Survey says … Half of Americans believe God has hand in Super Bowl

A new survey found that half of Americans believe God has some role in the outcome of sporting events.

The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that half of American sports fans either pray to God to help their team, believe their team has been cursed or believe God plays a role in the outcome of games.

While one in four sports fans believe their team has been cursed, Midwest fans are much more likely to believe that has been the case. One third of Midwest fans reported their team had been cursed, compared to 27 percent of fans living in the West, 22 percent of fans in the South and 20 percent of fans in the Northeast.

Among sports fans, 26 percent have prayed for God to help their team, the survey found.

Protestants and those in the South and Midwest were more likely to pray for their team than Catholics and those in the West and Northeast.

Among sports fans, 19 percent believe God has a direct role in determining the outcome of games. But that number jumps to 22 percent when all Americans are included.

Superstition has historically played a role in sports, of course, and 21 percent of fans said they perform a ritual before or during games.

One fan said he wears “a dirty pair of underwear … over my pants and then I put my jersey on.”

Most simply wear team jerseys or clothing with team colors, but some reported dancing in a circle, always sitting in the same seat or talking to their TV.

Contact Stephanie Grimes at Find her on Twitter: @steph_grimes

Belief that supernatural is at play in sports


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