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Falcons rank 20th in fan equity, 27th in social media equity

Have you previously wondered, "I wonder where the Falcons rank on some made up statistical models some academics whittled together?"

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Well, you are in luck, as two Emory business school professors have answered your questions.

The duo has developed some cutting-edge methodology that finds Falcons fans are not very good. They measure fan equity through fan spending, and measure social media equity through what I think is Twitter magic. Here are their explanations.

The Fan Equity rankings are based on home box office performance adjusted for market size, winning rates and other factors.

I am not going to pretend to understand the specifics of what they said, but I can see the Pittsburgh Steelers at 14 and assume their methodology is a work in progress. The Falcons land at 20, which "statistically" is a few spots below average, and I guess that is fine. The Falcons edge out every NFC South team except for the New Orleans Saints.

In their next article, they clear up the fan equity methodology a bit.

In the case of the Fan Equity metric, the biggest issue is that revenues are constrained by stadium size (and pricing policies).

The team has the 12th largest stadium, but have had some of the comparatively cheaper tickets in the NFL across the period they tested. That will probably change after the new cutting-edge stadium charges everyone new cutting-edge prices for their tickets. Until then, I request that every Falcons fan sends $20 to Flowery Branch so next year the Falcons are higher on this confusing comparison.

How about social media equity?

Essentially, what teams are over or under performing with respect to their Twitter following. Again, we control for factors like market size and short term winning rates.

Is this just number of followers? I really cannot tell from their explanation, but you guys are not twittering hard enough because the Falcons are 27th in the NFL. Somehow the Carolina Panthers rank 21st, and yet I have never seen a Panthers fan on social media. I am still uncertain if the Panthers have fans, or just people in Charlotte who have nothing better to do on Sunday afternoons.

Well, luckily I have developed my own fandom ranking based on "fan awesomeness." According to this ranking, the Atlanta Falcons have the best fans in the league, and Saints fans are a bunch of bandwagon jumpers. It is a very scientific methodology, but it is too hard to explain without some diagrams.