Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys fans holds a sign prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Team Loyalty Ranks a Little Off

I’m sure everyone has read the poll virally making its way across the internet.  It shows the most “loyal and supportive” fanbases for each team.  It’s calculated, basically, on a combination of win/loss record, area population, median income and so on and so on to find which fans always show up.  What they got was a list teams that ranked in order from most loyal to least loyal.  It looks like this:

I’ll start by saying that I am not one to deny statistics.  I am a science student and I love facts and evidence.  But it is easy to get mixed up in what observational data actually says.  The Dallas Cowboys are ranked number one.  This basically means that the Cowboys home games are almost always sold out and at the same time, costs a butt-load.  The stands are always full no matter how horrible, how putrid, how ridiculous, and how much Tony Romo is your quarterback.  You can go to the Arctic Circle in Alaska and find a Cowboys fan.  Does that mean they are the most loyal?

NO! Of course not, it just means that they have mass appeal.  It means that they were branded unfairly “America’s Team” and every country boy, red blooded American that loves flags, BBQ, and Beer loves the Cowboys.  It means that there is so little to do in Dallas and the surrounding Texas area that fans would rather go to a game where the boys might win for  way more money than anyone should ever have to pay for a four hour event and way more than anyone should have to pay for a cup of beer and a hotdog.  I don’t consider that supportive, I consider that blind.  Very few people will rival my loyalty to the Falcons, but I’m not going to spend good money on a game that they have very little chance to win when I can stay at home and at least burry my head into a basket of wings. Too harsh?  Maybe, but I don’t care.

I’m not going to claim that the Falcons fans are more loyal than Giants fans or even Cowboys fans, but they aren’t 31 out of 32.  If the difference between how many tickets were sold for the upcoming 2013 games and how many tickets were sold in 2007 (for example) is what drove down the rank of Atlanta, the biggest hole in the study is how high Jacksonville is ranked.  They couldn’t sell out a game when they were good! (When was that?)They are at a constant amount of dismal ticket sales.  They have to build America’s largest jumbotron and play other games on it just to get fans to come to the games! If the Jaguars consistency sales are what keep them at 27, there is a problem with the means of collecting data.  My god, I went to Disney in Orlando and didn’t see a single Jaguars hat or shirt before I saw Texans, Vikings, and Browns apparel.

Probably the most apparent sign that this study doesn’t show the “Loyalty” of fan bases is where the Green Bay Packers are ranked.  At 14, the Packers should be right near the top.  The waiting list for season tickets in Green Bay is over 1,000 years.  The amount of loyalty and fandom in Green Bay is too hard to describe in words other than everyone in Wisconsin loves their packers like the first time you ever fell in love at all times no matter what.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that doesn’t find this study very amusing.

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  • Angel

    Raider Nation has a HUGE club that holds fundraising events like bbq’s, merchandise sales at the fairs, concerts and weekly meetings to donate money to under privileged children and children with disabilities. Raider fan or not. This club will go out of their way to help the elderly also. They do these events all throughout California and have other clubs they work with in many states too. We are loyal and always will be. Raiders for life. It’s not always football to us, it’s a way of life. Go Raiders

    • Robert Stephens

      That’s another thing I thought was odd. I see Raiders fans all over the place and the Black Hole is a vicious place to play no matter how good the team does. Even if they waiver, I wouldn’t expect them to be the worst at all.

  • Adam

    I do agree that this list is wrong but the Falcons are at the bottom. I am a huge die hard Falcons fan but the years we were terrible I couldn’t find hardly any Falcons fans in Atlanta. Now that they are good they are everywhere. Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philly and many other places fans are everywhere now matter how they are doing. Also outside of Atlanta there aren’t many Falcons fans at all. Since Arthur Blanks bought the team he has been trying to fix that and I believe he will. The Braves were not as big in Atlanta until they had many years of Success and made the World Series. It will take the same for the Falcons.

    • Robert Stephens

      I wouldn’t argue that the Falcons are in the top ten, or even top 50%, I’m just saying that Falcons fans are at least more loyal than Jaguars fans. Go to Jacksonville and you see more Bucs and Dolphins fans around.