Let me preface this by saying I've watched football all over the country, been in bars and stadiums everywhere, and done some serious research about each and every team. And being a season ticket holder, I've seen the best fans up close and personal so the rest are being judged against the best. So without further ado, let the debate begin:
10. Dallas Cowboys
This fan base, which was really a bunch of band wagon jumpers during the Aikman-Irvin-Emmitt dynasty, apparently has transformed into die-hards. With fans in every city, "America's Team" is wildly popular. Simpletons flock to the star and seem to be enamored with it. Of course, the rules about cheering for a team you have no connection with is still a violation.
9. Chicago Bears
Where else can you not put any kind of offensive threat on the field for 20+ years and still have a packed stadium year after year. Bears fans come out regardless of the absolute crap management keeps rolling out there in Grossman, Orton, Griese, Benson, Salaam, Enis etc.
And, they brave the frigid conditions Chicago has to offer during December. The real test will be this season. After actually re-signing Grossman and probably sporting the worst offense in the NFL, will they come out and show their support?
8. Buffalo Bills
After all the heartbreak of the four Super Bowl losses and the rebuilding years since, these fans pack in every Sunday, usually in negative 10 degree weather to root on the Bills.
Yes you can argue they are on this list out of pure boredom (because what else is there to do in Buffalo), but people in Atlanta, Miami, and Arizona don't show up in perfect weather. The loyalty of a Bills fan can never be questioned.
7. Denver Broncos
Always in the top five of attendance, especially with the hazardous weather Mile High has to offer, Broncos fans also do quite a bit of traveling. I've seen stadiums in Broncos away game that are one-third filled by Denver fans.
That being said, they do have the dumbest "fan participation" since "The Wave." Whenever the opposing QB throws an incompletion, the crowd stands up and screams at the top of their lungs, "IN-COM-PLETE."
After about the fifth time you hear it, you start to question Denver's football IQ. Are they doing it because some of the fans are a little slow, or are they trying to annoy the other team's QB by razzing him with the dumbest response ever invented? Either way, lose it and you might climb the ranks a bit next year folks.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
The "Stillers" fans are a very annoying bunch. If you ever encounter one and the subject of football comes up, all you'll hear about is how many rings they have. Whatever your argument is, they will counter with that. And, I didn't even bring up the extremely lame "Terrible Towels" that they swing around like they're in a Ricky Martin video.
That being said, they have Heinz field and sports bars around the country rocking on Sundays. They are very passionate about their football and it's completely understandable. Before Sidney Crosby, what else have they had to root for?
5. Green Bay Packers
I'm sure John Madden is coughing up a brat after reading how low on the list they are, but before Lord Farve, did you ever hear about them? I'm surprised the league is actually planning on playing actual games in 2008 with Lord Favre retired.
Green Bay is one of the few places where players actually have interaction with the fans though. The Lambeau Leap, although played out, is still pretty cool and no one else's fans have anything like it.
Their dedication during subzero temperatures is second to none and the waiting list for season tickets is insane. The main reason Green Bay is at number five is because of the cheese heads. Using silly props and stupid looking hats makes me want to throw turd at my TV.
4. Cleveland Browns
How can you not have complete respect for these fans? They have every reason to go the way of a Falcons fan, but their loyalty about the Browns has no rival. Art Modell ripped their team out from under them and as soon as the expansion team was given back, the Dog Pound was back in full effect.
The Pound was firing on all cylinders last season as the team seemed to turn the corner. If they ever do get over the hump, the city of Cleveland better watch out!
3. Oakland Raiders
OK yes I know, they still don't get it that it's beyond lame to dress up for Halloween every Sunday. They still don't know the rest of the league laughs at them and not with them. Dressed more for a Star Trek convention than a football game, Raiders fans have fallen on tough times with moronic ownership and season ticket holders like Kevin Federline being the faces of The Nation.
That being said, sitting in The Black Hole is not safe (and that's coming from an Eagles fan). It's hard to put your finger on whether Raiders fans love their team or if they just have a hatred for yours. At any rate, they are the only fans in the league that Eagles fans actually respect, so that's saying something.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
When you're the sixth smallest market and have the second highest attendance average over the last decade, that speaks very loudly. Also known for having the best food at a tailgate, KC will blow your doors off with its BBQ.
Arrowhead is widely regarded as the loudest stadium in the league and that is directly attributed to its fans. What's even more amazing is that Kansas City hasn't won a playoff game since 1993 and their last Super Bowl was the same year as Woodstock. Chiefs fans are the reason their team has a home field advantage.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Some might call this biased, but the most passionate fans in all of sports are without question Philadelphia Eagles fans. Eagles fans are cold-blooded bastards and probably give KC a run for their money as being the loudest. They are, by far, the most knowledgeable fans in the league, and invented the perfect "boo."
What cemented Philadelphia fans’ reputation as the most amoral, loathsome collection in sports is famously called The Booing of Santa Clause. You would boo and throw snow balls too if Santa came out drunk in a half-done costume. We demand all out effort every play from our players, coaches, and Santas.
The passion of an Eagles fan is so great that they had a jail in the old stadium! The 700 Level was considered worse than one of Dante's Levels of Hell. They simply demand all out effort from their players. They must deal with sports owners whose actions have not produced a champion in 25 years.
The Eagles, who are clearly the favorite team in Philadelphia, haven't hoisted a championship flag in 48 years. The waiting list for season tickets is so long that you could sell out three stadiums full of Eagles fans for games.
Eagles fans are just as passionate for their hatred of the Cowboys. Ask any Eagles fans this question, "Who's your favorite team?" and you will get the same response, "The Birds and whoever is playing the Cowboys." Until you've been in an Eagles fans shoes, you just don't understand.
So that's the list. I welcome all comments and am up for a debate if you feel your team has been left off or not rated high enough.
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