HowToBet Identifies Most Intelligent Sports Fans

A new study sponsored by HowToBet and utilizing 1006 intelligence tests administered and analyzed by professional psychologists rank fans of six sports and teams or individuals by their IQ scores. The results produced some surprises and seemed to confirm some long-held generalizations. 

The study focused on fans of the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball (MLB), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and NASCAR. It also identified those fans as favoring particular teams and individuals within those sports and leagues.

Psychologists tested the participants in four categories of intelligence: Verbal Intelligence, Mathematical Ability, Logical Reasoning, and Visual Reasoning. The components were then combined to arrive at a total IQ score for each fan.

WWE Fans Are the Smartest, NHL a Close Second

In a virtual statistical tie, fans of WWE just barely outscored those of the NHL with an average IQ of 112.6 to 112.3, with a score of 116 considered to be average. The fact that the top two fan bases came in well below average intelligence could lend credence to the assumption that individuals who follow sports lack the brainpower to spend their time on other pursuits.

Not only did fans of WWE as a whole lead the IQ list, but followers of personalities Roman Reigns at 126.4, and Daniel Bryan at 122.2 are the top two among individuals and teams. The highest-ranking fan base of any team in the study is the Boston Bruins, whose followers had average intelligence scores of 120.3.

Fans of the NBA ranked third at 110.7, followed by the NFL at 105.9 and MLB with an average of 101.3, with NASCAR bringing up the rear with its fans measuring an overall intelligence level of 95.2. Many who closely follow sports, either casually or for a living, probably aren’t surprised by the sport that wound up at the bottom of the list.

Same Region, Different Intelligence Levels

The team from one of the Big Four sports leagues with the second-lowest average IQ scores among its fans at 85.1 is the NFL’s New England Patriots. It’s a fascinating result for a number of reasons, including that as six-time Super Bowl winners, it probably isn’t all that crazy to have them as your favorite team.

Another reason is that the Patriots hail from the same region as the Bruins, whose fans rank among the most intelligent. It’s also widely assumed that hockey fans are attracted to the sport because of the violence that frequently erupts on the ice, indicating that they are more likely a group of bloodthirsty maniacs than being among the smartest of sports fans.

Other Teams Near the Top

Three of the top six teams or individuals are from the NHL, with the Detroit Red Wings’ fans just behind the Bruins’, coming in fourth with an average IQ of 118.6 and those of the New York Rangers in sixth at 117.1. The top NFL team that has fans with intelligence scores averaging 117.8 is the Houston Texans, ranking fifth overall.

The Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics are the top two NBA teams ranking eighth and ninth at 115.9 and 115.3, respectively. To get to the top team in MLB in terms of fan intelligence, one has to go all the way down to the 20th overall on the list where the Boston Red Sox reside. 

So the New England region’s fans are first in the NHL and MLB, second in the NBA but come up last in the NFL. Those results can only be explained by assuming that the Patriots’ dominance over the past 20 years has expanded their fan base far beyond the region within which they are located.

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