A report has come out ranking the most loyal fan bases in the NFL. Amazingly and surprisingly the Cleveland Browns fans came in at #20. The Browns fell 1 spot below the Bengals fans, you know the team that often is blacked out from lack of ticket sales and whose fans most likely are wearing Jeff Blake and Chad Johnson jersey’s to games. Not to attack Bengals fans, their team has had its fair share of issues that supporting it could be tough. The study on the other hand doesn’t seem to take much stock in reality. If the Bengals have had their fair share of issues, the Browns have had a league’s fair share of issues. From the team leaving and returning, sort of since the returning team was terrible. With starting quarterbacks too numerous to mention. New “regimes” and startovers piling on top of each other. Loss after loss after loss. The new owner in a FBI investigation. The issues go on and on.
Yet every Sunday the scene is similar to that which you see above, a packed stadium of Browns fans dressed like Browns fans. Painted faces, helmets, Dawg memorabilia and jersey’s galore the loyalty of the Browns fan base in legendary. Recently Scot Van Pelt of ESPN Radio fame ranked the Browns in his top 5 of fan bases, and noted that loyalty is their number 1 asset.
What we know about research studies is that the numbers can be accurate but not truthful. How the data was gathered, sample population, analysis tools and many other things can skew data. I asked a great stats guy on Twitter to look at the study and see if he can identify the problem. Jacob Rosen of WFNY hopefully will be able to provide some information to help us understand better.
Trying to be logical and taking Browns fans glasses off there are a few teams that have great homefield advantage and fans including the Steelers and Ravens in the AFC North, the Seahawks, the Saints, and the Redskins. Yet when you are discussing LOYALTY it would be hard pressed to find a more LOYAL bunch of fans then the Cleveland Browns. Rooting for a losing team year after year, selling out every game, buying merchandise (possibly most generic in the league) and calling talk shows daily all show their loyalty.
Do you agree the study got it wrong? Is there a fan base you think is SIGNIFICANTLY more loyal then the Browns?