More than 111 million Americans watched Eli Manning and the New York Giants take down Tom Brady’s New England Patriots last year in the Super Bowl.
If those numbers are any indication of what’s expected in terms of viewership for this year’s big game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, nearly three million Americans will believe that the outcome of the game is predetermined by God, according to a January survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.
In other words, nearly 1-in-3 Americans believe that God might be behind Ray Lewis’ last run before he retires from the NFL after Sunday.
Nearly 3-in-10 (27 percent) Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins sports events, according to the January Religion and Politics Tracking Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute during the weekend of the National Football League conference championship games. 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.
According to the survey, the ratio is even higher in the southern part of the United States; nearly 40 percent of Southerners believe that God plays a role in determining the outcome, versus 15 percent of Westerners who believe this to be true:
More than one-third (36 percent) of Southerners say that God plays a role in who wins, compared to nearly 3-in-10 (28 percent) Americans in the Midwest, 1-in-5 (20 percent) of Americans in the Northeast, and 15 percent of Westerners.