Big Data

How the Cubs cheered up Americans tired of Trump v. Hillary

Social media data aggregated by Sysomos before the World Series shows that the Cubs and Indians beat a negative news cycle, defeated both major political candidates, and united the country.

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Image: CBS News / Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire, Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

"Holy cow!"

  • Harry Caray

The stakes were as high as the bleachers in Wrigley, but expectations were set appropriately low. They are, after all, the Cubs. Yet in a year dominated by bad news—from celebrity deaths to a wholly-negative presidential campaign, last night the impossible happened: The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians and won the World Series.

Shortly after midnight, following a nail-biter game, America erupted in a collective cheer. The Cubs won!

It was easy for the country to root for both teams. The storied Chicago franchise famously had not won a championship since 1908, yet were the best team in baseball this year, winning 103 games in the regular season. The rival Indians were also spectacular during the season, but have not won a title since 1948.

SEE: The Power of IoT and Big Data (Tech Pro Research report)

Social media clearly cared more about the World Series than any other news event on Tuesday, including the tight presidential race. In the run-up to the game TechRepublic asked data firm Sysomos to scrape the social web to uncover trending topics, and compare the historic sporting event compared to other to news-makers. Here's what they discovered.

The World Series versus Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Trump and Clinton still grabbed a significant amount of social media attention. Yet on Monday and Tuesday there were significantly more mentions of the World Series than either presidential candidate, and other major news topics.

  • World Series = 698.7 thousand mentions
  • Hillary OR Trump + Florida (where both candidates were campaigning) = 171 thousand mentions
  • Hillary + Emails = 163.7 thousand mentions
  • Hillary + FBI = 119.4 thousand mentions
  • Trump + Russia = 60.9 thousand mentions

Cubs dominated the Indians on Twitter, with 602.7 thousand mentions versus 267.6 thousand mentions.

WATCH: Emotional Chicago Cubs fans bask in glory of team's World Series win (CBS News)

The top hashtags related to the series were #FlyTheW, with 206K mentions and #RallyTogether with 131K mentions.

On Twitter, Indians pitcher Corey Kluber grabbed 34 thousand mentions, routing Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks with 5.1 thousand mentions. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo clobbered both pitchers, earing 353 thousand mentions on Twitter.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon had 10.2 thousand mentions, narrowly beating Indians chief Terry Francona at 9 thousand mentions on Twitter.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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