Quiz Show

Fans drop beer and pick up pencils to find out who's best

Though not part of the primary objective, due to the study's ordinal nature, researchers were able to identify the local franchise with the, for lack of a better word, dumbest fans. Not surprisingly, New York's dumbest fans root for New Jersey. The Nets test group tallied the lowest averages with (77) and without (70) the sports question. Further, only half of those polled outside Brendan Byrne Arena were able to name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the NBA's leading career point-scorer. For their part, Knicks fans fared even worse as a paltry 43 percent answered correctly. (A follow-up study to gauge the number of basketball fans who believe the NBA began with Michael Jordan in 1984 is in the planning stages.) Finally, it is worth noting that the poor showing on the part of Nets fans could be attributed to the small sample size. The researchers were prevented from completing their study of Nets fans when team officials halted the survey and demanded approval of the protocol. In order to preserve the integrity of results, the request was denied.

COMMENTS: Though not part of the original aim of the study, the results provided some anecdotal evidence by which the research team was able to make some preliminary concurrent conclusions. For instance, Giants fans may have turned out to be the brightest, but they were also the meanest. As a group they demonstrated a pronounced lack of congeniality; the researchers were routinely rebuffed by cold stares and nonverbal refusals to participate. Additionally, Giants supporters tended to be old and white to a degree unseen in other test groups. Jets fans, by contrast, were New York's nicest, often proferring food and beverage to researchers. They were not unaware of what set them apart from the city's other football fans, noting that ''Giants fans are white collar. Jets fans are white trash by day, white trash by night.'' In a coincidence that begs further study, Yankee respondents exhibited behavior almost identical to that of the Giants group, leading researchers to surmise a causal link between rudeness and calling Yankee Stadium home. Knickerbocker supporters were the most ethnically diverse; the research team was turned down in at least four different languages: English, Spanish, German, and French.

TeamSample size Average scoreAverage score1Pct.2
Yankees 37777073
Knicks 42777343
Third-rate Yankee fans
Meg Handler
Third-rate Yankee fans

1 average score without sports question

2 percentage answering sports question correctly

Research assistance by Tim Smith

ANSWERS 1. (b) 2. (c) 3. whale 4. (e) 5. (c) 6. (c) 7. Metropolitan Transportation Authority 8. (c) 9. (a) 10. baseball: Hank Aaron (755) football: Walter Payton (16,726) basketball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) hockey: Montreal Canadiens (23)

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