Fall Sundays in the United States belong to two monoliths that ask for your faith and your dollars: the National Football League and church.
Each has a suggested dress code, though they don’t overlap unless you’re Dad Wearing His Team Polo And Leaving After Communion Because Traffic Is Awful. But if you regularly attend religious services (which aren’t always Christian and don’t always occur on Sunday, I know) in an NFL city, you may have, at least once, seen a fellow believer wearing a jersey.
We are not here to deal in anecdotes, though. We’re here for accurate and meaningful statistics. 465 people responded to my survey, which asked two simple questions: What is your favorite NFL team, and have you ever worn their jersey to a religious ceremony?
Thirty-eight people answered yes to the second question, a rate of just above 8 percent. That’s a pretty low number, but things get very interesting when you start looking team by team. Let’s break it down.
Fans That Will Absolutely Wear A Jersey To Church
Three teams cracked 25 percent in this survey: the Ravens (2 of 7 respondents), the Steelers (6 of 19), and, with a full one-third of those responding saying they’d worn a jersey to a religious ceremony, the Chiefs (3 of 9). That means if you’re attending services in Kansas City and you go to join hands with the people next to you, either one of them is wearing a Chiefs jersey, or you are. Pittsburgh had the most total fans respond in the affirmative, a fact that should not surprise you when you realize that there are two kinds of Steelers fans: The ones that own zero jerseys, and the ones that own three or more.
Fans That Might Wear A Jersey To Church For Important Games
Multiple Dallas (4 of 23), New Orleans (2 of 11), Green Bay (3 of 29), Atlanta (3 of 24), and New England (5 of 23) fans said yes, they’d worn a jersey to an event of worship. I believe they do so for different reasons.
- Dallas/Green Bay/New England: Believe their teams are God’s personal favorite as well
- Atlanta: Feels natural given that most religion is based on the premise that your sacrifices will lead you to paradise ... just not on Earth.
- New Orleans: Woke up in jersey hungover, no time to change.
Fans That Won’t Wear Jerseys To Church, But Have A Cousin Who Would
The Bengals, Rams, Raiders, Colts, Titans, Seahawks, Dolphins, Eagles, Panthers, and Browns each had only one fan who said they’d worn a jersey to religious ceremony, leaving us insufficient data to make any broad conclusions about these fan bases. This also exposed a flaw in my methodology — it doesn’t account for members of the Black Hole.
That’s not a jersey, so she could have come straight from church and honestly answered No to my question.
This leaves us with 14 franchises that didn’t have a fan who admitted to wearing a jersey during a religious ceremony. I believe there are different reasons why this is so.
Three Cardinals fans and one Chargers fan responded to the survey. That’s not enough for me to conclude anything other than these teams have fans who are too smart to use Twitter (where I sent this poll out) or follow me on it. Good on them.
Not Very Religious
Colorado and New York are particularly low in religious attendance of the states with an NFL franchise, which explains why the Broncos and Giants don’t have anyone wearing jerseys to church.
Not Welcome In Church
Texans fans. I know some of y’all wore a jersey to morning services before T.J. Yates had to face the Ravens defense in a playoff game.
No Longer Believe In A Higher Power Because Of Their NFL Affiliation
Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota, the Jets, San Francisco, Washington. Can’t say that I really blame you, either.