Which NFL Teams Run Their Respective Cities?

Brandon Alisoglu@@BrandonAlisogluCorrespondent IApril 19, 2012

Which NFL Teams Run Their Respective Cities?

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    Most NFL teams are the most popular attraction in their town because football is the country's favorite sport, but is your team the king of their city?

    The Dallas Cowboys don't have to worry about such matters. They're busy taking over half of the country's fanbase.

    However, where do the Arizona Cardinals rate among the fans of Phoenix?

    The only way to tell is to click through.

    All Featured Columnist comments were made via personal correspondence. 

Arizona Cardinals: Nope

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    Phoenix is a town of transients. Thus, the Arizona Cardinals are everyone's adopted team.

    So long as somebody's hometown team isn't within the state lines, the Cardinals have a chance at being king for a day.

    The Cards are usually in a fight for fan dominance at their home games. The same goes for the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Who runs this desert state? The visiting team.

St. Louis Rams: Tradition Counts

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    Everybody loves a winner. 

    The St. Louis Rams won a Super Bowl within five years of moving. Who wouldn't root for that?

    However, the St. Louis Cardinals have been in town since the 1800s. Not only that, but they have won two World Series championships in the last decade.

    In addition, Missouri residents identify more with the St. Louis Blues than with the Rams.

    Tradition counts. The Rams don't have it in St. Louis.

Green Bay Packers: Is This a Joke?

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    Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers don't run the city.

    They are the city.

    No fanbase is so closely enmeshed with their football team as the Packers fans are—although Steeler Nation might argue this point.

    Regardless, only the Wisconsin Badgers have any type of foothold. It doesn't matter.

    Cheeseheads worship at the alter of Vince Lombardi inside Lambeau Field, and that's never going to change.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Rocking the Crown

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    Might as well knock out the easy ones.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers make up the lifeblood of this community.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are a solid second. Just not a close one according to Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Amber Lee

    Displaced Steeler fans move to new cities to find jobs. Yet, they continue the traditions that have been passed down for generations.

    That includes tailgate food, beer, and an unconditional love for all things black and yellow.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Not a Chance

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars never stood a chance.

    The Florida Gators were there far before the Jaguars were an idea.

    And the Gators will be there long after the Jags are gone.

    Jacksonville has fared well for an expansion team. They've competed in a tough division and even made the AFC Championship game.

    It doesn't matter. Sharing a state with the Gators and the Florida State Seminoles, the Jags will never be better than the third most important team.

New York Giants: Not Quite

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    The New York Giants are the defending Super Bowl Champions.

    They're just not the kings of New York.

    The New York Yankees are the most successful professional sports franchise ever. Two Super Bowls in five years is nice, but it certainly isn't 27 World Series Championships.

    The Yankees have a special hold in America's No. 1 market. Don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Chicago Bears: Monsters of the Midway

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    Da Bears!

    Despite the above video featuring Michael Jordan, the piece centers around the Chicago Bears

    There is little doubt about who runs Chicago.

    From the Midway Monsters of the mid-'80s to the current Brian Urlacher-led edition, the Bears capture the soul of the city.

    As one local put it, "Whether you're a Sox fan or a Cubs follower, you love the Bears."

Atlanta Falcons: Not Even on the Radar

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    Atlanta is a baseball and college football town. 

    After the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs, there is some growing love for the Atlanta Falcons.

    However, they will probably never compete with SEC. Georgia just loves their dogs too much for that to happen.

    Matt Ryan and Mike Smith are building a following, but it will never rise above Georgia's two favorite teams.

Baltimore Ravens: Gritty City Loves Their Gritty Team

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    Ray Lewis is a dominant personality. Baltimore has taken notice.

    The Baltimore Ravens might not have been around for generations, but they most definitely run the city.

    Winning the Super Bowl didn't hurt. The fact that the Baltimore Orioles haven't been competitive in years is the clincher.

    Crab cakes and football. That's what Maryland does. 

San Diego Chargers: King by Default

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    The San Diego Chargers are the main draw in the city.

    Considering that their only competition is the lowly San Diego Padres, how could they not be?

    The franchise has put forth some winning, albeit frustrating, teams over the last six years, so they've always been somewhat relevant.

    Whether it was Dan Fouts airing it out or Junior Seau leading a surprise team, the squad has done a decent job representing South California. 

Philadelphia Eagles: Not Really

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    Philadelphia is notorious for having some of the most difficult fans in the country. 

    The City of Brotherly Love appears incapable of unconditional love.

    As such, the fans might enjoy the Philadelphia Eagles, but they don't commit.

    If the Philadelphia Phillies get a better chance at the title, the Eagles will become an afterthought. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Meh

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffer from the same disease as the Arizona Cardinals.

    They can't beat out the hometown teams.

    Tampa is a transient city. It's tough for seniors and young people chasing jobs to worry about a team that they have just met.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning enjoy a better local following than the Bucs. The NHL rarely challenges any NFL team.

    Enough said.

Cleveland Browns: Without a Doubt

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    How many cities could have their souls torn from them and still be fervent fans when their lover returns?

    There's at least one.

    The Cleveland Browns are beloved in their town. Regardless of what Art Modell did.

    It's a testament to the fans that they still love their team. Not only did they suffer the loss of their team, they've been suffering constant losing since the Browns returned.

    Mike Holmgren owes this city a reason to cheer.

Oakland Raiders: You Try to Tell the Black Hole That It's Not Important

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    The Oakland Raiders fans are another group that has endured the transfer of their team, only to regain their long-lost love.

    They're still as invested as ever.

    The Golden State Warriors have some of the best fans in the NBA, considering the product that has been produced. The Oakland A's also enjoy decent support.

    But they both lack the Black Hole. 

    The Raiders are Oakland.

Indianapolis Colts: Yep

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    One would assume that the Indiana Pacers would enjoy the most popularity, considering the basketball heritage of the Hoosier state.

    However, Peyton Manning changed the culture.

    The Pacers are among the worst draws in the NBA. The Colts, even without one of the best quarterbacks of all time, still enjoyed better fan representation

    The Indiana Hoosiers are a team on the rise.

    However, this is one situation where football rises to the top.

New England Patriots: This Is Red Sox Nation

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    The New England Patriots have been insanely successful for the last decade.

    Yet, they will never be the Boston Red Sox.

    The Sox are an institution in the Northeast. Generations of fans suffered for the better part of a century and just recently realized the payoff.

    The Pats garner serious respect in the area. But the Red Sox have almost a century's head start towards the hearts of Bostonians.

Minnesota Vikings: Hopefully These Kings Won't Pillage and Burn

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    The Minnesota Vikings reign supreme over their domain.

    The land of a thousand frozen lakes would appear to be hockey heaven—everyone plays— but they still have to get their NFL fix above all else.

    As Featured Columnist Brian Dezelske pointed out, the college and prep levels of hockey are popular. However, the Minnesota Wild are not capable of upending the beloved Vikings.

    Do you hear that, state government? Figure out the stadium deal before you sacrifice a piece of Minnesota's soul.

Houston Texans: No Doubt

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    Texas loves football, and Space City loves the Houston Texans.

    Much like Featured Columnist Mike Hoag Jr. intimated regarding the return of the Cleveland Browns, having a team leave and reappear only intensifies the fans' feelings.

    The Oilers were akin to one of Houston's early girlfriends. You love her, but you're not too concerned whether she comes or goes.

    Then comes the devastating breakup, and reality sets in, hard.

    Now, Houston has been given a second shot at true love. The entire city refuses to fail again.

Washington Redskins: DC's Ace

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    The above picture says it all.

    Washington Redskins fans are willing to dress up as female pig-men to broadcast their fandom. There isn't anything more dedicated than that.

    The Washington Capitols are a cute distraction at times, and the Washington Nationals haven't been very good for very long—about a week or two.

    Additionally, Georgetown only serves a small niche of the community.

    Regardless of what the other teams in the market accomplish, the Redskins will always be DC's ace—no matter what stupid signing Daniel Snyder forces on them.

Denver Broncos: Yup

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    The Denver Broncos are another example of fans showing their allegiance in a visual way. 

    The now-deceased Tim McKernan used to attend games wearing little more than a barrel, cowboy boots, and a hat. That's devotion, especially considering Denver's winters.

    The city's top four teams are the Broncos, the Broncos, the Broncos, and the Colorado Avalanche. Everything else has a bandwagon feel to it.

New Orleans Saints: We Are This City

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    Perhaps no team identifies with its city like the New Orleans Saints.

    When the Saints returned to the Super Dome on September 25, 2006, the air was thick with emotion. Not just in New Orleans, but in the entire country.

    The Saints became New Orleans, whether they were before or not. 

    No other team in the area can match that. Not even the beloved LSU Tigers.

Cincinnati Bengals: It's Ohio and Football

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    The Cincinnati Bengals have given fans little hope over the years, with limited successful seasons in between. However, that hasn't stopped the fans from caring.

    The Queen City is brimming with optimism surrounding their recently acquired foundation of AJ Green and Andy Dalton.

    The Cincinnati Reds have a longer tradition with more colorful characters. The Reds just don't play football.

    This is Ohio. It's always about football.

Miami Dolphins: The Residents Have Better Attractions Surrounding Them

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    The Miami Marlins have a new stadium and freshly-signed superstars. The Miami Heat have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

    Even with those superstars, the above teams have trouble getting the fans to come on time and ready to cheer.

    The Miami Dolphins have Matt Moore and haven't won anything significant since Dan Marino was slinging passes.

    It's tough to blame the fans for having the second-lowest attendance rate in the NFL. There are too many other beautiful distractions in the city to worry about a terrible football team.

    Plus, the Miami Hurricanes can usually fill the void.

Buffalo Bills: Almost

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    Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. That doesn't mean that the city is willing to put the team on a pedestal either.

    Buffalo is tough. They endure harsh winters and a difficult economy.

    Plus, the citizens have actually watched their team reach the Super Bowl four straight times only to lose each one.

    The Bills are the fan favorite of the city. It's just that the people have plenty of other things to worry about.

Seattle Seahawks: Of Course

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    The Seattle Sounders FC has built an impressive following since its 2007 inception. There might be some competition in the future, but that's highly doubtful.

    The Seattle Seahawks have the 12th Man. 

    Who comprises the 12th Man? The entire city.

    Seahawks fans are known for getting rowdy and causing all sorts of audible problems for opposing teams. There's little doubt about the Seahawks place in the Seattle sports hierarchy. 

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton Wears a Crown

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    NASCAR has deep roots in the Charlotte area and is possibly the biggest draw for the city.

    However, NASCAR doesn't have a home team.

    The state does provide basketball junkies with the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels. 

    But again, football is football.

    The only real competition would be the South Carolina Gamecocks or Clemson Tigers. However, even SEC football can't over take a NFL team within Charlotte's city limits.

    The Carolina Panthers don't have to share their market with too much competition. With Cam Newton in the fold, Carolina will not be challenged for supremacy. 

Dallas Cowboys: Really?

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    The Texas Rangers played in the World Series last year, and the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship.

    Who cares?

    The Dallas Cowboys own their city in a way that few can match. There is absolutely no question who is the king in this city.

    If you need more evidence, look no further than the opulent monstrosity known as Jerry's World. 

San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh Wears a Crown of Flowers

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    The San Francisco 49ers have little competition in their city. 

    The only thing stopping them from complete dominance is the indifference of some of the citizens. San Fran is a free-thinking place where not all the people get bogged down in the details of football.

    However, many of the residents are huge fans. What's not to love?

    From Joe Montana and Bill Walsh to Steve Young and now Jim Harbaugh, this franchise has returned the royal treatment to their loyal subjects. 

Tennessee Titans: Nashville Royalty

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    Vanderbilt University has had a few good basketball teams and produced Jay Cutler.

    That's not nearly enough to topple a NFL team, even one that's only been in town for 15 years.

    The Tennessee Titans enjoy a popularity in Nashville that was aided by early success. They reached the Super Bowl in their third year within the city limits.

Kansas City Chiefs: Come Worship at Arrowhead Stadium

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    There is a reason Arrowhead Stadium is one of the most difficult places to play.

    The Kansas City Chiefs are beyond revered.

    The fans don't just attend games. They go crazy for their Chiefs.

    In addition, the franchise has deep roots as a founding member of the AFL.

    All of this adds up to local dominance.

New York Jets: Maybe Someday?

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    The New York Jets have certainly added a marketing advantage in the form of Tim Tebow.

    However, that won't be enough to overcome the New York Giants or New York Yankees anytime soon.

    Unless Tebow somehow wins multiple Super Bowls.

    The Jets have a loyal following. They just haven't had the success of the other teams in the market.

Detroit Lions: They Are the D

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    I have never written an article on Bleacher Report in the first person. This slide is that important to me.

    The Detroit Lions own the D to such an extent that it's laughable to assert otherwise.

    The Detroit Tigers are extremely popular and now have three bona fide superstars. People flock to the games and rock the Old English D everywhere.

    The Detroit Red Wings have been an outstanding franchise for the better part of two decades. To drive their popularity home, Hockeytown was established way before the semi-recent run of success. 

    The Detroit Pistons have given us the Bad Boys and a lovable bunch of scrappers in the mid-2000s.

    However, even when the Lions were bumbling along in their decade of futility while the Pistons and Red Wings were winning championships, the conversation among fans still centered around the football team.

    I'm a well-adjusted 28-year-old man who has had successes and failures. These have provided me with perspective. 

    Yet when the Lions are playing, I talk and analyze everything out loud whether there is someone in the room or not. I know that is representative of the vast majority of Detroit fans.

    Much like the New Orleans Saints, we are attaching ourselves to our rising team. The Lions are entering a realm of relevance that hasn't been seen in almost twenty years.

    And if we're lucky, they will reach a height that has been 55 years in the making.


    Brandon Alisoglu

    Proud Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid Drinker Since 1984.