Boston Red Sox rank No. 3 on FanSided’s 2018 Fandom 250

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Fans hold signs and wait for the Red Sox Victory Parade to pass on Duck boats on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Fans hold signs and wait for the Red Sox Victory Parade to pass on Duck boats on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox rise to No. 3 overall in this year’s FanSided Fandom 250 rankings. Should we be disappointed they aren’t at the top?

FanSided has released their annual rankings of the top 250 fan bases across sports, music, entertainment, and celebrities. The Boston Red Sox rise all the way to No. 3 overall on the heels of a World Series championship.

This is an impressive leap from last year’s No. 39 ranking, although that should come as no surprise following a franchise record 108-win season that resulted in a title. The Chicago Cubs finished in the top overall spot in 2016 after they won the World Series. The Houston Astros were a mediocre 118 last year but they weren’t even on the list the previous year. Winning the World Series clearly matters in these rankings.

The Red Sox are the highest ranked MLB team, finishing three spots ahead of the New York Yankees. Look at that, just like in the ALDS, the Sox beat the Yanks!

Yet we can’t help but be slightly disappointed by these results. Don’t get me wrong, a top-three finish is nothing to scoff at. Red Sox fans should be proud to be recognized among the top three fan bases – not only for sports teams but for literally anything you could be a fan of! Any slight dip in satisfaction stems from the questionable decision behind the fan bases that finished ahead of the Red Sox.

The Alabama Crimson Tide came in second on this year’s Fandom 250. College teams don’t typically have a huge following here in Boston because all our pro teams are good. When you live in Title Town, you can be excused for not jumping on the college football bandwagon. Yet for those who are fans, it’s hard to argue against Alabama being the top college team. The Crimson Tide won their 17th National title last year and are considered among the favorites to win this year. Their football program has become a juggernaut worthy of a lofty ranking. While I don’t agree with them finishing ahead of the Red Sox, I can understand it.

The top spot is what has me baffled. The top fan base in the 2018 Fandom 250 is… the Cleveland Browns??

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The Browns ranked only 143 last year during a pathetic 0-16 season. Now they get the top spot. Why, because they’ve won four games this season? This is a team that entered the year with such low expectations that bars around the city of Cleveland offered to give out free Bud Light if the Browns finally won a game. (Side Note: It’s fitting that they couldn’t find a better quality beer than Bud Light. Even when Cleveland wins, they still lose).

It would make more sense if we finished behind the New England Patriots, a team in the midst of a dynasty that shares a large portion of the same passionate fan base that supports the Red Sox. There’s no shame in finishing behind the best NFL franchise in history led by the greatest quarterback and coach of all time. The Browns are not the Patriots. Tom Brady’s Instagram has more likes than the number of people who will admit to being a Browns fan!

The Fandom 250 is a fun exercise that we look forward to every year. We don’t necessarily have to agree with the rankings. Part of being a fan is being able to debate the merits of your team being the best! Red Sox fans have no doubt that their team belongs at the top of this list but we can acknowledge that fans in other parts of the country may have a difference of opinion.

Next. Top 30 Red Sox prospects. dark

Congrats, Browns fans. You finally won something of significance. We’ll go back to admiring our World Series trophy.