Offseason NFL rankings are often meaningless, but still entertaining. The following ranking simply stinks.
In an Emory University study released on Wednesday, Browns fans were pegged as the second worst in the NFL.
Authored by Manish Tripathi, the study used fan spending as a metric to determine the "best fans" in the NFL, defined by Tripathi as "the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive."
Only Dolphins fans ranked below Browns faithful. The Bengals finished at 24th, the Steelers took 12th, and somehow the Ravens ranked fourth. In another strange twist, the noisy Seahawks fan base came in near the bottom at 24th.
Upon further examination, the study's credibility is questionable. The author of the study is certainly credible, as Tripathi has quite a background, detailed in his Emory bio. The methods, however, are not necessarily foolproof.
Is the use of revenue statistics the best way to measure the loyalty of a fan base? Tripathi goes deep into marketing mumbojumbo in a 27-page document available here, but can you quantify passion and dedication with numbers?
The timing of the study's release is also circumspect. On Tuesday, Dick's Sporting Goods announced that Joe Haden's jersey was its top seller since the NFL Draft. Browns fans emptied their wallets after the team revealed its new jerseys in April.
As a writer for a Browns site, I'm probably biased. But no logical person can objectively argue that this tortured fan base is one of the worst in the NFL.