September 7, 2019
The week’s Sports Illustrated magazine (remember magazines?) has an article about participation in high school athletics. You’ve probably heard that, overall, participation in high school athletics is diminishing. What you may not heard is this: While participation in high school football has decreased nationwide, the decrease has been far more pronounced in blue states (where the decrease is 15.7%) than in red states (where the decrease is 6.1%).
The state with the largest decrease? My home state of Vermont.
Now check THIS out. I compared the rate by which participation in high school football correlated with the percentage of regular church-goers in each state. Here’s what I discovered: the less religious a state is, the greater the decrease in participation in high school football.
The bottom 5 states in church-going attendance are, in order:
Vermont (33.8% decrease in high school football participation)
New Hampshire (16.8% decrease)
Maine (22.6% decrease)
Massachusetts (13.3% decrease)
Wisconsin (24.8% decrease)
The top 5 states in church-going attendance are, in order:
Utah (9.1% increase)
Tennessee (8.5% decrease)
Alabama (45.2% increase; the largest of any state)
Mississippi (0.6% increase)
South Carolina (4.4% decrease)
I’m not sure what any of this means. My job is to post interesting factual tidbits. Your job is to turn them into a coherent narrative.