10 MLB Teams About to Lose All of Their Fan Support to City's NFL Team
The NFL preseason is in full swing, and as MLB teams fall further out of contention, their fan support will quickly shift to the NFL team in their area.
For many of the teams on this list, there is no comparison of the talent levels between the two leagues. In cities such as Milwaukee, moving from the Brewers to the Packers, or Colorado, moving from the Rockies to the Peyton Manning-led Broncos, the fans have most likely already made their switch. I also heard some guy named Tebow moved to a new market.
There are other teams, such as the Pirates and Athletics, that have surprised the baseball world with their success, and their fans will have a dilemma for the first time in a long time. After watching an MLB team play just about every day for the past four months, it will be hard for some to move on.
Here are 10 MLB teams that are about to lose fan support to their city's NFL team, with some surprises along the way.
1. Milwaukee: Brewers to Packers
This is the easiest city to pick of all 30 baseball teams, and it has virtually nothing to do with the Brewers' lack of success.
It just so happens that they play in the same state as the beloved Green Bay Packers.
Ever since Vince Lombardi's Packers won five NFL championships from 1961 to 1967, the Green and Yellow, as Lil Wayne so eloquently put it, have dominated Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is not only the reigning Most Valuable Player in the NFL, but he has become one of the most popular players off the field.
Coming off a 15-1 season where the Pack started out 13-0, anticipation for the season to start has not been this high since Brett Favre led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 1996 and 1997.
2. Pittsburgh: Pirates to Steelers
Pittsburgh is one of the best sports towns in the country, so to say it is going to completely bail on the Pirates when they are so close to breaking their playoff drought is a stretch.
That is, if they can maintain their position in the wild-card race.
Coming into Sunday's action, the Pirates have a 1.5-game lead in the Wild Card. The problem is the Dodgers and Cardinals are right behind them, with Arizona playing good baseball as well, so it will be tough to hold on to their lead. St. Louis has the best run differential in the National League, so if the Pirates fall off at all, the Cards will catch and pass them before the season ends.
While it would be a disappointing finish to what has become a fantastic story, the terrible towels are not going away anytime soon. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is running the show on offense, with Troy Polamalu and James Harrison taking care of business on defense, Pirates fans will find relief as they pile into Heinz Field.
3. Colorado: Rockies to Broncos
If the fans did not leave after Tim Tebow's sparkling playoff run last season, Peyton Manning signing in Denver should have put the Rockies on notice that without a good season, they would lose fans' interest.
Unfortunately for Colorado and its team, the Rockies have essentially been out of it since the first month of the season.
Peyton Manning and his recovery has been one of the biggest stories in the NFL, and with the games underway, the buzz surrounding the Broncos will continue to grow. The Rockies have next to nothing left to play for, sitting with the second-worst record in all of baseball and, even more importantly, the worst home record in the sport.
The excitement level in Denver has not been this high since John Elway was leading the Broncos to back-to-back championships. With the all the trouble that surrounds the team in Coors Field, Mile High Stadium will have more early-season support than it's seen in a long time.
4. Oakland: Athletics to Raiders
Despite long periods of mediocrity, the Oakland Raiders have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports.
Just ask these guys.
In all seriousness, even though the Athletics are in the midst of what would be an incredible run to the playoffs in October, Oakland is not a baseball town. The A's have been one of baseball's best teams since the All-Star break and find themselves sitting atop the wild-card standings, yet Billy Beane and crew cannot fill the stadium.
The Raiders have themselves a quarterback in Carson Palmer and a potentially great running game with Darren McFadden, provided both can stay healthy. All Raiders fans need is a little bit of optimism heading into football season, and this year in a wide-open AFC West, they have more than they could have bargained for.
5. Boston: Red Sox to Patriots
In what has been one of the most surprising stories in baseball this year, the Boston Red Sox find themselves three games under .500 with five teams ahead of them in the wild-card race, heading into Sunday's action.
Boston fans are one of the greatest groups in all of sports, but with their baseball team in disarray, as they call for Bobby V's head, football cannot come soon enough.
There will be the die-hards who stick around, hoping the Sox can make a run. However, as Brady starts picking apart opposing defenses, even in the preseason, more and more fans will turn the page on the baseball season and shift their focus to Sundays and the NFL.
6. Houston: Astros to Texans
The Astros are going through one of the worst stretches in baseball history.
In their last 29 games, Houston has just five wins. Five!
The Texans play in one of the weakest divisions in all of football and are the consensus favorite to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history.
In what would be an incredible story, the Texans just might win more games in September than the Astros will, despite their schedule only having four games in comparison to the Astros' 27.
If they have not moved on already, fans in Houston have every right to pretend the baseball season is already over and focus all of their attention on the NFL.
7. Seattle: Mariners to Seahawks
The Seahawks are known for having the biggest home-field advantage in all of football, known as the "12th man."
With a new quarterback in Matt Flynn joining the Hawks, Seattle will have themselves a team that should compete for a playoff spot, something that differs greatly from their baseball counterparts, the Mariners.
After trading Seattle legend Ichiro at the trade deadline, the Mariners' fanbase has little reason to attend or even watch baseball as the summer comes to a close. Facing a 15.5-game deficit in their division, if fans have not already moved on and started looking forward to the Seahawks' season, they will do so shortly.
8. Kansas City: Royals to Chiefs
Another football team well-known for its stadium atmosphere, the Chiefs have a newfound sense of optimism heading into the season, despite a 7-9 record last year.
The Royals have struggled again this season, sitting at 49-64, as some of their promising young players such as Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon have not taken the necessary step forwards that were anticipated coming into the year.
There are reasons to believe the Royals can turn it around for the 2013 season, but with so little to play for in 2012 and the Chiefs seemingly on the upswing, football will be the No. 1 thing on the minds of K.C. fans in short order.
9. Cleveland: Indians to Browns
The Cleveland Browns' "Dawg Pound" may not have much to cheer about at the end of the season, but with Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson leading a new, young offense, there are plenty of reasons to tune in to the preseason and regular-season action.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Indians.
After another promising start to the season that had the Indians just 1.5 games back of the division lead on July 1, the Indians have gone 13-23 in their last 36 games and have fallen out of contention.
While Carlos Santana has finally woken up from his early-season struggles, rising star Jason Kipnis has been befallen by injuries of late, and there simply aren't many other positive things to look for as the season winds down.
The Browns have always been a very loyal fanbase, and with some optimism finally surrounding their inept offense, fans will tune in early and often, as the Indians have fallen out of the race.
10. New York: Mets to Jets
The same guy who will go down as one of—if not the best—college football-player ever, who turned football on its head last year with a miraculous run into the playoffs in leading his Broncos past the Steelers, is a part of the N.Y. media.
I think even if the Mets went 162-0 this season, the front page of the papers would have somehow revolved around Tebow and what the Jets are going to do with him in their offense.
While that is obviously a stretch, because of how poorly the Mets have played lately, marred by a 4-14 stretch coming out of the All-Star break, what started out as a great story out in Flushing has become yet another year of disappointment.
"Tebowmania" has not only taken over the New York media but has become one of the biggest stories in all of sports. I'm not sure the Mets or their fans ever stood a chance.
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