Socio-freak-onomics: Do baseball fans pray more than hockey fans?


Winter ended late this year in Boston and people are still trying to figure out how to dress.  The Bruins are in the playoffs, which means we're in one of those weird years here where Hockey and Baseball seasons overlap.  Should we be wearing Red and Blue, as summer fashion suggests, or put on one more weeks’ worth of black and yellow to show the B's some spirit?  (I'm wearing Red Sox under my college sweatshirt; statisticians have always been partial to Baseball.)

In this way, our own Dr. Nolker and I could not be more different.  I coach special needs baseball; he plays amateur hockey.  Sometimes it seems like baseball and hockey people are from different worlds.  Ever wonder what data science has to say about it?  I looked at sociometric data from 100 thousand US households to try to come up with an answer.  Here's what I found:

(1) Hockey fans are twice as likely (20% vs 11%) to ski recreationally.  No surprises there.

(2) Hockey fans are more likely to gamble at a casino (24% vs 19%).  Baseball folks don't gamble, unless it's in the locker room.  (Remember Peter Rose?)

(3) Hockey fans are more likely to smoke cigars or premium tobacco (17.5% vs 13%).  Chewing tobacco was not factored.

(4) Baseball players are significantly more religious.  38% read religious or inspirational books and magazines, vs. 29% of hockey fans.  (We had 93 seasons without a series win to get some religion.) 

(5) Hockey fans are better off, financially at least.  They are more likely to have an "upscale lifestyle" (53% vs 48%) and a credit card from a premium department store (57% vs 50%).  They'll need one to buy all those sweaters and ski equipment.

At least there was one thing we could both agree on.  Only two baseball fans and absolutely no hockey fans (0% vs 0%), reported that they watch professional soccer.  Guess we're not so different after all.

Do you have an interesting topic you'd like us to research and write about?  Send us your ideas for future topics.