I thought I’d continue my examination of the American Football Fan, with some specific NFL fans.
The groups listed here have distinguished themselves above other NFL fans for one reason or another and deserve their own review. While I’m surely missing some great groups of fans out there (sorry Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Green Bay, Chicago, New York) these few have gone above normal fandom or sunk below the line of rationality in doing so. Enjoy….
Ahhhh yes the one stadium a star-wars nerd can go to and feel at home. A never-ending Halloween extravaganza filled with every ghoul, goblin, murderer, monster, or maniac one can fathom; hell it’s even run by the crypt keeper himself.
But through all their costumes and crazy clothing these are grown men, who treat the Raiders like an entity that they must protect at all times. Attending a Raiders game is like venturing into a bad neighborhood; you better not wear the wrong colors.
Although Raiders fans generally come off as blindly-patriotic, lacking any objectivity, and down right idiotic in their expectations of the team from year to year don’t be fooled.
This is a knowledgeable bunch of fans, they just don’t give a shit about your team, and like the Russian government they will never admit a weakness even as the walls crumble around them.
Please, for the well being of yourself and those around you do not approach a Raiders fan with anything but appreciation for his team. Not only do they have a short fuse but they are almost always armed with a knife, blunt object, or some sort of prison shank they made whilst inside.
The “New” Patriots Fan:
I say “new” because this rant is directed towards all you post-Parcells era Patriots fans who had no love for this team prior to 2001. As for those that have been loyal followers before the Belicheck era, well keep on doing what you do, I have no beef with you.
If you claim to be a Patriots fan and aren’t familiar with names such as, Tony Eason, Irving Friar, Craig James, Mike Haynes, and Ben Coates (and those are relatively modern guys so there’s no excuse) or have no clue that they boasted the single gayest logo in NFL history then you fall into this category.
Yes, nearly everyone (myself included) rooted for you in 2001 because you were the sympathetic underdog team. Incredibly you beat the heavily favored Rams, marking the beginning of a dynasty for the next seven years that continues today.
Unfortunately somewhere along the way you took our respect and admiration, then sharpened it, and stabbed us in the face with it.
We thought you were different than New York fans, we thought you were better than telling us non-stop about your championships and city, as if the fans themselves lifted the team to greatness.
We’ve been had, duped, bamboozled, and swindled for you my friends are far worse than New York fans. You have in essence become the New York fans of old, just without an equally malicious media and fan base.
At least New Yorkers will take equal time and opportunity from boasting about their team’s greatness to rip into their own team quite mercilessly. Lets not forget at the start of this last season most people in the Big Apple wanted Coughlin fired, and some even wanted Eli gone.
Perhaps it’s the fact they’re used to winning or that there is more than just sports in New York.
Ultimately we all know that Boston is a baseball town; in my opinion the best. And I assure you there's nothing wrong with being a baseball town it’s fine, really. But for the last few years you’ve been waving your Pats flags around town as if you’ve been watching the NFL for more than eight years.
Maybe this is all Bill Simmons, Bob Ryan’s, or Jackie MacMullan’s fault but most people around the country just want you to give up already. That’s it really.
Go on rooting for whichever team you want; right now they’re all good, just please refrain from telling us about it for one day.
If you need proof just navigate the archives of this site and you’ll find plenty of bias articles that were posted solely to slurp or brag about a Boston team with no real information other than telling us what we already know (although there are some out there who don't fall into that category, in which case keep it up).
But after seeing the girls (or lack there of) in Boston I think I know why you all love, admire, and talk about your grown men so much.
So lets all make a deal you "New" Patriots fans: you can go back to liking the Red Sox, like you usually do, and we'll stick to football. It works out better for football fans everywhere, since you’re a baseball town anyway. Right?
Before I finish am I the only one who finds it horribly obnoxious that half of the East Coast has taken it upon themselves to call The Patriots their team?
Since ownership gave this team the “New England” moniker every bandwagon buffoon from Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and up to Maine, decided it was necessary to call them "their" team. I understand you don’t have much else, but I know the majority of you claimed to be Giants or Jets fans prior so you’re not fooling anyone.
The moniker merely serves as an easy and trite explanation of your bandwagon nature. Now that Brady is done for the year and Patriots lofty expectations looked all but squashed we'll be able to see who the real fans are......
*As you probably noticed I didn’t mention your coaches penchant for cheating or bending the rules. This is because I simply don’t care. Even if they did cheat it’s damn hard to do it well enough to win three Superbowls in four years, and the rest of the NFL should have caught on sooner. Besides as the great prophet Sir Charles Barkley said, “if you’re not cheating you’re not trying to win”. *
After attending a few Cowboys games myself I’ve come to the conclusion that the Cowboys are certainly God’s team and that hole in the roof is in fact there so he can watch. My reason being that on Sundays’ Texas Stadium is as quiet as a church.
The only time you even hear their fans approach a detectable decidable level is when they’re booing their team for not completing a first down. I understand Cowboys fans have been spoiled by years of success but I don’t see such bandwagonry coming from other perennial NFL powerhouses.
As for sitting next to or engaging in rational football banter with a Cowboys fan, well, that’s a whole other monster in of itself. However don’t be worried about your physical safety because Texas Stadium is perhaps the safest place for an opposing fan to go.
That being said don’t expect a rational or exhilarating football conversation as Cowboys’ fans have no time to objectively talk about football, since they're to busy praying to Jerry Jones, or telling you why they’re “America’s Team”.
When engaged in such mindless banter with a Cowboys fan you can expect one phrase time and time again to be repeated or reverted to in case they feel they are losing an argument, it goes “How many Super Bowls do you have?”
He’ll ask this question as if he won them and owns their five previous titles himself, thus implying that you and your team are lesser.
Now for a Steelers or 49ers fan this might not seem like a bad thing, but you my friend are in for it to. If you do fall into this category they’ll tell you their team has appeared in more Super Bowls; as if appearances in a losing effort justify greatness.
If all else fails we can never forget their last bastion of escape; “We’re America’s Team”.
Now this is certainly true since we collectively vote (like a democracy should) year to year on who “America’s Team” is right? Were they America’s team when Quincy Carter was wiping cocaine residue off his noise to get a better handle on the ball, or when the incomparable Dave Campo was at the helm?
Damn you Bob Ryan and NFL Films, for creating a monster.
Then there is the all to familiar bandwagon Cowboy fan, of which there are thousands; most likely the reason they were called America’s team since you can always find one of these guys at nearly every game (regardless if Dallas is playing).
Generally this guy grew up in Oklahoma, Louisiana, or somewhere within a 2,000 mile radius of Dallas.
He’ll tell you he’s a Dallas fan because he grew up watching them or played pee wee football for the Cowboys. From there on out he’ll rant on about nothingness, spouting previous Cowboys greatness while finishing each sentence with “How bout dem Cowboys?!?!”
But don’t be fooled this is a rhetorical question. However the bandwagon nature of this group doesn’t stop there.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane when T.O. was a 49er and spiked the ball on their midfield logo. At which point you could hear thousands of Dallas’s fans around the country angrily labeling him a classless player, bad human being, poor teammate, and overrated WR.
Obviously forgetting that it was their own Michael Irvin that developed such diva-like behavior at the receiver position. Karma?
Those same fans that were calling for his excommunication from the football world will now tell you he’s a poor misunderstood man, who finally found Jerry Jones (their version of God) and turned his life around.
Yet, after one disappointing season due largely in part to Tony Romo, Jerry's signings of Adam Jones & Tank Johnson, and bad play calling by Jason Garrett, Cowboys fan turned to T.O. as the "bad guy" again.
Now I know this is indicative of many fans in all sports, but the Cowboys bunch seemingly takes it to a new level.
Most puzzling however is their unwavering love for Jerry Jones and "his" three Superbowl victories all while forgetting the Jimmy Johnson effect. Maybe it’s because Barry Switzer won a championship with “Jimmy’s” team but he should feel under-appreciated.
Most fans would have been horrified at Mr. Jones need to reaffirm that he is in fact the head of the Cowboys in firing his championship architect. In doing so he set your team on a irreversible course for disaster that would culminate in a flurry of suspect coaching hiring’s and Chad Hutchinson quarterbacking your team.
Luckily Jerry had enough sense to finally find an equally as brilliant general manager and coach in Bill Parcells; who he summarily fired as well. Maybe he’s hoping Wade Phillips can be his Barry Switzer?
Either way as good as Jerry Jones is as an owner, he’s shown a suspect drafting prowess (at best) and has firing resume that includes Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, and Bill Parcells.
In summation this is an overzealous bunch, who finds a way to perpetually feel slighted by the media and others, even though at the first hint of greatness ESPN initiates its customary Dallas Love Fest into high gear; beginning a year long event that won’t end until this teams run is over.
Now I understand the Dallas Cowboys are an icon of the NFL and American Sports in general, and that Jerry Jones is a great owner, but please Cowboys’ fans we don’t need to hear it from you.
Let your deifying commence once the team wins a playoff game within the last decade; which should happen this year. Dammit.
No other group of fans has it worse. Like a battered wife in a bad cliche movie, they keep coming back for more. Believing that one day things will change, and my god I hope so.
What other group of fans would retain such loyalty and pride in the wake of four straight Superbowl losses? Most of us would quickly change allegiances, or completely give up the NFL all together.
Not only have they suffered through a seemingly unbreakable record of Super Bowl failure, their most known player is among America’s most despised athletes.
The football gods have not been kind to this bunch.
From the late 80’s to the early 90’s the Bills had, one of football history’s most likeable coaches, a plethora of offensive weapons, a special teams god, and arguably the best pass rusher in NFL history.
Buffalo’s own Big Three (who had it not been for the Super Bowl losses would have been talked about in the same breath as the Cowboys) dominated the AFC for four years with nothing to show for.
With this core of elite players the Bills won an astounding four straight conference championships (something likely to never be repeated), only to have their hearts ripped out every January.
Worse off each Superbowl appearance got worse and worse for them and their fans. While the first loss to the Giants on a late field goal miss might have been the most painful the other three went downhill fast, as Buffalo was outscored 119-54 in their next three Superbowl outings.
Sadly, just as we thought it couldn’t get any harder for the Bills and their fans, the economic side of the NFL has reared its ugly head. Leaving the Bills among the top of the list of the teams for relocation; to Toronto of all places.
But don't blame Bills fans for the team's financial problems as they've purchased the third-highest number of season tickets in franchise history and the most since Buffalo's fourth straight Super Bowl season; even though the team hasn’t seen a playoff game since 1999!
Yet through all their Superbowl and financial misery, these fans keep showing up in droves, to lead arguably the best pre-game parking lot atmosphere in the NFL.
So here’s a salute to Bill’s fans everywhere, and I can assure you that one will never see me rooting against you; unless it’s in regards to a bet or your playing the Texans.
Just kidding. They’re a myth.
UPDATE: Cardinals fans do in fact exist now, so the true test begins to see whether or not they stick with them.
*I know a lot of native Philadelphians are either surprised or upset that I did not include you in this article. But don't worry it’s not because you haven’t shown you deserve to be talked about in the same light as such aforementioned fans but rather that you guys are the Michael Jordan’s of ravenous fans and your greatness in that regard is well known and documented.*