The Top 16 NFL Fan Bases: A Recipe for Controversy (Humor)
The Top Anything List.
For years, the media and bloggers like myself have made top 20's, 15's, 50's, 27's, whatever, and it's always a great way to stir up controversy.
When you're a Bills, Chiefs, or Browns fan, these lists may be the only thing you can look forward to.
On the other hand, if you're a Colts fan in Lucas Oil Stadium, sipping champagne and watching the game on a television in your box, you couldn't care less about what some blogger on Bleacherreport.com thinks.
So enough chatter. Here's the 100%, foolproof, statistically accurate, top 16 fans in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: New England Patriots
At about the time when Tom Brady left the field with a knee injury, flocks of Patriots "faithful" began pouring out of Gillette Stadium.
This is truly depressing to the casual NFL fan, but hilarious to anyone who dislikes the Patriots.
I will admit that every team has die hard fans, "true" fans if you will. But to see THAT many people give up hope just because one player went down is sad.
I give them an Honorable Mention because of the guy who got the giant tattoo on his head before the Super Bowl.
I have a Bills tattoo on my shoulder, but that's just crazy.
#16: San Fransisco 49ers
Where have you gone, Joe Di... I mean, Joe Montana?
Although Niner fans have had Steve Young since losing Montana in '93, they've had little since Young.
The cluster of Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, Damon Huard, and Nate Davis are looking to get the starting gig. The run game is lackluster. Since teams don't fear a passing attack, this year may not be the right year to look for a turn around.
Even Sourdough Sam is sour (pun pathetically intended) about the lackluster product, but the fans have been proud since the beginning, and still march into Candlestick in droves.
#15: Indianapolis Colts
Anyone has to like a Tony Dungy coached team.
Peyton still puts out God-awful commercials and may be losing endorsements from the Oreo league he and his brother are apart of, but he's still Archie's kid.
Bob Sanders is a well-to-do guy and is a human bullet. So how you not like the Colts?
Tracing back to their Baltimore days, they've had many interesting stints of winning seasons, disappointments, and rivalries.
The old RCA dome was always seemingly filled to the brim, and even with the theme park that is Lucas Oil stadium, plenty of fans pack the rafters and cheer on Peyton and the boys.
#14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you've been a Bucs fan since the beginning, by now you're either senile, mentally disturbed, or just truly a die hard fan.
The roller coaster ride that is the Buccaneers franchise blows many a mind, but the fans are what makes heads implode.
I consider anyone who can sit in blistering heat for hours to watch a team miss the playoffs from '83 to '96 is a true fan in my book—and they show their pride well.
When that cannon goes off, I know it sends a chill down the spine of every Buccaneer fan. A strong defense and interesting offense will make '09 a fun season to watch.
#13: Seattle Seahawks
In the face paint capital of the world, the 12th man resides.
With constant deluges, random snow storms, and wacky winds, the place still erupts when that 12th man flag gets raised.
I don't know if the whole "dressing up like the Capital One barbarians" is a west coast thing, but the sick Raiders fans who migrated north must have brought the "dress like a lunatic thing" with them.
Lunatics or not, they are loud, proud, and great fans.
#12: Dallas Cowboys
America's Team. Simple enough.
America's Team is named after the guys who killed throughout the middle ages of America's history.
Through the middle of the NFL's history, the Cowboys did the same.
The bandwagon fans have stuck with the Cowboys over the years and made the NFC East one of the (if not THE) best divisions in football.
When the Cowboys won a series of Super Bowls in the 90's, Cowboys apparel flew off the shelves faster than Tickle Me Elmo in a tornado that hit Toy's 'R' Us.
Respect the fans now, but when they enter your stadium, pray they aren't ignorant.
#11: New Orleans Saints
Boy, the fans of New Orleans.
The Superdome served as a shelter during Hurricane Katrina, but it also houses some of the most respectable and loyal fans in the NFL.
From Archie to Reggie, even the fans who had to disperse after the devastation still take trips to the city to stand side by side with the others.
All the more respectable is a small charitable group that was started by New Orleans fans to help those in need.
With all they've been through, the people of New Orleans and Saints fans deserve to be so close to Bourbon Street, that it only makes Sunday rowdier in the Superdome.
#10: Pittsburgh Steelers
I admit again, I am a Buffalo Bills die hard fan.
I live in "The City of Champions," "Six-burgh," and the city of towels. To be honest, I have a soft spot for the Steelers, and I do know some true fans, but the bandwagon fans have gotten ridiculous here.
A true story:
I walked up to a girl at a Steelers party who was wearing a Hines Ward jersey and black and gold face paint.
To make small talk I said "oh, so you're a Steelers fan?" She says (imagine a really "whatevvveeeeer" type girl voice) "Heck yeah, Pittsburgh number one baby!"
Intrigued, I ask, "So Hines is your favorite player?"
She responds, "No, Big Roethlisberger is."
I say, "You mean Ben Roethlisberger?" She says, "No, Ben's his middle name."
The Steelers have a very passionate fan base—you can't find a more diverse group.
You could be in other countries, other states, small African villages, and you'd run in to at least one Steelers fan.
God bless 'em, but if I hear "City of Champions" one more time, I may jump off a 5 story building.
#9: Chicago Bears
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Bears da Bears da Bears da Bears.
Polish sausage, beer, and Ditka aside, the Bears have always had an incredible franchise. The Monsters of the Midway have always had crazy, drunk, and spirited fans.
Their passion for football is like that of a golfers passion to break 70.
To have almost no offense the past few years, Chicago has been blessed with Matt Forte, who's forte (good God the puns have to stop) of gaining yards opened things up late in the year for the Bears.
The players love the fans, and the fans love the players—as long as their name doesn't rhyme with Rex Grossman.
The Bears have a new quarterback, and they have a new system. Let's just pray that we don't have to see another Super Bowl shuffle.
#8: Denver Broncos
Some may consider them the most annoying fans in the NFL with their chorused chants. But that to me just means that they share a common unbreakable bond.
Broncos fans have had a great franchise, rare losers—under coach Mike Shannahan, you could put a parapalegic midget behind the line and he'd rush for 1,000 yards.
Elway, Davis, Sharpe, and more, have had a solid, strong fan base behind them through the years, and Mile High Stadium is always ready for more orange and blue to fill it's rafters.
#7: Kansas City Chiefs
The Sea of Red. Does anyone else get a chill down their spine?
After little success over the past few years (other than pounding out running backs Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes), the fans still pack Arrowhead like it's their home—their Graceland.
I've been to Arrowhead, and I was wearing the wrong colors. Believe me: you get stared at, beer is "accidentally" spilled on you, and you are deaf for about a week and three days after that experience.
Even through the losing, the fans still pile in and reward their teams efforts—good or bad—by yelling at the top of their lungs when the red jerseys take the field.
Their days are coming.
If Cassel can repeat his one year magic in Kansas City with Johnson as a running back, things can only go sky high for the Chiefs.
#6: Oakland Raiders
If you saw men in black and silver shoulder pads, helmets, and face paint on the streets, wouldn't you be confused as to why they aren't in a mental institution?
Not if you've ever been to the Black Hole.
Ghost to the Post, the Mad Bomber—the fans have reasons to believe in the Raiders.
JaMarcus Russell and the boys have a lot of work to do to become contenders, but they will always have the wild barbarians at their back.
Through thick and thin, it's hard to put the Raiders at 6, but we must move on to...
#5: Washington Redskins
There were plenty of pictures of the crazy Redskins fans wearing pig noses and waving crazy banners, tribal tattoos—and literal Indians wearing chief garments.
But let's not forget that the monster 21 who was sadly taken from this world. My thoughts and prayers are still with the family.
If anything, the compassion that the Redskins fans showed towards their fallen hero made them jump up my list.
My father saw them at FedEx, and said that the face paint and yells were blinding and deafening.
Redskins faithful are rabid, true fans. For them to be at 5 must mean that another crazy city is ahead....
#4: Green Bay Packers
Anyone who proudly wears a plastic piece of Velveeta on top of their head is OK in my book.
Also, anyone who can fathom their hero being a turncoat who can't make a decision but still wears a #4 jersey (irony, I know, since they're #4) is beyond respectable.
Ever since the beginning, the people of Green Bay have had little to look forward to other than the boys in Green.
They've been awarded a Super Bowl, one of the best players of all time in Brett Favre, and a winning franchise.
After a disappointing season last year, expect Lambeau to still be filled to the nosebleeds with screaming Green jersey wearing fans.
#3: Cleveland Browns
Brown: the color of... oh so many unattractive things. Yet the people of Cleveland still flock to it like Mosquito's to bright lights.
The Dog Pound is ferocious, the fans hate the refs, and they've dealt with losing for far too long.
The last great thing to happen to Cleveland was their 10-6 season, in which Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr. shined. Since then, Edwards has been on the trading block and Winslow headed south to Tampa.
With interesting decisions, (what some Browns fans consider to be) poor judgment, and playing in the AFC North, the Browns have a high, high ladder to climb—but still have a packed Brown Stadium waiting for them on Sundays.
#2: Philadelphia Eagles
On December 30, 2007, I took my then girlfriend to her first Eagles game. She was a die hard fan, I was wearing a black sweat suit.
My father told me to never, EVER, wear opposing teams colors in to Lincoln Financial.
After picking up our tickets and a lot of booze, I decided to take off my Under Armour hoodie and reveal my Buffalo Bills Marshawn Lynch jersey.
The amount of bottles and hatred thrown my way was unfathomable—unless you've been there before. The fans love their Eagles, they are proud, and they hate Santa.
Eagles fans are rabid, rabid, faithful fans. I wouldn't get the 'Big Roethlisberger' story out of an Eagles fan—I would get punched in the face and end up in the hospital soon after.
That to me is just pure love for a team.
But who's number one? Is there a shocker on the way?
#1: The Buffalo Bills
To be a Bills fan is to live a life of torture.
They've witnessed wide rights, Music City Miracles (forward passes), wide rights again, and an unbelievable playoff drought.
The Buffalo faithful fear of a moving franchise, since Toronto doesn't care about the Bills, yet they'll still probably get them.
They live in a downtrodden city, they stick around by force, and have nothing to look forward to other than the Bills and Sabres.
To hear Kevin Everett address Ralph Wilson Stadium on Monday Night Football was touching to most all of us.
To Bills fans, dealing with Bledsoe, Losman, and losing seasons for so long has been torture.
Bills fans have to place hope on Trent Edwards, yet they are still hopeful that their team can grab that Wild Card spot at least and make a run to the promised land.
The riotous, crazy Bills fans who tailgate for hours upon end before kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the truly faithful, are #1 in my book.
Is it biased? Yes.
But when Kevin Everett hit the turf and thousands of people went silent in prayer—I was one of them—I realized that Buffalo sports is more than just that.
It's a connection.
Cheer for your team, respect others, and go... Well whoever you want.