CLEVELAND, Ohio — Congratulations, Browns fans. Your undying devotion to a team that has won five games since 2015 and hasn’t been a Super Bowl contender in 30 years has paid off.
In FanSided’s annual rankings of the 250 best fandoms in the world, Browns Nation was ranked No. 1, beating out the likes of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Boston Red Sox, LeBron James and “Black Panther.”
The site looked at the fandoms of sports teams, celebrities, TV shows, movies, music and brands and ranked each on five factors: legacy, fanmanship, passion, buzz and magnitude.
Browns fans, as optimistic as ever thanks to Baker Mayfield and the team’s highest win total in four years, impressed the judges on all counts, earning the highest score — higher than the video game sensation Fortnite and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” — in moving up a whopping 143 spots from last year’s ranking of No. 144.
“Fandom is inherently a positive enterprise. Each year, we are astounded by the way fandom brings people together,” said Patrick Allen, FanSided VP of Content, in a statement. “In a world that is feeling increasingly divided and where some folks seem to take delight in tearing others down, it is nice to find some relief in the things that bring us together.”
Fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked No. 1 a year ago, fell to No. 110. The site said the support shown by fans for Urban Meyer in the wake of the Zach Smith controversy “really put a black cloud over the program” and was the reason for the dramatic fall.
Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped 121 spots down to No. 194 following the departure of superstar LeBron James.
In writing about Cleveland Indians fans’ freefall from No. 111 to just barely making the list at No. 247, FanSided mentioned Chief Wahoo and the affection held by many fans towards the team’s now former logo. “One of the worst things about being an Indians fan is now gone. The removal of Chief Wahoo as Cleveland’s primary logo means you don’t have to feel as dirty rooting for the team.”
Alrighty then! 🤷
Check out the complete Fandom 250 for 2018 here.