Yes, there was a method to our madness in ranking NFL teams' fan bases. Five Bristol muckety-mucks sat in a room and hatched the genius idea of having our NFL division bloggers rate fan bases in their divisions over the past five seasons. Mike Sando (NFC West), Matt Mosley (NFC East), Pat Yasinskas (NFC South), Kevin Seifert (NFC North), Bill Williamson (AFC West), Tim Graham (AFC East), Paul Kuharsky (AFC South) and James Walker (AFC North) evaluated their teams in these categories:
• Stadium factor (St.): Loud? Great atmosphere?
• Live and die factor (LDF): Fans take loss hard? (That's a good thing.)
• Traveling road show factor (Travel): Big presence in other guys' stadium?
• Loyalty when team sucks (Loyal): You score points with us if you stick with a loser.
• Hate factor (Hate): Other teams' fans dislike your fans? (Hate is good in our book.)
• Tailgate factor (TG): Home tailgates sizzling or stale?
• Home fans' creativity (CF): Wacky ideas
A rating of 1 is great, 5 the worst.
After the bloggers' ratings were digested by our Bristol computer, we had several ties. Enter The Professor, John Clayton of ESPN.com. Clayton -- who has covered more NFL games over the past 10 years than almost anyone -- broke all ties.
Think our ranking stinks? Debate it here.