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12th Man gets no respect in new NFL fan rankings

Seahawks fans are among the best in the NFL, right? Not necessarily, if you believe a new study that ranks the 12th man just 23rd best when it comes to loyalty and support.

The study by several Emory University marketing professors is drawing plenty of complaints from across the country. Rather than going simply on attendance, they based it on a formula that factors in box-office revenues relative to on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income, and other factors.

Clearly these guys weren’t at CenturyLink Field Saturday when a sold-out preseason crowd packed the place as the Seahawks clubbed Denver. And with the entire regular season sold out, you have to wonder how these guys could rank Seattle fans so low.

Topping the list were the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and New Orleans Saints. At the bottom are the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, and Oakland Raiders.

While fans in Seattle and many other cities are throwing the penalty flag on the study, the authors say they used 11 years of data to come up with a model to predict expected consumer demand, then compared the forecasts with results from the last three years.

You have to take any study like this with a grain of salt. And given all the buzz around the Seahawks this season, it’ll be interesting to see how the numbers change after they win a Super Bowl or two.