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Online excitement about Giants and Patriots peaks ahead of Super Bowl kickoff

February 5, 2012 |  1:55 pm

 Screenshot at 2012-02-05 13:43:09

Positive emotions about both the New England Patriots and New York Giants are ramping up as the kickoff to Super Bowl XLVI approaches, according to an analysis of Twitter postings by Kanjoya, a San Francisco company that uses a computer algorithm to detect emotion in social media posts.

The positive feelings about both teams are supported by expert opinion, which is predicting a close game in this rematch of a hard-fought title game won by the Giants four years ago.

Excitement has been the most common emotion found in the Twitter analysis with a plurality of tweets about both teams expressing enthusiasm. 


Kanjoya officials caution there are things to keep in mind when analyzing language for emotion. Company founder Armen Berjikly said language can be difficult to interpret correctly, with research finding people agree about the intent of statements about 80% of the time. And not all tweets can be assigned an emotion -- roughly 40% captured by their algorithm qualify. 

The positive outlook for both sides lines up with expert opinion. Las Vegas bookies are forecasting a close game, setting the Patriots as a narrow favorite to win, according to ESPN's poll of football experts is divided on the likely winner. The cable sports network asked 71 analysts to predict the outcome and 39 picked the Giants compared to 32 who chose the Patriots.

President Barack Obama refused to predict a winner in his White House interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.

"It is going to be a great game," Obama said. "I can't call it. I think this is gonna be one of those where it comes down to a turnover or some ball off somebody's helmet."


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-- Ben Welsh