It’s here! Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend. While most Americans are planning their Super Bowl party, others are betting on their favorites predicting which team will win and waiting for those Super Bowl commercials.
Does God play a role in who wins?
“In an era where professional sports are driven by dollars and statistics, significant numbers of Americans see a divine hand at play,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. “Roughly 3-in-10 Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins, and a majority believe that God rewards faithful athletes.”
The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a recent survey on what people believe the role God plays in these sporting events. According to the ‘January Religion and Politics Tracking Survey’ nearly 3-in-10 (27 percent) Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins sports events.
A majority (53 percent) of Americans also agree that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, compared to 42 percent who disagree.
Americans in the South are most likely to think God has a stake in the outcome of sports games. More than (36 percent) of Southerners say God plays a role in who wins compared to (28 percent) of Americans in the Midwest, (20 percent) in the Northeast, and (15 percent) of Westerners.
It’s interesting to note 58 percent of Americans say that religion is the most or a very important thing in their lives, 23 percent say it’s somewhat important, and only 18 percent say it’s not too important or not at all important.
When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, there is less a dividing line than in the country of politics or faith.
PRRI Research Director Daniel Cox says, “There are no red states and blue states when it comes to sports. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats and more than 7-in-10 Republicans say they are sports fans, and more 7-in-10 of both groups say they are likely to watch the Super Bowl this year.”
The Super Bowl is one of the largest watched sporting events in the nation.
The survey found 62 percent of Americans (that is more than 6-in-10 Americans) say they consider themselves a fan of a particular sports team. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are likely to watch the Super Bowl.
The survey finds half of Americans say they approve of athletes who express their faith publicly by thanking God during or after sporting events, while 45 percent say it does not matter, and only 4 percent disapprove.
CBS Sports reported Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis doesn't believe God will pick a Superbowl winner. “‘What I do believe is that if you give him true credit to say, 'Whatever your will is, so be it,’” Lewis said. "'The bottom line is you never lose when your mind-set is, 'Whatever his will is, so be it.’”
Super Bowl XLVII airs February 3, 2013 with the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens.