There is no perfect way to measure the popularity of NFL teams. But media-research firm Nielsen's Sports Media Exposure index may be about as close to perfect as we've got right now. And what it has to say about the Seahawks probably won't come as a surprise to Seattle fans, but it probably won't make them feel any better about their team either.
Nielsen's rankings have a pretty sizable flaw: they take the total number of national viewers rather than the average. So that means that the Dallas Cowboys, who were featured in six national contests last year, get a huge boost in the standings because of the 117 million people who watched their games.
But any NFL fan knows that, despite its failings, Nielsen's study looks pretty right on. There are teams that travel, that will always field a big viewership no matter who they're playing, and there are teams that don't. Because of its short life as a franchise, its lack of sustained success and a remote location relative to the rest of the country, the Seahawks have been, and will remain, one of the latter teams.