The Most Superstitious Football Fans are in Buffalo, Miami, Pittsburgh, and New York - Certainly Not in Cleveland

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Researchscape International surveyed 1,076 U.S. adults to determine which NFL fan bases most believed that their actions at home affected their team.

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"I used to have a lucky shirt, then my team went on a losing streak with it," one Houston Texans fan told researchers. Watching the game with certain people (20% of respondents) and while wearing certain clothes (17%) were the two biggest ways that fans believe that they can have an impact on the game itself.

Researchscape International surveyed 1,076 U.S. adults to determine which NFL fan bases were the most superstitious. The Buffalo Bills had the most superstitious fans (34%), followed by the Miami Dolphins (33%), the Pittsburgh Steelers (32%), and the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers (both 31%).

The least superstitious fans were those of the Cleveland Browns (22%), the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots (both 24%).

Franchise traditions of winning or losing don't seem to affect the level of superstition around their teams. The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are ranked #13 and #15 respectively.

Rank - Team - % Superstitious
1 - Buffalo Bills - 34%
2 - Miami Dolphins - 33%
3 - Pittsburgh Steelers - 32%
4 - New York Jets - 31%
5 - Green Bay Packers - 31%
6 - New Orleans Saints - 30%
7 - Detroit Lions - 30%
8 - Dallas Cowboys - 30%
9 - Jacksonville Jaguars - 30%
10 - New York Giants - 30%
11 - Baltimore Ravens - 29%
12 - St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams - 29%
13 - Carolina Panthers - 29%
14 - Arizona Cardinals - 29%
15 - Denver Broncos - 28%
16 - San Diego Chargers - 28%
17 - Oakland Raiders - 28%
18 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 28%
19 - Washington Redskins - 28%
20 - Tennessee Titans - 27%
21 - Minnesota Vikings - 27%
22 - San Francisco 49ers - 27%
23 - Indianapolis Colts - 27%
24 - Houston Texans - 26%
25 - Cincinnati Bengals - 26%
26 - Chicago Bears - 26%
27 - Philadelphia Eagles - 26%
28 - Seattle Seahawks - 25%
29 - Atlanta Falcons - 25%
30 - New England Patriots - 24%
31 - Kansas City Chiefs - 24%
32 - Cleveland Browns - 22%

What do superstitious fans do to help the team they are rooting for win?

  • Watch with certain people (20%)
  • Wear certain clothing (17%): "If I don't wear my Carolina scarf then I don't feel right and can't watch the game." - Carolina Panthers fan
  • Must watch game for team to win (10%)
  • Avoiding saying certain things (9%): "Never say it's over." - Detroit Lions fan
  • Eating specific food or drinking specific beverage (8%): "My friend ... has to eat fish the night before the game and he has to wear his Dolphins hat backwards." - Miami Dolphins fan
  • Sit in certain location (4%)
  • Watch without certain people (3%)
  • Other (3%): "Not to touch anyone or it will cause bad luck." - New York Giants fan
  • Must not watch game for team to win (2%): "I often feel that by watching every play of a game my team will do worse, so if things are going badly I will distract myself with something else." - Green Bay Packers fan

Interested in more data and examples and the complete study methodology? This complimentary report, "Sports Superstitions & The Big Game: How American Fans Believe They Influence Their Team's Chances", is available here:
http://bit.ly/sportsuperstitions

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Jeffrey Henning
Researchscape International
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since: 07/2012
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