Detroit Lions Fans Get No Respect From Recent Study


Dec 11, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; A Detroit Lions fan holds a sign during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Man, I’m pissed off. That would’ve been my opening line if I was writing about Thursday night’s disastrous performances by everyone associated with the Detroit Lions. That display by the Honolulu blue and silver has shaken my trust in this team and I already have questions regarding their make or break year. But no, that’s not the reason I’m so upset today. I’m pissed off because the Emory Sports Marketing Analytics squad from Emory University has determined that the fans of the Detroit Lions are the 28th best in a league of 32. Excuse me, you pencil geeks have it backwards. If anything, the fans of the Detroit Lions are one of the best in all of sports not just the NFL.

Emory University statement.

"In our series of fan base analyses across leagues, we adjust for these complicating factors using a revenue premium model of fan equity.  The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors.  The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables.  We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model.  Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases. We provide more details on the method here and here."

What a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I got confused during the first sentence. The top team was the Dallas Cowboys followed by the New England Patriots at number two. Anyone can root for the winners, although the Cowboys haven’t won anything in ages. It doesn’t take much guts to root for the teams that are usually playing for a playoff spot. It sure takes a lot of character to root for the team in your heart instead of the ones in the headlines.

Living in the Detroit area is all about character. After what this town has been through. Rooting for the home team is like playing with Monopoly Money. It can only get better around here. Detroiters are tough, They’re just not going to quit as long as the name in front of the Lions says Detroit. Do you think it’s easy supporting a team that has won one stinkin playoff game in over fifty years?

The Detroit Lion fan is amazing in their resiliency. After the Lions follow up they’re first playoff year this century in 2011 with a 4-12 record last year, on the heels of an eight game losing streak mind you, The Lions sold out their first home preseason game last week. How does that happen? A team that went 0-16 just five years ago just sold out tickets for four of their regular season games on the first day of sales.

Detroiters are realistic. If they didn’t think this team had any hope at all they would simply stop coming, like they did in the Millen years. We see a young team that stumbled badly last year but totally capable of turning it around in a heartbeat. A glimmer of hope. That’s all were asking for. That’s a true fan.