Fandom is irrational and visceral, steeped in raw emotion.
It’s all-consuming. An addiction. It brings out the best and worst in people, but it brings them there together. Fans have togetherness, you’re a part of a community. Being a fan gives you the sence of belonging to something bigger. You live and die by the final score, and no matter how euphoric the victory, every loss stings. There are no moral victories for fans, and as the losses pile up so does the misery. So who are the NFL’s most miserable fans? Who’s suffered the most, for the longest? Let’s do the math…..
Fan Sadness Scale
So what factors inflict the most pain on NFL fans? How about failing to make the postseason, drafting a bust, coaching instability, and continuous and recent losing? Well I came up with a formula to calculate your pain:
(#Years Without Playoff+#Years Non-Winning Season+# Of Head Coaches+# 1st Round QB Busts) Then Divide That By The Average # Wins over the last 5 Years = Sadness Score
For the purpose of this topic, I’ve used data since 1999. That was the year that the Browns re-entered the NFL, and it was also the last time the Bills made the playoffs. So whose fans should be most distraught? Let’s dive in….
3rd Place (On The Sadness Scale)
Buffalo Bills – Score 7.2
17 Years – No Playoffs
21 Years – Last Playoff Win
2 Seasons Since Last Winning Season
10 Different Head Coaches Since 1999
2 QB Busts= JP Losman (2004), EJ Manuel (2013)
W-L Record Last 5 Years 36-44 / 7.2 Per/Yr
Despite having an NFL worst 17 seasons since their last play-off appearance, the Bills have been merely mediocre of late. While 7-9 seasons are never fun for fans, they usually leave a glimmer of hope. A bounce here or there and it all could have been different. 3-13 is a much harder sell for fans. Chins up Buffalo, Brady has to retire at some point right?
2nd Place (On The Sadness Scale)
Jacksonville Jaguars – Score 7.6
9 Years – No Playoffs
9 Years – Last Playoff Win
9 Seasons Since Last Winning Season
6 Different Head Coaches Since 1999
2 QB Busts= Blaine Gabbert (2011), Blake Bortles (2014)
W-L Record Last 5 Years 17-63 / 3.4 Per/Yr
This offseason marks the 6th straight year that the Jags are drafting in the Top 5 picks in the NFL draft. Six in a row. The team only has 17 wins over the last 5 years, last season if you include the playoffs so did the Patriots. Tom Coughlin is back and the team has made some nice moves this offseason. Hopefully this elevates them to mediocre, these fans deserve a Jeff Fischer-esque 7-9 season.
1st Place (On The Sadness Scale)
Cleveland Browns – Score 11.5
14 Years – No Playoffs
19 Years – Last Playoff Win
9 Seasons Since Last Winning Season
9 Different Head Coaches Since 1999
4 QB Busts= T. Couch (1999) B. Quinn (2007) B. Weeden (2012) J. Manziel (2014)
W-L Record Last 5 Years 20-60 7.2 Per/Yr
After the 1995 season, the original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and promptly won two Super Bowls. There where no Browns from 1996-1998. Luckily for Browns fans, the team was restarted in 1999. Sadly, its been all down hill since. Since their re-inception, the Browns have managed only two winning seasons, and one playoff appearance. Recently they have been just plain putrid. The team has mustered just 38 wins over the last 9 season. By contrast, the Patriots have 38 wins in the last 3. The team has been in constant turmoil, between ownership upheaval and massive coaching changes. And to make matters worse, the team is making it a habit of busting on first-round QBs. With Couch, Quinn, Weedon, and Manziel, the Browns have been rewarded with zero Pro-Bowl seasons. The organization is looking for stability and has a ton of early picks in next weeks draft. If there has ever been a beacon of hope for Cleveland’s football faithful, its next weekend. The Browns havent been good since before the Willenium, Let’s all hope that changes soon. If you see a Browns fan, give them a hug. God knows they need it…