Despite Team Toro’s best efforts, the awesome trips of the Traveling Texans, and the fact Houston has J.J. Watt, the best receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins and a quarterback who was recently baptized in the same river that launched the public ministry of Jesus Christ, Texans fans just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to attention on a national level.
Apparently, out of sheer boredom or lack of any other relevant content, the folks at Bleacher Report decided to rank the NFL fan bases. Well, re-rank them after a marketing professor at Emory University released his annual rankings. Let’s look at the professorial rankings first.
Mike Lewis, Emory University:
The analysis is grounded in economic and marketing theory, and uses statistical tools to shed light on the question of which teams have the most loyal or “best” fans.
In his rankings, the Texans escaped the “worst” category, which included two other AFC South teams in the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Lewis’ rankings were based on the following criteria:
...data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest (more details here). The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.
Houston’s fans landed in the 21st slot in Lewis’ slotting. Definitely on the bottom side of things.
However, Mike Tanier over at Bleacher Report, in his take at ranking NFL fan bases, seemed to think that was too generous and quickly re-ranked the Texans 23rd, throwing shade that the H-Town crowd was nothing more than closet Dallas Cowboy fans waiting for the boys in blue to win another Super Bowl so they could cast off the Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, and Liberty White chains.
Here’s the criteria Tanier used to re-rank the teams:
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.
For cuisine, if nothing else, Texans fans should rank in the top three. I mean, if you don’t like Texas BBQ, your ideas on what good food really is should be considered null and void.
Tanier did give Houston high marks for food, but not much else:
23. Houston Texans
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.
Apparently, the only place Texans fans get worked into a lather fighting for the justice of Mother Houston is here at BRB, where there’s no lack of opinions launched at one another through battleship cannons. Maybe it’s time to take that level of fan passion out into the rest of teh internetz?
It’s also worth noting that in the re-rankings, Tanier places the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of Houston. Really? Most NFL fans couldn’t point to Jacksonville on a map if it was the only city listed.
What do you think? Are your fellow Texans fans hiding their love of Jerry Jones underneath #99 jerseys? Did Tanier and the Emory University prof do H-Town wrong? Let us know in the comments section. Then take to Twitter and all the national level comments sections and voice your opinions. #HTownProud #GoTexans!