Vikings fans are optimistic!

That's worthy of a headline in and of itself given the jaded nature of the purple fan base. Perhaps the even more interesting part of it is that we know this because of … Facebook?

Yes, the social media site is trying its hand at quantifying sports data. Close to 50 million Facebook users "like" an official NFL team page, per this post from Facebook's data editor. And Facebook is leveraging that fact plus user interactions to find out how fans feel about their teams. Per the post:

We took a look at all Facebook posts and comments NFL fans made during the preseason (July 22 – September 7) about the teams they Like on Facebook, and classified them according to how positive or negative they were. This enabled us to compare and rank all 32 NFL teams by how positive the overall conversation among each fan base was during the preseason.

The result: Vikings fans were the third-most optimistic of all 32 NFL teams behind the Chiefs and Dolphins. As for the rest of the NFC North: Lions fans were the 12th-most optimistic, followed by the Packers (17th) and the Bears (19th). The Patriots were second-to-last, almost certainly fueled by what was mostly bad news about Deflategate for much of the July 22-Sept. 7 period. Chargers fans were dead last and by a large margin. What's there to be upset about in San Diego?

Here's a look at the full chart (click to enlarge), courtesy of Facebook: