Forbes claims Browns fans aren’t among the top 10 in the NFL



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, 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.


  1. You’re welcome for that mental image. []
  • Adam

    This should have been renamed… “The Top 10 Easiest Teams to Cheer For”

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I can only hope the Browns get a better Instagram account so I can be a better fan. #YOLO

  • bossman09

    “Most successful teams have the most bandwagon fans”. Anything Forbes does that isn’t about corporate finances I consider to be a Huffpo. op. ed.

  • mgbode

    Forbes says something again. Yaay.

    Anyway, I’m not going to whip anything out to measure. But, from what I have witnessed personally, Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland, Kansas City, Seattle, and New Orleans all have absolutely great fanbases that love their teams.

    And, of course, Rams fans are the worst (Bless us, for we have to watch the Rams this week):

  • TNB

    that was beautiful, bode. Thank you for making me a better person today.

  • mgbode

    glad you appreciated it. thought it a good way to start the weekend : )

  • MrCleaveland

    One of my fond memories is a playoff game in Green Bay after the 2011 season. The Giants came into the Holy Land and kicked the Packers’ fannies all over Wisconsin, 37-20. In the fourth quarter, half of the sainted Lambeau “faithful” had left, and those who remained were booing lustily. I loved every second of it.

  • nj0

    You know all the criticism people level at sabermetric stats? It should be reserved for Forbes lists. While people in baseball analytics try to construct logical, thought out measures, Forbes just chooses a bunch of random data points over a random sample size and then claims it measures something that it really doesn’t.

  • mgbode

    It takes a bunch of talent to create lists even worse than B/R, but Forbes consistently churns them out.

  • architrance

    Supporting a badly run, poorly managed team for life, no matter what is either the ultimate fandom or the worst case scenario of obsession gone wrong.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • WFNYJon

    Let’s remember all this incredulity toward Forbes’ BS the next time they claim how profitable the Indians are, shall we?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    No worries I’m sure the Indians will remind everyone.

  • George G

    As a life long Seattle Seahawks fan, only the past two years has it been “easy” to cheer for my Seahawks

  • Sam Gold

    Forbes has an opinion on sports…?

  • CB Everett

    That’s true. Seahawks fans are great…having been to games there and knowing fans….I’ll vouch for that.

    And hey, at least you guys got some success out of Holmgren. All he did in CLE was get some fat cash and get, well, really fat.

  • George G

    Thanks for he support!
    As i’m sure you are aware our bandwagon has gone from empty …. to overflowing in the past couple years.
    We got a lot more out of Holmgren than you guys did, thats for sure.

  • mgbode

    Hey, the Yankees don’t make money, the YES Network makes money and don’t you dare try to connect the owners of the two 😉

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Yeah, the 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005 (NFC Champions), 2006, 2007, and 2010 playoff teams must’ve been tough to root for….

    You guys ARE great fans, don’t get me wrong, but don’t say your success is a “recent” thing.

  • George G

    Matt, I have been a fan since the inception of the team. Im not saying the Seahawks have had better years than the Browns. Excuse me, yes we have had “success” yet never won the big one.

  • George G

    Until last year

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    No doubt, congratulations on your Championship. The fact that Seattle consistently sells out Sounders games shows how good a fanbase you all are. You still love your Sonics (which were despicably stolen from you), and you literally cause earthquakes with your cheering. I think Seattle is full of great fans, and I yearn for the day where we Browns fans have bandwagoners as well.

    The sad difference is, that I would even take a team that goes to the playoffs for the better part of a decade without “winning the big one” and call that team “easy to root for” given what we’ve had here.

    I wish your Seakhawks the best of luck, and I hope we squeak out a win over you in the Super Bowl this year.