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Notes: Detroit Lions have the 22nd-best fans in NFL, per study

Considering the franchise’s reputation... not that bad.

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

“We’ve got the best fans in the world.”

It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard from your favorite player, whether he plays for the Detroit Lions or any of the other 31 organizations.

Well, the Emory University Goizueta School of Business went about trying to objectively find out which team does indeed have the best fans in the league. Their study used three different measurements to quantify fan engagement: Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity.

Fan Equity is a financial measurement that takes into account several factors. Ticket sales, merchandise sales, and other monetary displays of fandom. Social equity is a measure of engagement of fans on social media (ie: how many follows the official team account has). Finally, Road Equity is all about fan attendance on the road.

I know what you’re already thinking. “Well, the Lions were bad last year. It’s not fair to judge them compared to teams like the Patriots and Chiefs.” Well, the study does account for those factors.

(Emphasis is theirs)

The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.

Take all of that into account, and Lions fans finished 22nd in the NFL. Detroit’s worst metric was fan equity (monetary investment), where they ranked 20th. However, when it comes to social equity (15th) and road equity (18th), the Lions fared pretty well—all things considered.

You may remember last year’s game in Miami, where Lions fans showed up and were particularly loud. The players certainly took notice.

“That helped us, that just gives us another notch of energy,” Ricky Jean Francois said last year. “That showed us how much the Detroit Lions fans follow their team.”

Detroit still has a long way to go, but considering the reputation of the franchise, 22nd seems actually pretty commendable.

  • During OTAs, we saw Da’Shawn Hand give back to the younger players by running some self-taught drills after practice. Turns out he’s just as giving to his own family.

  • Pro Football Focus named the top five interior defender duos in the league. Although the Lions sports some pretty serious talent there—Damon Harrison Sr., Da’Shawn Hand and A’Shawn Robinson—they did not make the list. PFF explains why here:

  • For no apparent reason, here’s a Twitter chain of Calvin Johnson highlights. (Click through to see the subsequent tweets and highlights):

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