The Atlanta Falcons have a tortured history. For decades their fans suffered through insufferable mediocrity. But year after year, the fans came back. They kept filling the seats and the Falcons made sure there were plenty of losses in the win-loss column.
Then the 2000s came. Michael Vick electrified this fanbase and the bandwagon effect became real in Atlanta. The Falcons made some noise in the playoffs and the future looked bright. But then disaster struck. Anytime your franchise quarterback goes to federal prison, you’re going to have a bad time. So we shuffled through the Bobby Petrino era, Joey Harrington, and some generally uncertain times. Then, like a phoenix born from the ashes, Matthew Thomas Ryan fell right into our laps. (Thank goodness the Falcons front office ignored Dave’s incoherent, ranting pleas to draft Glenn Dorsey.)
In recent years we’ve witnessed the best stretch of football in Falcons history. Mike Smith’s last year and Dan Quinn’s first year were less than ideal, but then the Falcons almost went all the way last season. There’s no doubting the fact that this fanbase stands behind its team. So when an Emory University study ranked the Falcons fanbase 19th in the NFL, I couldn’t help but shake my head.
Their rankings are based off fancy statistics but for me, they just don’t pass the eye test. I’m not saying our fanbase deserves to be in the top ten but a slightly higher ranking would make more sense to me. How about you? Are these rankings accurate? Discuss!