According to a recent Emory University study, the New York Jets' fanbase was ranked among the top 5 "best" in the NFL. According to NFL.com, the measure for "best" was "the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans" in the NFL. However, the study was heavily dependent on factors such as market outcome, attendance, prices, and revenue, meaning that more affluent regions with larger fanbases would likely rate higher. This is well supported by the fact that the Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, and Ravens also landed in the top 5 with the Cowboys earning the highest distinction. Recent success also appears to be a motivating factor, considering that 3 of the top 5 have won a Superbowl in the last 5 years. It is somewhat ironic that the Jets fans were given a top 5 distinction in the same year that fans paid to create Fire Idzik banners and a star player called out the fans publicly. Nevertheless, Jets fans all over the world were well aware of the fact that we are great and awesome and also great.
Still, you have to question the way that the study was operated. While Seattle and Kansas City are certainly known for their incredible ability to mindlessly shout during games, they came in 26th and 27th respectively in the study. It also seems pretty hard to believe that the Steelers could come in 14th when sometimes Steelers fans even outnumber the home team's fans at games, especially if that team is struggling. Green Bay even has a global fanbase (I met about a dozen fans across China, Thailand, and Korea last year and all of them were Packers fans) and season tickets are so hard to get that you would have to reserve them for your great-great-great.....continue this in your head for an hour or so......grandchildren: Yet they only ranked 7th? It's hard to read this as the "best" fans and not just as the fans who spend the most money.
If nothing else, the study did a good job at proliferating the stereotype held by many of Miami Dolphins fans by ranking them at the bottom. To Miami's credit, they do have a lot of factors playing against them; Florida has 3 NFL franchises, extreme weather, and a population that has an extremely high ratio of non-native fans. The lack of success in recent years certainly hasn't helped the team generate a fanbase, either. It is still interesting to note that teams from Buffalo, Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis all beat out Miami in this metric and each of those teams has been rumored to be at risk of losing their franchise to Los Angeles in the coming years. So what do you think? Is this study representative of the best fans?