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Updated Friday, January 11, 2013 at 05:58 AM

Brews, rides, real vs. fantasy football define Falcons, Seahawks fans

By Gene Balk
Seattle Times news librarian

For last Sunday's Seahawks-Redskins playoff, I used market-research data to see how the two teams' fans measured up. Even though it turned out that D.C. fans are a lot wealthier, all their money couldn't buy them a win.

Heading into this weekend's playoff game against Atlanta, let's have another head-to-head — Seahawks fans vs. Falcons fans. We don't have the income disparity this time (fans of both teams have comparable median incomes), but there are differences nonetheless.

More than three out of four fans of both teams will be watching on high-def TVs, with Atlanta fans a little more likely to be TiVo-ing the game. Since the game is being played in Atlanta, more Falcons supporters will score coveted playoff tickets and be rooting in person. Only a handful of Seattleites will be cheering on the Hawks in Atlanta, for obvious reasons.

During the course of the regular season, Atlanta fans are 15 percent more likely to have purchased game tickets than Seattle fans. So if shelling out the big bucks is a measure of team spirit, then I suppose Falcons fans have a slight edge over Seahawks fans.

When it comes to their wheels, Falcons fans are definitely flashier than Seahawks fans. At a playoff party in Atlanta, fans are 56 percent more likely to show up in a luxury vehicle than at a similar party in Seattle. We don't go for bling much here, but no fans are more outdoorsy than ours. Compared with a Falcons supporter, a Hawks fan is an amazing 625 percent more likely to drive a Subaru, and 80 percent more likely to use a bike as a form of transportation.

Everybody drinks beer when they're watching the game. At least that's what those TV commercials have convinced us. But in true Seattle fashion, microbrews rule at a game-day party. Our fans choose a microbrew over any single brand of beer. Compared with Falcons fans, Hawks fans are 180 percent more likely to drink microbrew beers. In Atlanta, they reach for a Bud Light first. I don't think I even need to say who wins when it comes to better taste in beers.

It seems Atlanta may have fewer armchair quarterbacks than Seattle. More than 20 percent of Falcons fans actually play the game, compared to about 15 percent of Seahawks fans. So they've got more real-life jocks, but we have a slight edge in Seattle for playing fantasy sports.

So when it comes to scoring virtual touchdowns, we win.

Gene Balk: 206-551-5052 or gbalk@seattletimes.com.






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