What does it mean to be a great fan base for the National Football League? Is it showing up to every game? Is it buying tons and tons of merchandise? Is it single-minded devotion on social media? Is it stadium volume?
While there’s probably no way to accurately control for every single factor that might go into the totality of what makes an NFL fan (if you stay at home and stay off social media, does that make you less of a fan than someone who posts Twitter updates from the stadium, even if you both watch all the games?), Forbes did some digging into the NFL, and came up with some interesting ways to measure for all the types of NFL fandom, from stadium attendance over three years to merch sales to, yes, Facebook and Twitter fandom, as well as how many local people actually watched the games. It was a pretty comprehensive effort, and it serves as the bedrock of this list of the five best fan bases in the National Football League. Does your team make the cut?
5. Baltimore Ravens
Coming out in a five-way-tie for stadium attendance — not a huge surprise, considering that all of these teams have been very competitive over the last few years, with the Ravens topping it all off with a Super Bowl win in 2012 — Baltimore’s faithful have been rewarded with a half decade of Harbaugh, near constant playoff appearances, and general success. The Ravens land in the top ten for social media and TV audience rankings (coming in the eight and six slots, respectively), while making it to the top four in hometown rank and the top twelve in merchandise sold.