Is the Bears' fanbase 'stable'?

Is the Bears' fanbase 'stable'?
September 5, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Tony Andracki

The old saying around Chicago sports is the two baseball teams divide the town, but the Bears unite it.

The Monsters of the Midway move the needle. The city practically shuts down every time they have a game, especially when the team is good.

But would you call the Bears fanbase "unstable" or "volatile"?

A pair of Emory University professors monitored Twitter after every 2012 regular-season NFL game and took note of whether the tweets were positive or negative. This went on for three days after each contest and the higher the ratio of negative-to-positive tweets, the more unstable they determined the fanbase.

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The Bears came in at seventh on the list, with only Oakland, Pittsburgh, New England, Detroit, New Orleans and Seattle ahead of Chicago. The Dallas Cowboys, surprisingly, had the most stable fanbase, with the Colts and Eagles just below America's team.

That seems a bit, odd, doesn't it?

The Cowboys come under fire every season for underperforming enormous expectations and quarterback Tony Romo is ripped in social media seemingly every day. The Eagles had one of the most disappointing seasons in years, dropping nine of 10 games at one point.

So this can't just be about wins and losses and given the expectations for those two teams were high, it can't be about potential, either.

Maybe it's simply the Eagles' and Cowboys' fanbases are filled with a bunch of positive people sending out positive tweets, outweighing all the Debbie Downers complaining about yet another multiple-turnover game from Romo or Michael Vick.

When you think about it, it's not that surprising the Bears are toward the top of this list. After a 7-1 start in 2012, they wound up winning just three games the rest of the way and missed the playoffs, costing coach Lovie Smith his job.

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In the preseason, I'd venture the Bears fanbase is one of the most "stable" of this group (by the same measure), given the positivity surrounding Marc Trestman's offensive changes.

But then again, everybody has hope in the preseason, when the games don't count.