BY PETER HAILEY
Redskins fans pride themselves on being among the sport's most passionate and faithful supporters, but those words are subjective. What if there was a way to truly rank all 32 NFL fan bases?
Well, thanks to a couple of guys over at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics, there is.
Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi published a study on Wednesday that evaluated "fifteen years of data on NFL team performance, ticket prices, market populations, median incomes, won-loss records and multiple other factors" in order to rank football fan bases from best to worst.
To paraphrase, Lewis and Tripathi created a statistical model that placed a high value on things like fans supporting their teams through tough times and fans flooding the team's box offices with ticket orders, no matter how expensive seats may be. So where'd Redskins fans end up? In the cellar of the NFC East, much like the team they support. And, unfortunately, the bad news doesn't stop there for Washington's faithful.
The Dallas Cowboys landed at the top spot in Emory's rankings, and the New York Giants finished at No. 3. The Eagles, meanwhile, finished at No. 11, meaning that, yet again, the Redskins don't stack up to their divisional foes.
"The winner this year is the Dallas Cowboys followed by the Patriots, Giants, Ravens, and Jets," the study concluded. "The Cowboys have a storied history, a market that loves all forms of football, and a world-class stadium."
However, in terms of how they compare to the entire sport, Burgundy and Gold fans are actually considered middle-of-the-road: They were named the NFL's No. 15 best fan base, meaning they're (barely) in the top half of the league when it comes to rooting for their Redskins.
The Bills, Jaguars, Raiders, Browns, and Dolphins were the five teams found to have the worst fan bases, according to the study's model. So while the Redskins on-the-field prospects for 2015 compare to many of those franchises, the FedEx Field faithful can at least take solace in the fact that they're not a bottom of the barrel fan base.