The readership here at Revenge of the Birds is generally among the most hard core fans of the Arizona Cardinals. Knowing that, this might offend you.
A recent study by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics looked at three facets of NFL fans and their teams. The Cardinals was at the top of the rankings in a somewhat dubious category -- bandwagon fans.
The Cardinals have the most bandwagon...or demanding or discerning fans.
Relax. Breathe. Put the pitchforks and torches away. Read on.
The study looked at attendance rates from 2001-2013.
Arizona -- in all sports -- has long had the reputation for having a fickle fanbase. The Cardinals fanbase is no different. If you think about it, this makes sense.
Think about the Cardinals in 2001 and their fans. They were still in Sun Devil Stadium. They were just a couple of years removed from the playoff team being dismantled. They were awful. The fanbase was weak. Attendance was awful.
When University of Phoenix Stadium opened, things changed. It was new, so people showed up. Then they had the Ken Whisenhunt success, which saw a new huge group of fans (they would be considered "bandwagon" because they joined and attended when the team started winning). The interest waned a bit with the bad last seasons with Whiz and then, with Bruce Arians and 2013 success, the fan base swelled again.
Plus, the team has been in town long enough for a generation of fans to grow into adulthood always having had the Cardinals in town.
All of that equals a logical number one status.
Bandwagon fans get a bad reputation. The fanbase wouldn't be where it is now if it weren't for the many who jumped on in 2008 and 2009. The same can be said about the 2013 and 2014 success. The key is that many of them stayed on board.
Give it another 10 years. Arizona won't likely show up at the top of that list again.