Which Sport Has the Smartest Fans?

Every sports fan has an affiliation with a team or individual who they support, regardless of their actual success on the pitch, court, rink, diamond or ring. But perhaps even greater than that bond is the conviction that each fan carries that his or her preferred sport is more entertaining and thus better than all others.

While the relative merits of each sport can be debated until the cows come home, the substance behind those arguments is maybe more of an objective subject. Indeed, the intelligence of the fans themselves could perhaps even quantified and categorized – which is exactly what a recent study by HowToBet.com has attempted to do. Let’s take a look at the results. 

The science of sporting intelligence

In order to arrive at their results, HowToBet.com sent out a remote IQ test to more than 1,000 fans of six of the most popular sports in the USA (baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, wrestling and motor racing). Among the participants, there was a mix of both female and male fans so as to give a fair reflection of both sexes.

The questions were aimed at assessing the respondents’ intelligence in four key areas: 

  • Logical reasoning
  • Mathematical ability
  • Verbal intelligence
  • Visual reasoning

By cross-referencing the results against the sports which the respondents professed to enjoy the most, they were able to gain an overall picture of the intelligence of each activity’s fans.

WWE on top

The results of the study produced a clear winner: with an average IQ of 112.60, wrestling fans were found to be the most intelligent sports fan in America. Aficionados of the NHL were the only group who came close, clocking an average score of 112.30, while further behind, NBA fans picked up the bronze medal with a score of 110.70.

At the other end of the scale, those who enjoy watching NASCAR limped into last place, recording a disappointing average IQ of 95.20. NFL and MLB fans were some way behind the frontrunners as well, returning scores of 105.90 and 101.30, respectively. As such, WWE fans can legitimately claim to be smarter than their counterparts in other sports.

Clear winners

It wasn’t just an overall triumph for wrestling enthusiasts, either. WWE fans scored highest in two of the four categories (verbal intelligence and logical reasoning), while they were second only to the NHL in the other two (mathematical ability and visual reasoning). For their part, NHL fans could only finish third in the two categories they did not win, sealing the WWE’s dominance of the intelligence stakes.

In terms of individual athletes, it was found that fans of Roman Reigns were the smartest of the bunch, recording an impressive average IQ of 126.4. Fans of Daniel Bryan – who briefly played a vegan villain (or “heel”, in WWE-jargon) – were second on the list with a score of 122.2, ahead of fans of the Boston Bruins (120.3) and the Detroit Red Wings (118.6). The next highest wrestler was Randy Orton, whose fans finished in seventh place with a respectable above-average IQ of 116.4.

There you have it – WWE fans can hold their heads up high and confidently profess to aficionados of other sports that on the whole, they’re a smarter bunch. For a full list of the results and the methodologies, check out the survey here.

Featured Image Credit: HoracioArg on Pixabay