In Philadelphia, we pride ourselves on being the most passionate NFL fanbase, while still demanding the absolute best from the Eagles. What makes the fanbase so strong, is that it is a close-knit bunch that has been thinned out by the rough seasons of 2011 and 2012, to the point where a good majority of the fanbase aren’t bandwagon or fair-weather fans. While the continued success of Chip Kelly and the Birds might change that over the course of the next few seasons, the Eagles absolutely have one of the best local fanbases across sports currently. But just how strong of a national presence do the Eagles bring?
Andrew Powell-Morse of besttickets.com used Google search volume from the past 12 months to determine how popular each NFL team was in terms of Google searches over the past 12 months. His results show that across the country, the Eagles are the 10th most popular team in the NFL.
As you will notice, the top two teams were in the Superbowl last year (Broncos and Seahawks) and the top four teams were in their respective conference title games last NFL season (Broncos, Seahawks, Patriots, and 49ers).
Beyond that, I’m struggling to comprehend why the Vikings or Lions are in the top ten, other than the fact that they have a franchise-changing player on their team (Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson) and the Eagles don’t necessarily have that.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as LeSean McCoy had a more productive 2013 season than either of them, and the Eagles made the playoffs. At the same time, the other two are locks to be first-ballot hall-of-famers, and McCoy isn’t quite in that class–at least not yet.
How do the Eagles get higher on the list? LeSean McCoy rushing for 2,000 yards and winning and M.V.P might do the trick, but considering all of the other offensive weapons that the Eagles have (Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Darren Sproles, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk), that isn’t what the Eagles need McCoy to do.
The simple way for the Eagles to climb up this list, would be for them to make a deep playoff run. Even without DeSean Jackson, they have more than enough offensive talent to do that. If the secondary and linebacking corps can be improved through the draft, than the Eagles have a shot to make a deep playoff run this year. Are they a better team than the 49ers or Seahawks? Probably not, but if their offense can get hot late in the season, I have no doubt they can compete in a shootout with anyone.
Frankly, I hope (that’s putting it lightly) they do make a playoff run, but I’m perfectly fine with the Eagles sitting at number 10 on this list. The Phillies checked in at number 17 on the MLB list, but I’m sure from 2008-2011 they were in the top five. Even if they weren’t, the only positive that I can pull out of the regression that Ruben Amaro and injuries (mostly Ruben Amaro) have caused the Phillies to go through is that all of the bandwagon fans seem to have disappeared. In Philly were are used to having our teams made fun of nationally, rather than having frauds from other cities start supporting our teams when it is convenient to do so, when they didn’t go through our struggles of Philadelphia teams’ not winning.
Anyways, this is a pretty awesome article, that is worth a read. Just don’t be too disappointed when you see that the Flyers are mediocre in terms of popularity and that the Sixers might be headed in the right direction, but fans aren’t hoping on their laptops to Google about Casper Ware.