Congratulations, Cowboys fans. When any rational human being would have long since turned away in disgust, you've stuck by your team, undaunted by nearly two decades of unrelenting mediocrity. Your patience has finally paid off -- not with a Super Bowl victory, which is still probably too much to hope for, but with a claim to the title as America's most loyal fan base.
That's the verdict of Emory University marketing professors Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi, who took time out of their apparently not-terribly-busy schedules to perform a statistical analysis of NFL fan bases by looking at box office revenues and controlling for variables like on-field success, the size and median income of the team's market, and other factors. Much to the chagrin of Lewis, a Steelers fan, and Tripathi, a Redskins fan, the Cowboys emerged victorious.
"What are keys to the Cowboys' ability to create a passionate and supportive fan base?" they write. "We think it's a long legacy of success, a football mad Texas culture and a state of the art stadium. Over the last three seasons (the time period used to calculate fan equity) the Cowboys have played sub .500 football but generated above capacity attendance."
Savor the moment while you can. Another disappointing season is just around the corner.