This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!
Last year's ranking: 21
Title track: 69
Fan relations: 49
Stadium experience: 55
Bang for the buck: 108
Fun little story: Before last season, after 22 wins over their previous two seasons and legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, the Texans unveiled new scoreboards -- 14,549 square feet of display each (25 percent larger than the scoreboards at AT&T Stadium) and 5.28 million pixels. Unfortunately, it only served to show, in more vivid detail, the single worst season in franchise history. Yeah, bad timing. The high point came in Week 2 when Vanilla Ice performed and the Texans rallied in OT for their second -- and final -- win of the year. Then it was 14 weeks of bad reruns, culminating with wide receiver Andre Johnson muttering "we suck" after a Week 12 loss to Jacksonville. Yes, that Jacksonville.
Still, this fan base has love for the squad, with a solid 57 rating in our players category. Despite the 31st-ranked offense and historic 2-14 ineptitude, Texans backers support their squad more than fans of the NFC East champion Eagles and the 11-win Chiefs. But that love wasn't extended to coach Gary Kubiak or QB Matt Schaub. After eight tumultuous years, Kubiak was canned following 11 straight losses, and as for Schaub ... well, let's just call him persona non grata. A local restaurant added a Pick-six Burger to the menu in his honor; his jersey was burned after Week 4; fans cheered after he got hurt in Week 6; and some fans even showed up to his house to harass him.
"We felt like we had the best roster that we've ever started the year with, and we really, really anticipated a very favorable outcome," owner Bob McNair said in December. "To have this string of losses that we sustained is just totally unacceptable."
Hear! Hear! And when you have 14,549 square feet of TV display showing the mess, it's easy to get everyone on the same channel.