Study: Detroit sports fans in top 10 in U.S. at ‘smack talk’

 Study: Detroit sports fans in top 10 in U.S. at ‘smack talk’

Detroit sports fans are among the best in the country at good-natured smack talk.

Detroit’s professional sports teams haven’t made the playoffs since the 2018-19 Pistons, but the city’s fans are elite at talking good-natured smack.

Results of a recent study by, an online language learning marketplace, revealed Detroit fans ranked No. 7 in the country when it comes to talking smack — significantly ahead of Super Bowl cities Philadelphia (26th) and Kansas City (37th).

Using seven data points across three categories — sports hub reputation, competitiveness and smack talkers on social media — New York was ranked the No. 1 smack-talking sports town, edging out No. 2 Chicago and No. 3 Los Angeles.

Detroit racked up a smack talk score of 79.3, well ahead of the national average of 42.4.

“The cities with the best smack talkers and at the top of our ranking know that smack talk in football is a science,” said Amy Pritchett, language director of Preply. “It’s all part of the game and a competitive strategy to help them win.

Fans know that the best trash talk has the potential to ruin their opponent’s game.”

Smack talk reflects city’s spirit

The data used for the study was taken from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, as well as smack talk on social media platforms, Pritchett explained.

“We evaluated dimensions using seven relevant data metrics of smack talk spirit,” Pritchett said. “The metrics were combined to create a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable condition for a city of smack talkers.

“We determined each location’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall ‘Smack Talk Score’ and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered popular sports cities across the USA.”

For those keeping score, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, was deemed the worst city for smack talk in the country.

While fans of the Eagles and Chiefs can savor their teams’ accomplishments on Sunday, at least Detroit sports fans can sleep well knowing they can talk good-natured smack with the best in the country.

Ed Wright

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