From the Archives: I Know Who Will Win the Super Bowl

[Editor’s Note: It’s that time of year again, so I dusted off this oldie from the ILYBYGTH vaults. The survey data is a couple of years old, but I bet it’s still fresh.]

Call Vegas.  Bet the farm.  We know for sure who will win the Super Bowl.

First a note for readers outside the United States or for those ensconced in thick protective layers of nerd: The “Super Bowl” is a contest between football teams.  It is typically a hugely popular TV and social event.

The winner this year has been proclaimed in advance.  No matter what happens on the  field, the winner will be… Jesus!

jesus_football

Did Tommy Brady grow a beard?

That’s right: no matter how the game goes, Americans tell pollsters they believe that Jesus will determine the outcome.  At least according to a recent report from the Public Religion Research Institute, a majority of Americans think that “some type of supernatural forces” will decide who wins the big game on Sunday.  More than a quarter of fans say they pray to God to help their team win.  And roughly a quarter of fans think their team has been cursed at one time or another. Weirdly, this tendency seems to be stronger among football fans than fans of other sports. No matter what the sport, though, plenty of Americans live in a world of magic and supernatural forces.

Shocking?  Not really.  It seems to be just another piece of evidence that Americans are enormously religious.  And another warning to out-of-touch academics that their understanding of a liberal, secular society is woefully out of step with social realities. supernaturalforces_in_sports

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