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Programming note: EDSBS LIVE is off this week due to Peter's fall break and our own constant state of disorganization. We will see you next week.

A fascinating article from Time cites a study from Auburn University SKURRRRRR!!!

Yes, a study from Auburn. They write papers and stuff. Move along.

The study, which was peer reviewed and STOP THAT THEY ARE STILL ACCREDITED and officially academic and such, concluded from a study of Auburn graduates that college football-affiliated folks--particularly the ones who had team paraphernalia in their yard, including were more likely than others to go to the polls on election day. The houses were spotted by the following:

"1) flying an AU flag, 2) affixing an AU pom-pom on one's mailbox, 3) affixing an AU sticker on one's mailbox, 4) placing an AU sign in one's yard, 5) placing an AU windmill in one's yard" and, in words that, sadly, will likely never appear in an economics research paper again 6) placing an inflated figure of Aubie [AU's school mascot] in one's yard."

This not only proves that fans of other sports are terrorists, but also proves a second point by extension: putting a school bumper sticker on your car is an act of outright patriotism, and a possible indicator that you, citizen, are happily balanced in your sense of self and participation in beneficial social and political activities.

To wit: here's an interesting question about personal space and someone's use of bumper stickers, a behavior some sociologists see as an attempt to expand personal space and defend their territory by labeling it or even expanding it by covering their car with "I HEART CATS" and "YOUR PARTY SUCKS" stickers. On the extreme end, this is obviously an atrocious behavior, and correlates strongly with road rage according to the data.

On the other hand: is a certain degree of outward declaration of allegiances in something so subtle and innocuous as sport socially healthy? This is just one study, but on the whole sports fans have been shown to be more socialized, more participatory in the electoral process, and generally happier than the average, non-sports fan. If the crazed, pistol-wielding bumper sticker person is one end of the "aggressive, sign-toting" spectrum, and the hermitic homebound shut-in at the other, could it be that the fine equilibrium between the two meets at the person just social enough to have a single university sticker on their car?

In other words: to look for the people who will be the better neighbors on your block, need you do anything more than check their front porch for a team flag?*