FanSided recently released their list of the “hottest” 250 fandoms of the year. Here’s why the Pittsburgh Steelers were ranked too low.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the NFL’s most loyal fanbases. They travel as well as anyone to see their team and often outnumber opposing fans in the stadium on road games.
Just this past week, Pittsburgh fans filled State Farm Stadium in Arizona. Here’s a look at the atmosphere during the Steelers west coast game against the Cardinals this past Sunday:
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) December 8, 2019
Because of their massive fan base and extremely dedicated following, I was surprised to learn that the Steelers were not ranked very high in this years’ FanSided 250. The FanSided 250 is an annual celebration of the hottest fandoms of the year. It includes popular topics such as professional sports, college sports, celebrities, TV, movies, music, and gaming.
The Fandom 250 focuses on all of the buzz surrounding 250 of the hottest topics of 2019. The Pittsburgh Steelers came in at 140th this year. The Steelers had a fan vote rating of 49.5 and a search score of 74.6 to go with their 12 million social media followers.
While making the list of hottest fandoms is certainly impressive, the Steelers came in much lower than I thought they would. Pittsburgh is widely considered one of the most popular NFL franchises, but they ranked just 14th among all NFL teams included on the FanSided 250.
This is a drastic drop from 2018, where they placed 3rd among NFL teams and were ranked the 16th hottest fandom overall.
Ahead of them are teams like the Ravens and Bills – two franchises who exceeded expectations this season and are well on their way to the 2019 playoffs. Surprisingly, however, teams like the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Chicago Bears were all ranked ahead of the Steelers this year.
The Cleveland Browns came in as the 3rd ranked NFL team on the FanSided 250 and the 30th overall hottest fandom of 2019. This makes sense due to the buzz they received this offseason with Odell Beckham joining the club, and many experts had playoff expectations for them.
While some of these teams have been more talked about than the Steelers this year, it’s still hard to imagine why Pittsburgh isn’t ranked higher on the list. Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. However, even after a 1-4 start to the season, Mike Tomlin’s team has since won 7 of their last 8 games and are currently hanging on to a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
The uphill battles they have fought this season are more than impressive, and they deserve recognition. In addition, their defense has been tremendous in 2019 and is perhaps the most exciting unit to watch in the NFL this season.
Whatever the reason for the Steelers decline in the FanSided 250 rankings this year, we can all agree that they still have one of the most loyal fanbases in the league. Even without Big Ben and Antonio Brown lighting up the stage, it has been one impressive ride by Pittsburgh this season.