Selling out the Superdome for eight consecutive seasons after nearly being destroyed by a hurricane. Camping out for Playoff tickets in freezing temperatures two days before they even go on sale to the general public. Sitting in 100 plus degrees of searing heat for every single Training Camp practice in Metairie for every single year. From “Bagheads” to broken levees, and from 1-15 to rebuilding an entire region, fans of the New Orleans Saints have PROVEN their unwavering passion and undeniable loyalty. So when Forbes Magazine released their story yesterday about “The NFL’s Best Fans” , I couldn’t help but scoff at the notion that was put forth by Forbes Staff Writer Christina Settimi that Packers fans are actually the best. So with the utmost amount of all due respect to the folks in Green Bay and to Miss Settimi herself, I’ll simply say: Sorry Forbes Magazine — but Saints fans are the NFL’s best.
Forbes used five types of criteria to determine the rankings: hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year), three years worth of television ratings (per Nielsen), three years of stadium attendance based on capacity reached, three years worth of merchandise sales (per NFLShop.com) and social media reach (a combination of Facebook likes and Twitter followers based on the team’s metro area population).
The Saints ranked first among all NFL teams in both TV audience and stadium attendance and second in hometown crowd and social media rank. The only area where they “fell short” was merchandise sales, which ranked 10th. Now, while we can scrutinize all of that data which was used to help reach Miss Settimi’s conclusion, I can assure you that they didn’t include additional factors such as loyalty and devotion to the findings. How may Packers fans were TRULY Packers fans before Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers? Prior to Favre’s arrival, you wouldn’t have found anybody who was claiming to be a Packers fan at that time — but perhaps they would have claimed to be a San Francisco 49’ers or Dallas Cowboys (the two predominant teams of that era) fan, instead.
While I don’t have a lot of time this morning (due to prior commitments) to go further into this discussion (but I will come back in a later article to just that) of why Saints fans SHOULD have been ranked number one (instead of number three, behind Green Bay and the Denver Broncos), let there be no doubt whatsoever that these folks at Forbes are clearly mistaken, in spite of whatever any statistics or research may have revealed. The fact of the matter is that the fans of the New Orleans Saints and the entire Who Dat Nation have the best fans in the NFL ————- it’s not even close…………………