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Dolphins fans among NFL’s ‘worst fans’

NFL: Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations, Dolphins fans, you still suck!

Do you remember this time last year, where we discussed a study from Emory University that looked to use “hard data” in a “very controlled and statistically careful fashion” at the 32 teams in the NFL in an effort to find the “best” fans in the league? If you do not, you can check it out here. Basically, the study “took a look at how much a fan base pays for tickets to a game and how much a team makes in a year based on multiplying the attendance for the year by the ticket prices. The conclusion then suggests that, a team that is willing to pay more for tickets is therefore a better fan base.”

Well, it has been a year, so guess what? The study is back and, Dolphins fans still suck.

Last year, the Dolphins were ranked 32nd. This year, they are ranked 27th.

So, I guess we all suck a little less?

The study was changed a little this year, with a new measure, the “Dynamic Fan Equity” combing the previous measures of “Fan Equity” - the measure of how much money a team makes by taking the average ticket price for each team and multiplying it by the tickets sold for the year - and “Social Media Equity” - a measure of fans joining social media communities.

I still find fault with this system. The “Fan Equity” only factors in the tickets sold - so if a team has a large fan base that does not live in its city - say like, I don’t know, Miami - they are penalized in the system because those fans cannot attend games.

I ask the same question as I asked last year, as well. Are you really trying to tell me that the "12th man" and the ridiculous crowds that pack Arrowhead Stadium are in the bottom 7 teams in the NFL in terms of fans? Last year, the Seattle Seahawks were 26th in the rankings and the Kansas City Chiefs were 27th. This season, the Seahawks jumped up the rankings to 13th, so that is a little better, but the Chiefs are now 30th in the league in terms of “best” fans. Something does not seem right there.

When you look at the top of the rankings, you have Boston, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago as the top seven home cities represented. At the bottom are Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City, St. Louis - who lost their team to Los Angeles and will probably be near the top in 2017 - Buffalo, Miami, and Cincinnati. Funny how the “best” fans all seem to come from the largest markets, while the “worst” all seem to come from the smaller markets.

Even the Green Bay Packers, who are consistently ranked among the best fan bases in the league, see some impact from their small market size, coming in with just a 11th placed ranking.

The study even points out that a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers are odd. Steelers fans are 18th in the rankings - in the bottom half of the league. The explanation is that the Steelers only filled to 98.3% of their capacity last year, while a team like the Philadelphia Eagles (5th) were at 102.8% of capacity, and they paid $98.69 per ticket, while the Steelers fans had to pay “just” $84 a ticket.

This goes back to an issue I had last year as well. There does not seem to be any factor based on the average income for an area. Are ticket prices in New York and Buffalo expected to be the same, or based solely on “supply and demand” of fans packing the stadium? How many times have we as Dolphins fans made fun of the snow-filled stadium in Buffalo - yet there are always fans jammed into the snow-drifts. Are they worse fans because maybe the income of Buffalo (who ranked 28th, one behind Miami, while the Giants were 6th and the Jets were 17th) cannot afford to pay the same amount as a fan in New York?

One more fun point: The Dolphins had 102.9% of their capacity last year - the 15th season since their last Playoff win and the seventh season since their last Playoff appearance.

Whatever the case, Emory University is once again telling you that you suck, Dolphins fans.

Congratulations! Keep it up.