pic via Allen Schatz

pic via Allen Schatz

Smarty pants people at the Emory Sports Marketing Analytics consortium? have scientifically determined that we suck.

In their study of Attendance Sensitivity to Performance and Prices, ESMA found that Phillies fans are the most fair-weather in all the land:

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 1.37.11 PM

Win sensitivity sounds like something that might affect small-boned men or Zack Greinke.

Now, let’s take a look at how ESMA reached their conclusion:

These models are built to estimate team-level response to price and winning percentage.  We use data from 1998 to 2013.  For more on our methodology, please click here.

Team Performance

Our first analysis looks at the responsiveness of fan demand to team winning percentage.  This can be thought of as a measure of how demanding fans are of their teams.  In other words, we are looking at the tolerances fan bases have for losing (or maybe we could view this as insight into which cities are the most prone to bandwagon behavior).

Well, shit. Honestly? It’s hard to refute this, as much as I’d like to. 1998-2013 is a pretty wide swath encompassing several Phillies eras.

You have the we’ve sucked for a long time now and we still do era from 1998-2002.

The we’re contending because we have Jim Thome era starting and ending in 2003.

The new ballpark era from 2004-2006.

The we’re the best team in the division era from 2007-2011.

And the this is it, Michael Jackson era from 2012 through TBD but presumably at least 2018.

In other words: it’s a large enough sample size, and you don’t need figures to know that attendance kind of sucked until the new ballpark, then it was great for eight years, and now it kind of sucks again. There’s an arc there, and it mostly correlates with the Phillies’ success… which I guess makes us bandwagon fans. But. But there are some outliers. The new ballpark is a big one, so is the development of two MVPs (Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins), a World Championship, mega signings, a no-hitter and a perfect game, Chase Utley’s majestic beauty… and then the GM completely decimating the team because he’s inept. For the last decade, the Phillies have been operating outside of normal parameters, on both ends of the Spectrum (sort of literally), so the truth in our fandom is probably somewhere in the middle: yes, we’re bandwagon-ish, but the massive spike around 2007 is as understandable as the massive decline over the past year. The Phillies went from great to awful in a hurry, meaning that these losing seasons are a painful reminder of what once was. Had the Phils slowly returned to Earth and then to the hell in which they now reside, we might be more tolerant of the losses and just enjoy the team for what it is. But right now we’re mad. Joe Jackson mad. So the decline in attendance is understandable. Mostly. Maybe. Or not. Shit, we suck.

via NBC Philadelphia