It’s officially NFL list season at Forbes. When the NFL starts up, while others are debating depth charts and fantasy stats, Forbes does some compelling work looking at the business of the game. It’s the kind of work that likely tightens Darren Rovell’s pants.1 Anyway, Forbes has come up with a formula to calculate the NFL’s best fans as we stand today, and your Cleveland Browns don’t crack the top ten.
Here they are, in order:
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Denver Broncos
3. New Orleans Saints
4. New England Patriots
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Indianapolis Colts
7 (tie) Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Seattle Seahawks
10. Chicago Bears
But how did Forbes decide that Wisconsinites are the best in the business? Take a look.
Our ranking is based on five criteria: hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year), 3 years worth of television ratings (per Nielsen), 3 years of stadium attendance based on capacity reached, 3 years worth of merchandise sales (per NFLShop.com), and social media reach (a combination of Facebook likes and Twitter TWTR +0.11% followers based on the team’s metro area population).
You’ll have to excuse me while I yawn a little bit here. Any calculation or formula that doesn’t control for the quality of the product on the field is pretty useless for this Browns fan. I’m sure there are far more excited fan bases out there right now, but I doubt there is one that’s as excitable as Browns fans. The constant changes in management, personnel and consistent losing on the field should serve as an amplifier in these rankings when it comes to Clevealand.
None of this is to say that Green Bay Packers fans aren’t great. They are. But don’t start to tell me that you can compare all these teams—most of which have had tons of success in the last decade—with a voracious fanbase like the Browns’ that has eaten mostly rotten food year-in and year-out since 1999, while consistently begging for more.
- You’re welcome for that mental image. [↩]