Forbes recently came out with a list of America's best sports fans. It ranked the top 16 teams based on their fans, taking the top four teams from each of the major leagues. College fans were not included in this list, which would have changed it drastically considering the atmosphere at college football/basketball games is so much better than their pro counterparts (in my opinion, anyway).
At the top of the list is the Boston Red Sox and second is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coming in at third is our very own Detroit Red Wings. Although there's no doubt the Red Wings have great fans (not many teams can play in front of so many of their own fans when they are on the road), I didn't expect them to be this high on the list. Then again, the list itself doesn't seem like it is too credible. Why? Take a look at the other three NHL teams in the rankings:
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
11. Montreal Canadiens
16. Chicago Blackhawks
First and foremost, the Penguins and Blackhawks should not be on this list at all. Five or so years ago the Penguins were on the verge of leaving town. Sure, they have lots of fans now that have been cheering them on the last few years, but I would hardly call that the sixth-best fan base in all of American sports, and they definitely should not be ahead of the Candiens (I guess Forbes meant North American sports), which are ranked much too low if you ask me.
As for the Blackhawks, not much needs to be said. The majority of their fans didn't know the team existed a couple years ago, yet now they are the 16th best fan base? I don't think so. I understand every team that turns it around will have people jumping on the bandwagon (just look at the Tigers in 2006) and it's not like fans were coming out in large numbers back in the Dead Wings era, but to be on a list like this, it's necessary to establish yourself as a great fan base over an extended period of time. In that regard, it's nice that the Wings came in at No. 3, but the list itself doesn't hold a lot of credibility if you ask me.