For football fans, misery can come in several different forms.
From overtime losses to brutal blowout defeats, few teams are immune to suffering.
However, there are some teams that have experienced prolonged misery for years, and even decades.
NJ.Bet, an online casino and betting offers site, dug into the data to narrow down the top 10 most miserable NFL fan bases based on win-loss records, championship droughts, playoff appearances (or lack thereof), ticket costs and overall fan enthusiasm (home game attendance).
Our analysis also included a nationwide survey to determine how much misery each fan base in the league is willing to endure before calling it quits on their favorite team.
Top 10 Most Miserable 2023 NFL Fan Bases
#1 Cleveland Browns
When it comes to misery, Cleveland fans have really been put through the wringer.
Let’s start off with championship wins. The Browns are one of seven teams on our top 10 list without any Super Bowl wins. And to make matters even worse, Cleveland has only had one playoff appearance within the last 10 seasons – ouch.
Overall, the Browns have lost nearly two-thirds of their games within the last decade. And to top things off, a ticket to experience this suffering will set fans back $112.17.
#2 New York Jets
54 years ago on January 12th, 1969, the New York Jets won the Super Bowl and since then, they haven’t won a ring.
Among the top 10 “most miserable” teams on our list who have won a Super Bowl, the Jets have the longest drought of 54 years. And to really rub salt in the wounds, the team has played the last 10 seasons without making the playoffs. If you take a look at the team’s winning percentage within that same timeframe, things don’t get much better. Overall, the Jets have won only 35% of their games in the last 10 seasons.
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars
With no Super Bowl rings and an abysmal winning percentage, Jacksonville ranks No. 3 on our list.
When it comes to the playoffs, the Jaguars have two appearances within the last 10 seasons, thanks to securing a spot in this year’s playoffs. This is their second appearance since 2017.
Their performance this season prevented the team from ranking higher on our list. However, when it comes to the team’s winning percentage, there’s not much to say except for the fact that it’s pretty miserable. Overall, the Jaguars have only won 30% of their games in the last 10 seasons.
#4 Houston Texans
We head south to Houston to find the 4th most miserable NFL fan base.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, the Texans are ring-less, but they have had four playoff appearances in the last 10 seasons, which is the most appearances for a team on the top 10 list. However, that’s about as good as things get for the Texans considering that they’ve only won 40% of their games in 10 seasons. And the price tag to watch all this misery? A cool $117.45, which is the seventh-highest general admission ticket price in the entire league.
#5 Atlanta Falcons
Coming in at No. 5 are the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons also have zero Super Bowl championships and only three playoff appearances in 10 seasons. Fan enthusiasm is fairly low, too. The team had an average home game attendance percentage of 92.8% this season, which is the third lowest in the league. But with a ticket price of $110.66, who can blame them for not wanting to show up?
Rounding out the top 10 “miserable” NFL fan bases are the Chicago Bears (No. 6); Washington Commanders (No. 7); Detroit Lions (No. 8); Tennessee Titans (No. 9) and the Carolina Panthers (No. 10).
Most and Least Loyal NFL Fans
After we crunched the numbers, we decided it was time to hear from the fans themselves to find out how much misery they would accept before tapping out and leaving their favorite team.
Our nationwide survey of NFL fans asked respondents how many back-to-back losing seasons they would endure before they called it quits on their team. We defined losing seasons as having more losses than wins.
Here is each team’s breaking point.
Overall, the average number of consecutive losing seasons NFL fans said they would endure is 9.7 seasons. For context, the longest consecutive losing season streak is held by the New York Jets. The team has had 7 seasons in a row with a losing record, which started back in 2016.
However, the top five most loyal fan bases were willing to endure even more.
Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears fans both said it would take roughly 12 losing seasons in a row for them to throw in the towel. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers are willing to take things further at 12.2 seasons. And for the Detroit Lions fans, it would take 12.5 seasons of misery.
But the fans topping our “misery threshold” list are none other than the Minnesota Vikings with 13.4 losing seasons.
Whether it’s the determination to win their first Super Bowl, or the toughness required to survive Minnesota winters, it’s safe to say Vikings fans have a whole lot of grit and a high tolerance for pain.
To determine our ranking, we analyzed data from all 32 NFL teams. Key factors included the number of playoff appearances within the last 10 seasons, the number of years since a championship win, average general admission ticket cost, winning percentage within the last 10 seasons and the average home game attendance percentage based on stadium capacity for the 2022-2023 season.
Number of playoff appearances and win-loss percentage was analyzed via the Sports Reference database. Average attendance cost was analyzed via the Team Marketing Report FanCostIndex and attendance data was analyzed via ESPN attendance records.
Each variable was graded on a 100-point scale. To determine an overall score, each team’s weighted average was calculated across all metrics.
Playoff appearances: 20 points
Years since last championship: 20 points
Attendance cost: 20 points
Winning percentage: 20 points
Attendance percentage: 20 points
Sources: Sports Reference database, ESPN, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, Team Marketing Report FanCostIndex
In December 2022, we surveyed 1,150 Americans who regularly watch the NFL in order to determine each team’s “misery threshold.” Fans were asked how many back-to-back losing seasons they would endure before leaving their favorite team. 50% of respondents were male, 48% were female and 2% were non-binary. The average age of respondents was 42 years old.
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