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Study: Rockets fans the 3rd most vulgar basketball fans on the internet

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According to a study of reddit comment data, Rockets fans aren't afraid to curse.

Scott Halleran

You might have heard of Reddit (a content aggregator much like Digg), and chances are if you frequently peruse both The Dream Shake and Reddit, you have probably stumbled across the NBA subreddit r/nba. Individual teams also have their own fan-created subreddits, which are integrated into r/nba.

Not everyone is a fan of Reddit, but the large number of users occasionally allows for some fun, although unscientific, analysis. For example, not long after LeBron went home, a user tracked the changes in the number of r/nba users with Cavs or Heat flair and the number of subscribers to the Cavs and Heat subreddits.

Yesterday, another user posted some interesting data: graphs that compare how much certain sports subreddits are given to swearing. Different subreddits might have different numbers of users, but the graphs are based on rates, not totals. According to the NBA-specific graph, the Rockets are the third most vulgar basketball subreddit, behind only the Clippers and the Heat.

Along with them, we are the only three team-specific subreddits that best the r/nba community for sweariness. We separate the NBA teams into tiers, and the graph is no different: the Clippers are undisputed champions of swearing, the Heat their closest rival, and the Rockets lead a small group of contenders in r/nba, the Bulls, and the Knicks. How did these fan populations become the nastiest? Where are the Lakers and Celtics? (Answer: somehow really low.)

You might be thinking, "Alright, we're rowdy!" You might also be thinking, "When did we get so crass and ill-bred?" However, when compared to a multitude of subreddits across other sports, the Rockets actually fall to #32, while the Heat and Clippers stay high at #13 and #4. The ultimate champion of Internet trash talk? The Boston Bruins subreddit, by a landslide.

The only Houston team anywhere near us is the Texans at #22. The cricket subreddit is ahead of us at #30. Once again, there are tiers: Bruins are head and shoulders above the rest, followed by six contenders including the Clippers, and the rest of the subreddits are basically even in comparison, including us.

The Lakers sit at #90, and the Celtics somehow fell all the way to #164, but do we really swear more than those fans? No way. Let's take each city's top two teams: the Bruins and Red Sox are #1 and #11, while the Clippers and Dodgers are #4 and #5. The Dolphins and Heat are #3 and #13, too. But the Texans and Rockets are only #22 and #32. I guess Houston fans might be salty, but Boston, LA, and Miami fans still have us beat when it comes to cursing. So next time you run into one of them, be sure to point out that we're classier. Because we are, and the Internet says so.

[Editor's note: If we did this analysis at TDS, I have little doubt we'd be close to the top of the leaderboard among SB Nation NBA sites. And we wouldn't have it any other way. -Patrick]