Mike Tanier Fixes the NFL Fanbase Rankings

Mike Tanier@@miketanierNFL National Lead WriterJuly 2, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 09:  Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown with fans during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Every NFL fanbase is great. And terrible.

Each team's fanbase is full of both wonderful people and folks who should be kept overnight in the stadium prison as well as hardcore football junkies, casual supporters, bandwagon jumpers, students of the game, know-it-alls, comment thread loudmouths, tailgate gourmands, Pollyannas, nihilists, fair-weather friends and old-timers with "buried in my jersey" written into their wills.

That makes ranking fanbases more of an art than a science, which is why Emory University marketing professor Mike Lewis whiffed so badly with his data-driven rankings last week. There's more to evaluating fan loyalty and quality than counting attendance figures, revenue and Twitter followers. So Bleacher Report asked me, the in-house NFL mathematician, to rank all 32 fanbases using the following 100 percent objective and utterly quantitative criteria:

Engagement (1 to 10): "Loyalty" is such a loaded term. "Engagement" measures just how vocal and visible the diehard fans really are, especially after a 5-11 season or two.

Cuisine (1 to 10): If the team cannot play like a champion, fans can at least eat like champions at tailgates, nearby restaurants, bars, etc.

Savvy (1 to 10): We don't want to insult anyone's football intelligence, but some fanbases have a reputation for reasonable and informed discourse, while others have drunk too much Kool-Aid for too many years.

Internet Personality (-5 to +3): Sorry, normal folks, but this is where your reputation is defined by how the loudest, orneriest contingent of your fanbase comes across in comment threads, Twitter beefs and, um, angry emails to sports writers.

We've also added some of the comments about the Lewis rankings from the B/R app community to highlight the flaws in that study and illustrate why our rankings are so much more rigorous and intuitive.

If you don't like where your fanbase ended up, don't blame us. Blame analytics for ruining everything. That's what the cool fans at the top of the list would do.

   

1. Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17:  Fans tailgate prior to a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on September 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Engagement: 10

Cuisine: 9

Savvy: 10

Internet Personality: +2

FAN SCORE: 31

"Chiefs 2nd to last? I'm not even a Chiefs fan and I know those are some of the best fans in the NFL" —maximus1318203

"As a Raiders fan, I find the Chiefs ranking horribly offensive." —BradG12

Ranking the Chiefs fanbase 31st was the Lewis-Emory study's greatest blunder. Chiefs fans are renowned for their mouthwatering tailgate fare, willingness to travel for their team and seismic stadium atmosphere, not to mention their high football IQ: Chiefs supporters know their enemies in a way that would make Sun Tzu nod approvingly.

There's also an essential purity to Chiefs fandom that transcends demographics. There has never been anything trendy about rooting for the Chiefs, a bandwagon era in the last four decades or national cache of cool. For Chiefs fans, it's all about the football, food and fellowship—in good times, bad times and (most frequently) break-your-heart-in-the-playoffs times.

   

2. Cleveland Browns

Engagement: 10

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 8.5

Internet Personality: +2

FAN SCORE: 26.5

"Browns at 27?! My whole life has been nothing but losing and loyalty to my team." —believeland95.

Browns fans have been universally respected and pitied for their allegiance to the football equivalent of an abandoned slaughterhouse for many years. But to take the pulse of the fanbase to see if it has been ruined by the mere potential for actual success, Bleacher Report enlisted the help of Browns superfan McNeil, organizer of last year's infamous 0-16 parade.

"We are, of course, taking it all in stride as fans," McNeill messaged. "This offseason has been spent emptying kids' college funds and retirement 401(k)s; buying 'Woke up feeing dangerous,' 'Dawg Check' and bad Baker/Kitchens pun T-shirts; searching for hotel rates in Miami for the weekend of February 2nd; and destroying the credibility of any ranking posted on social media that doesn't have the Browns at #1."

Sounds like Browns fans will shed their lovable loser personas for something far more irritating if the team finally enjoys some success. Frankly, they deserve it.

   

3. Green Bay Packers

Engagement: 9.5

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 9

Internet Personality: +0.5

FAN SCORE: 26

Packers fans are the NFL's Notre Dame fans, a national patchwork of supporters who follow the team for cultural, historic or philosophical reasons. Rooting for the Packers is like rooting for a Platonic ideal of football as a small-town, locally financed civic institution.

In most stadiums outside of the NFC North, visiting fans in Packers jerseys are tolerated and even deferentially respected, much like Amish buggies trotting down state highways. But all the Americana trappings in the world cannot change the fact that Packers fans on the internet were as annoying as all heck when they used to complain incessantly after 10-6 seasons.

   

4. Seattle Seahawks

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Engagement: 9

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 10

Internet Personality: -2

FAN SCORE: 25

The 12th Man rituals, creative tailgate options and thunderous atmosphere at CenturyLink Field are amazing, of course. But Seahawks fans are also the haughty comic book nerd-rage sufferers of the internet, eager to "well, actually" their way into every conversation with remarks like: You cannot appreciate the Cover 3 defense on as many levels as we do. ... Can we interest you in a detailed analytical breakdown of Tyler Lockett? ... Sure, you may agree that Russell Wilson is underrated, but you agree FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

Home-team myopia aside, most Seahawks fans know their football. A few even realize the sport wasn't invented in 2012.

   

5. Oakland Raiders

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 8.75

Internet Personality: +2

FAN SCORE: 24.75

"Raiders 17th best? That's a joke! I've been all around the world and see more Raiders gear than any other team." —SPbeats

Sadly, Raiders fandom is about to go the way of throwing toast at a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: a relic of a fading era of multiuse stadiums and grown-ups dressing like biker gargoyles to escape the dreariness of workweek conformity.

The Raiders, like Fat Elvis or Wayne Newton, are about to become a Vegas revue, abandoning their strong California fanbase and signaling to their worldwide legions that it's time to retire the black bandanas—Raiders fandom has drifted from hard rock to classic rock to the golden oldies channel.

Raiders fans defined football fandom for a generation. They deserve better than to go out like this.

   

6. Baltimore Ravens

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 7.5

Savvy: 8

Internet Personality: +1

FAN SCORE: 24.5

Ravens fans have high football IQs because they must. The Ravens don't traditionally provide many highlights, much scoring or any joy or pleasure even when they are winning, so their fans have become aficionados of field-position tactics and 52-yard field goals. They're like the baseball fans who like longer games with lots of pitching changes.

Hemmed in on all sides by the Eagles, Steelers and dwindling Redskins fanbases, Ravens fans are few in number but proud of their downtown stadium, Old Bay-scented revelries and gnarly brand of football. It's not something outsiders can hope to comprehend.

   

7. Minnesota Vikings

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21:  A Minnesota Vikings fan cheers on his team against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Vikings defeated the Jets 37-17.  (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Engagement: 8.5

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 8

Internet Personality: +0.75

FAN SCORE: 24.25

The most Midwestern of the Midwestern fanbases, Vikings fans are friendly and polite in that passive-aggressive way. They're so nice that they performed their Skol chant on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the 2017 playoffs and only had a few beers thrown at them during the tailgate before the game. (Their tour bus would have been besieged Mad Max-style if they tried that in 1980.) Heaven knows, Vikings fans themselves have never engaged in such behavior.

Eager travelers to road cities who know their stuff and hail from a gorgeous snow globe of a region, Vikings fans deserve better than a team known for its cataclysmic playoff heartbreaks. And no, Kirk Cousins, that doesn't mean they deserve cataclysmic pre-playoff heartbreaks.

   

8. Philadelphia Eagles

Engagement: 9

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 8

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 24

The misunderstood, much-maligned grandchildren of the folks who booed Santa Claus in 1968 now heckle and initiate road fans and boo their own team out of a sense of tradition and ceremony, not malice. The national media still follows Eagles fans around like a crooked sheriff hoping to pull them over for a flickering taillight, but going to Lincoln Financial Field is more like going on a haunted hayride than attending the medieval witch burnings at old Veterans Stadium.

Eagles fans know their stuff, tailgate like champions and have proven they can get through Super Bowl celebrations while being a danger only to themselves and awnings. Some are even downright friendly. So long as you aren't wearing a Cowboys jersey.

   

9. Buffalo Bills

Engagement: 10

Cuisine: 9

Savvy: 6.75

Internet Personality: -2

FAN SCORE: 23.75

"Bills Mafia at 19 is mad disrespect." —nunyabiz13

With its table-moshing rituals and habit of swarming the internet to attack anyone who criticizes most of their quarterbacks (or dares to say anything nice about Tyrod Taylor), #BillsMafia is not a force to be trifled with.

But a heart of gold beats beneath the Mafia's tough-guy facade. Bills fans flooded Andy Dalton's charity with donations after the Bengals beat the Ravens to help their team squeeze into the playoffs two seasons ago.

Bills fans have suffered through a lot over the decades: Scott Norwood, four straight Super Bowl losses, the collapse of their urban center, a near move to Canada, Nathan Peterman and so forth. If you had to cope with all that, plus nonstop humiliation at the hands of your ultrasuccessful division neighbors to the east, you would shatter a few tables and act a little too excited every time Josh Allen completes a screen pass, too.

   

10. Chicago Bears

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Engagement: 7

Cuisine: 8.5

Savvy: 7.5

Internet Personality: 0.5

FAN SCORE: 23.5

Actor George Wendt had a booth at a Comic-Con I recently attended. I'm not sure why he was there—maybe he's playing Modok in an upcoming Marvel movie or something—but there wasn't much of a line to see him, because while folks my age fondly remember both Norm from Cheers and Wendt's Mike Ditka-worshiping Saturday Night Live "Da Bears" character, Wendt's heyday is far enough in the past to temper enthusiasm and engagement levels.

That's Bears fandom in a nutshell. It should be bigger, louder and more national. But it peaked in the late 1980s and then faded from the national scene like one of Wendt's references to his brother's heart attacks in the skit. The Monsters of the Midway now are just another Midwestern regional team, its cultural cache tied to a fading era of Jheri curl, team rap videos and network-television sitcoms.

   

11. New Orleans Saints

Engagement: 9

Cuisine: 11

Savvy: 6.25

Internet Personality: -3

FAN SCORE: 23.25

With their perseverance in the face of Hurricane Katrina and the permanent Mardi Gras atmosphere around the Superdome, the Saints could have been contenders for the NFL's best fanbase if not for the incessant whining after New Orleans lost the NFC Championship Game because it blew a lead in the final minutes and turned the ball over in overtime. Yes, one of the worst blown calls in NFL history was also involved, but six months of Saints-fan lawsuits, boycotts and Super Bowl pity parties cost them a top-10 spot in these rankings.

   

12. Indianapolis Colts

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 8

Internet Personality: 1

FAN SCORE: 23

There are four separate quadrants of Colts fans: 1) lovable Hoosiers like Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation; 2) Cheatriots truthers who have let their one-time archrivals live rent free in their heads a little too long; 3) impatient fans who wish owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard would spend more money (they apparently suffer from Ryan Grigson amnesia, or Grignesia); and 4) confused grandpas in Johnny Unitas jerseys drinking Natty Boh in the Baltimore suburbs.

Overall, the Colts fanbase comes across as a little frustrated but enthusiastic, pleasant and mostly harmless—just like the organization itself.

   

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 8.5

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 22.5

Few can top the Steelers fanbase when it comes to old-school, corner-bar, beer-and-pierogis, recite-the-1979-roster fandom. On the other hand, Steelers fans are also notorious for rooting for the franchise against opponents on Sundays and then against their own players in contract negotiations. Steelers fans see the world through goggles shaped like Super Bowl IX commemorative Iron City mugs, harkening back to a mythologized blue-collar era when players worked in coal mines in the offseason and Mel Blount could legally decapitate receivers for dancing in the end zone.

Steelers fans in Western Pennsylvania self-identify with an idealized past while trying to navigate toward a more inclusive, cosmopolitan future. There's a metaphor for society there, which...hey, let's move on to the next team!

   

14. San Francisco 49ers

Engagement: 7

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 22

Geography is destiny for the 49ers fanbase. Their Bill Walsh era national supporters have mostly aged out, leaving the Bay Area craft-beer-and-organic-veggie crowd that periodically visits their team in its far-flung suburban stadium.

Niners fans are about as fervent as Californians get about anything non-political these days. That's just not very fervent.

   

15. New England Patriots

Engagement: 11

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 7.5

Internet Personality: -5

FAN SCORE: 21.5

"Patriots are 2nd best fans in the NFL? You're high. They're hands-down the worst." —neira2

The trust fund kids of NFL fandom, Patriots supporters are fiercely protective of their privilege and blithely indifferent to the plights of fans who don't get to attend semiannual championship parades.

There's no atmosphere in the world quite like Foxborough on a playoff Sunday in January, mind you. But Patriots fans aren't content to enjoy their success; they desperately need everyone else to reassure them that we are enjoying it as well. Isn't it ever so grand to live in an era when we can breathe the same air as the immortal demigod Tom Brady? What, you don't rank him above Mozart and St. Francis of Assisi on your all-time greatest humans countdown? SEIZE THIS HERETIC!

Patriots fans generally know their stuff when they aren't so success-gorged that they veer into "Matthew Slater is a Hall of Famer" territory. They also swear by their fealty to the team, which is easy to maintain when you are an adult and cannot remember their last losing season. And even after the Patriots dynasty collapses, their fanbase will spend decades taking the rest of us on annual tours of their lavish trophy case. Can't hardly wait.

   

16. Carolina Panthers

Engagement: 7

Cuisine: 5

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: +2

FAN SCORE: 21

Panthers fans have it all: a relatively successful franchise; a gorgeous downtown stadium; a sprawling, diverse region; and a groovy, interactive social media presence. They even have their own form of barbecue, which tastes like someone grabbed all the wrong condiments and tried to play it off like it was intentional, but, hey, it's a local tradition!

Unfortunately, Panthers fandom never quite penetrates the shadowy gloom of contrived national Cam Newton criticism. Sorry, Panthers fans, but your quarterback tried to switch seats on a transatlantic flight, so you don't get to have nice things this summer. And no, offering us what tastes like vinegar-and-yellow-mustard sandwiches won't change our minds.

   

17. Denver Broncos

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: A Denver Broncos fan takes a photo during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on October 18, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Engagement: 9

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 5.5

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 20.5

Taught from an early age to worship John Elway as an infallible emperor-deity, the Broncos fan is a fierce loyalist suffering from cognitive dissonance. Broncos fans cover a broad stretch of the nation, bleed orange and turn Broncos Stadium at Mile High into a thunderous football cathedral on Sundays, but they spend too much of their time and effort tying themselves in rhetorical knots to explain how Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum and now Joe Flacco are part of a divine plan to win a Super Bowl with mediocre quarterbacking to which nonbelievers are simply blind.

   

18. Dallas Cowboys

Engagement: 8.25

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 20.25

"Cowboys on top, now this list is really a joke. They got nothing but bandwagons. They go into hiding when their team gets the ass beat. Only come out of hiding and crow when the team is winning." —Ryder25

There are three types of Cowboys fans: 1) local fans, a fading aristocracy paying homage to Lord Jerrah at his Arlington Versailles and basking in glories from a quarter-century ago; 2) the Interstate 95 corridor fans, contrarians who rejected the Giants, Eagles and Skins to root for a more successful franchise (an aging demographic that cannot understand why their children jumped on the Patriots bandwagon); and 3) international fans who perceive the Cowboys as a ubiquitous American brand they are obligated to like: the football equivalent of Campbell Soup or Mickey Mouse.

Sheer strength of numbers gives the Cowboys a formidable fanbase. Their fans swarm like cicadas when the team is doing well. They retreat to their musty trophy case during long periods of dormancy, but you never forget they're out there, ready to flood your timeline with memes after an upset of the Eagles.

   

19. Jacksonville Jaguars

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 5

Internet Personality: 1

FAN SCORE: 20

Once supported only by Floridians who love to chant "DUUU-val" for some reasons, ironic hipsters in search of a so-bad-they're-fun franchise and confused Londoners, the Jaguars fanbase now consists of Jason Mendoza from The Good Place and...yeah, it hasn't really changed much. Still, the Jaguars fanbase has a more distinct identity than most small-market/bad-franchise fanbases, even if that personality is Bills Mafia lite.

   

20. Atlanta Falcons

Engagement: 5.75

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 19.75

Falcons fans are still smarting from all those 28-3 memes from Super Bowl LI—it's no fun being the kid who almost punched out the bully but got an atomic wedgie in front of the whole school instead—and appear resigned to slink back into national irrelevance as they typically do the moment the team fades from the playoff picture.

There's also a Matt Ryan Hall of Fame campaign bubbling up through Falcons fandom. Try to nod politely instead of laughing out loud about it—these poor folks have suffered enough in the last few years.

   

21. New York Giants

Engagement: 8

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 6

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 19

Giants fans are Yankees fans in blue parkas. Even the young fans are staunch traditionalists, believers in establishing the run, loyalty to ancient quarterbacks and the wisdom of midday radio sportstalk.

With the more successful Patriots and Eagles eating away from the north and south and the Jets more attuned to the Big Apple counterculture since the 1960s, Giants fandom is mostly concentrated in a geographical strip between I-280 and I-287 and a demographic strip between CBS police procedurals and falling asleep during Wheel of Fortune. That still gives the Giants approximately seven trillion possible fans to work with, but if audience size was all that mattered, we would spend our days on Twitter arguing about CBS police procedurals.

   

22. New York Jets

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Engagement: 7.75

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: -2

FAN SCORE: 18.75

The Jets have been ruining their fans since birth for two generations, which is why Jets fans irrationally lash out in all directions. The quintessential Jets fan secretly hates the team, and then hates the rest of us for hating the team, and then hates themselves for hating us for hating the team. And if you don't like this assessment, you are simply perpetuating the vicious cycle. Food for thought, folks. Food for thought.

   

23. Houston Texans

Engagement: 5

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 5.5

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 18.5

The Texans have been around for nearly 20 years, but it still feels like if the Cowboys reached the Super Bowl, 75 percent of football fans in Houston would paint blue stars on their foreheads and burn all their Texans gear—except for one J.J. Watt jersey they neatly fold so they can wear it while watching his Hall of Fame induction on television.

The Texans would rate even lower if I didn't gain 25 pounds while in Houston covering Super Bowl LI. I'm fairly certain the brisket down there contains trace elements of MDMA.

   

24. Los Angeles Chargers

Engagement: 4

Cuisine: 8

Savvy: 6.25

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 18.25

"How are the Los Angeles Chargers not dead last? Like, for real though." —spanossucks

Having left San Diego to sell maps of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, the Chargers are taking a few years off from actually having a fanbase. Until they move out of that apartment-above-the-vape-shop they call a stadium, the Chargers are a fun "other" team that NFL fans across the country can casually root for without getting accused of bandwagon jumping.

Think of the Chargers as a rock band that never broke big but kept its indie cred for decades, making Philip Rivers the Paul Westerberg of NFL quarterbacks.

   

25. Los Angeles Rams

Engagement: 4

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 7

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 18

The Rams fanbase consists of: 1) toe-dippers attracted by the team's recent success; 2) old guys in faded Jack Youngblood jerseys; and 3) Missourians with an overabundance of loyalty. Maybe that will change when the Rams move into their new entertainment complex/pleasure palace/incidentally-also-a-stadium. Then again, maybe their last St. Louis fans will finally move on and the Youngblood crowd will just keep driving to the Coliseum every Sunday.

Rams fandom in Los Angeles peaked back when Bob Waterfield married Jane Russell and has been fading ever since. If you don't get that reference, then you cannot complain about this ranking.

Note: The Chargers got a higher cuisine score than the Rams for the same city because they get to bring carne asada burritos up with them from San Diego. Deal with it.

   

26. Miami Dolphins

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Engagement: 7

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 4.75

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 17.75

"Miami Dolphins at 14? Lmfao ... Can see the stadium from my balcony ... If half the league has worse fan bases, the league is about to fold." —el6tigre

Fans of the AFC East also-rans have been so downtrodden for so long that they have a cosmology similar to that of mdieval serfs: The Patriots rule through some combination of divine right and sorcery; everyone tills the soil and hopes heavenly forces will take pity upon them in some far-flung future.

But while Jets fans curse their fate with Big Apple bravado and Bills fans wreck furniture, Dolphins fans have become trend-following New Age zealots, quick to tell you the team's latest braintrust knows what it's doing, last offseason's moves were shrewd and the undrafted rookie who caught a one-handed pass in minicamp is the next Mark Clayton. Since the fans have no knowledge of how successful franchises operate, these beliefs are all they have to cling to, so it's both pointless and rude to remind them that they believed the exact same things last year, and the year before that...

   

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Engagement: 6

Cuisine: 6

Savvy: 6

Internet Personality: -1

FAN SCORE: 17

It's been a long time since the Bucs were good, the pirate ship was new and Jon Gruden, Mike Alstott and Warren Sapp gave both the team and its fans a distinct personality. Now, the folks at JoeBucsFan.com told Bleacher Report that fans have succumbed to "gloom and doom."

"Earlier in the decade the Bucs used the marketing slogan 'It's a Bucs Life,'" JoeBucsFan explained in a message. "Fans have stolen that to describe the pratfalls of the team on social media. So when anything remotely bad happens (Jason Pierre-Paul's injury, Gerald McCoy drama) fans sarcastically use the hashtag #ItsABucsLife."

Poor Bucs fans. Instead of treats, they get tricked. And instead of high fives, they get to celebrate drafting...kickers.

   

28. Detroit Lions

Engagement: 5.75

Cuisine: 5

Savvy: 6

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 16.75

Decades of failure have shrunk the Lions fanbase and turned many fans into fatalists who could give Jets fans a run for their money. The only "tailgate food" outsiders associate with the Lions is turkey and stuffing, and I get far more hate mail for mild criticism of a University of Michigan prospect in the draft than for whole columns comparing Matt Patricia to Tusk-era Kevin Smith. Your time will come, Lions fans. It just won't come anytime soon.

   

29. Cincinnati Bengals

Don Wright/Associated Press

Engagement: 6

Cuisine: 4

Savvy: 6.5

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 16.5

"I'm a Bengals fan but no way are we ahead of the Titans, Chiefs and Rams. Jags, maybe ..." —BBJoe

Bengals fans are known for their "Who Dey?" chant and not much else. Actually, they aren't very well known for their "Who Dey?" chant, either.

The Bengals have your typical small-market, regional fanbase for a perennial also-ran. But they got docked in these rankings because Cincinnati chili tastes like someone spilled Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal into a pan full of ground beef and then dumped the whole mess atop SpaghettiOs. There, I said it.

   

30. Tennessee Titans

Engagement: 4

Cuisine: 7

Savvy: 5

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 16

Jaguars fans call Titans fans "mayo eaters" for reasons lost on us non-Jaguars fans. It's never a good sign when Jaguars fans are dunking on you.

My longtime Football Outsiders colleague, and diehard Titans fan, Tom Gower helped fill me in on why a region known for its nightlife, not-just-country-music scene and college sports fanaticism hasn't really embraced the Titans. "Nashville and Middle Tennessee have grown a lot recently, but the team hasn't been great lately, so those new residents haven't converted to Titans fans," he explained.

"Ranking them the 30th-best fanbase was not a good reason to doubt that silly [Lewis] study," Gower added. That's good to know, since that's where they rank here.

   

31. Arizona Cardinals

Engagement: 4.25

Cuisine: 5

Savvy: 5

Internet Personality: 0

FAN SCORE: 14.25

Have you ever seen three Cardinals fans in the same place at the same time (outside of, say, a stopover at Sky Harbor International Airport)? Have you ever gotten into a message board debate with a passionate Cardinals fan? Can you name the Cardinals kicker without looking him up? No, it's not Jay Feely. If you can answer these questions, leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you. But we aren't holding out any hopes.

   

32. Washington Redskins

Engagement: 5

Cuisine: 5

Savvy: 7.5

Internet Personality: -4

FAN SCORE: 13.5

"I'm a Redskins fan and let me tell you, it's an absolute crime to put as at 11. We should be between 25-32. Our fanbase sucks mainly because we've been driven away by the owner." — dmacs101

In olden times (the 1980s), Skins fans were goofballs playing banjos wearing pig snouts and granny dresses. Now, the most visible Skins fans spend most of their time on the internet demanding that the rest of us just deal with the team's name and then dressing up as long rows of empty seats on Sundays.

In fairness to the few remaining true Skins loyalists (as opposed to the angry cranks who have glommed onto a political argument), they're stuck with a dysfunctional franchise with problematic branding and a stadium that has all the charm and luxury of an abandoned strip mall. It's a wonder so many fans still care at all. Just not enough fans to keep them out of last place on this list.

              

Mike Tanier covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeTanier.


ESPN's Mina Kimes joins Adam Lefkoe on The Lefkoe Show to take an early look at the NFL season to come, from sleeper Super Bowl contenders, why the Bears might disappoint and who is the most underrated QB in the league right now.

Related

    Colts Extend TE Jack Doyle 3 Years

    Indianapolis native agrees to $21M contract extension

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Colts Extend TE Jack Doyle 3 Years

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Jerry Jones Goes Off on Radio Host 😳

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Jerry Jones Goes Off on Radio Host 😳

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    It's Time for Jerry to End the Jason Garrett Era

    Cowboys have now lost seven of last 10 games

    NFL logo
    NFL

    It's Time for Jerry to End the Jason Garrett Era

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Best Moments from Donovan McNabb AMA

    👀 Eagles 'don't have an identity' 💨 Compares himself to Russ 😆 Wouldn't go on picnic with T.O.

    Check out the best answers from today's Donovan McNabb AMA ➡️

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Best Moments from Donovan McNabb AMA

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report