’Tis the season when football fans break out their favorite team jerseys, claim a table at the neighborhood bar—and, post-game, hit the comments sections in order to figure out what went wrong.
Of course, some of these missives are better written than others. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal’s sports blog, The Count, decided to put online grammar tool Grammarly to work, analyzing the writing skills of each NFL fan base. (Grammarly’s algorithms can recognize more than 400 different kinds of spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors.)
The Count combed through 150 comments, each at least 50 words long, posted on individual team sites (that breaks down to almost 13,000 words per team). Their findings: Washington Redskins fans made 16.5 mistakes per 100 words—“roughly 30 percent worse than New Orleans Saints fans, the NFL’s second most typo-prone fan base,” writes author Geoff Foster. On the flip side, Detroit Lions fans made only 4.2 errors per every 100 words typed.
Source: Grammarly via The Wall Street Journal
It turns out there wasn’t a correlation between the number of team losses and the number of errors made on fan blogs—for example, supporters of last year’s Super Bowl victors, the Patriots, had the fourth-worst grammar of any group. (Even so, Foster sees the Redskins’ situation as particularly dire: “Things have gotten so bad in the Beltway,” he writes of the team’s record last season, “that Redskins fans have even given up on proper grammar and spelling.”)
Interestingly, fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be the most passionate—or at least the chattiest, if The Count’s "Most Verbose" index is any indication. Jaguars enthusiasts wrote an average of 103 words per comment, proving that they are, indeed, ready for some football.
[h/t The Wall Street Journal]