google Trends says ‘deflategate’ has the highest search volume in Boston, and ‘blizzard 2015’ in New York. To help make our blizzard analytics more localized, we added the hashtag #bosnow into our search.