The 20 Boldest Fanbases in the NFL

Matt KingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2011

The 20 Boldest Fanbases in the NFL

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    Who are the boldest fans in the NFL? Wait, first of all, what does that even mean?

    To me, boldness in a fan base is defined by a combination of expectations, passion and attendance.

    You have to expect great things out of your team even when nobody else in their right mind would, you have to be super passionate about them (not just when they're winning), and of course you have to show up. It's not easy being bold from your couch. (Note: attendance scores are based on teams' standing on this chart.)

    And not all 32 teams deserve the "bold" title either. I'm leaving some off just to see who is bold enough to try and prove me wrong. I'm only taking the top 20.

    So what do you say? Is your fan base bold enough to make the cut? 

No. 20: Atlanta Falcons

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    Falcons fans are just good enough to get their team onto this list. They're in the bottom half of the league in attendance percentage and are always careful not to expect too much out of their team.

    But you have to give them credit for getting Sam Jackson himself to help get the fans to Rise Up. 

    Attendance: 4

    Expectations: 6

    Passion: 6

    Total Boldness: 16

No. 19: Buffalo Bills

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    The Bills have great fans, but that's about all you can say about Buffalo.

    They don't have a great stadium, which hurts attendance, and their team hasn't been to the playoffs in ages.

    As much as they'd love to say they expect a lot of the the Bills this year, the fans know in their hearts it ain't gonna be this year.

    Attendance: 2

    Expectations: 5

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 16

No. 18: Kansas City Chiefs

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    Chiefs fans may not fill up a stadium every time, but they are notoriously loud and make things difficult for opposing teams.

    As a neighbor to a Chiefs fan for years, I can tell you that they somehow expect plenty out of their team even though they haven't really had much reason to recently.   

    Attendance: 3

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 17

No. 17: Washington Redskins

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    The Redskins used to be a much bolder fan base before Dan Snyder started sucking all the life out of them.

    They still have some life as evidenced by how much they demanded out of Donovan McNabb. You know it's a tough fan base when they're asking for Rex Grossman to replace you when you start playing badly.

    Attendance: 3

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 17

No. 16: Denver Broncos

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    If you really want Tim Tebow to play this bad, how serious can you be about winning?

    Still, the Broncos have gotten used to winning and imploding all at the same time. They expect plenty, but still are worried that Denver is going to blow it at the end.

    Attendance: 6

    Expectations: 6

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 19

No. 15: Baltimore Ravens

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    The Ravens won one championship with defense, and now their fans think they can do it all the time, even though guys like Ray Lewis are only getting older.

    The one thing that drags them down is that Baltimore fans aren't exactly known for a passion to go along with their expectations and attendance. Sorry guys.

    Attendance: 8

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 4

    Total Boldness: 19

No. 14: Minnesota Vikings

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    This guy obviously shares Jared Allen's love of mullets at least. If mullets were part of my grading process, Minnesota would shoot up these rankings.

    They may be hurt by low attendance (which may not change until they leave the Metrodome) and pessimistic expectations, but Vikings fans are nothing if not passionate.

    Attendance: 4

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 20

No. 13: Oakland Raiders

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    It is just too bad that Raiders fans just cannot get out to see their team. It's not entirely their fault (the Coliseum is a dump), but for my definition of bold, it just kills them. They ranked last in attendance percentage.

    This is a shame because you'd be hard pressed to find a more passionate set of fans who expect so much out of a team that they have absolutely no business expecting a lot out of.  

    Attendance: 1

    Expectations: 9

    Passion: 10

    Total Boldness: 20

No. 12: Seattle Seahawks

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    The notorious 12th man of Seattle.

    The Seahawks were one of the few teams that far exceeded expectations last year. Nobody, not even the fans could have expected them to get past the first round of the playoffs.

    Even with all of that, they're not expecting much again this year. Good thing the fans are excited no matter what.

    Attendance: 7

    Expectations: 6

    Passion: 8

    Total Boldness: 21

No. 11: New Orleans Saints

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    The Saints didn't used to be this high, but ever since Drew Brees, Hurricane Katrina bringing them together and the Super Bowl, this fan base has risen in the rankings.

    Who Dat Nation may not attend a ton of games, but they make up for it by being crazy about their team and expecting a return to the Super Bowl. Another first round exit from the playoffs and these fans will not be happy. 

    Attendance: 5

    Expectations: 8

    Passion: 8

    Total Boldness: 21

No. 10: New York Giants

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    If all Giants fans were as passionate as this guy, they might be in the top five.

    Not to say that Giants fans aren't passionate (they are), but they're more demanding than anything. This is New York after all. The land of expectations.

    I'm surprised that they were right in the middle of the pack in attendance with their shiny new stadium. We'll see if anything changes this year.

    Attendance: 5

    Expectations: 9

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 21

No. 9: New York Jets

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    Pretty damn near identical to the Giants, but ever since sexy Rexy came to town, the J-E-T-S have had just a little more swagger than their New York counterparts, even if the G-Men did win a Super Bowl three years ago.

    Plus the Jets have this guy. He's annoying as crap, but he gives them a boldness edge.

    Attendance: 5

    Expectations: 9

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 21

No. 8: San Francisco 49ers

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    I work with a bunch of Niners fans. They are insufferable. If I have to hear them whine about Alex Smith one more time, I'm going to throw a desk chair out the window.

    But that's the thing with 49ers fans. They think "if we can just get a decent quarterback everything will be solved." And if it's not a QB it's one other thing that is the one missing piece to them being a contender.

    Most of them manage to keep their expectations in check, though, which is what keeps them from being bolder than they already are. Lord help us if they tank the season and end up with Andrew Luck.

    Attendance: 7

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 8

    Total Boldness: 22

No. 7: Indianapolis Colts

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    You have to hand it to Colts fans, they show up in droves.

    Expectations are tempered this year thanks to Peyton overcoming injury and just overall getting a little bit older. This is not the same team that was a playoff lock year after year.

    And they may be loud, but something about fans in Indiana doesn't really scream passion to me. Unless maybe it's IU basketball.

    Attendance: 10

    Expectations: 7

    Passion: 7

    Total Boldness: 24

No. 6: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Steelers fans have gotten used to winning. And, as such, they have come to expect nothing less than winning. Can't blame them for that. They went to the Super Bowl last year, but something tells me some fans still see that as a failure because they didn't win.

    The only problem is, Pittsburgh is a blue collar town, so it looks like the fans aren't able to come out in full force like they'd like to. Still, almost a top five bold fan base.

    Attendance: 5

    Expectations: 10

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 24

No. 5: Chicago Bears

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    Daaaa Bears. These guys sure love their team.

    You can tell we're really getting to the cream of the crop here. Bears fans are passionate, they expect a ton every year (even before they finally settled on a QB), and they even do a great job of showing up.

    It had to kill them to lose to the Packers last year, and it's going to kill them to lose to them in this list as well.

    Attendance: 8

    Expectations: 8

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 25

No. 4: New England Patriots

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    Three Super Bowl titles in four years and an 18-1 season can do a lot for a fan base's confidence.

    Pats fans went from beaten down in the 80's and 90's to becoming the team of the 2000s. And believe me, they haven't lost much steam with Brady and Belichick still at the helm.

    Their fans are loud, rowdy and obnoxious. They expect another Super Bowl immediately. This is one bold fan base. 

    Attendance: 7

    Expectations: 9

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 25

No. 3: Green Bay Packers

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    They raise cheeseheads from birth in Green Bay.

    I can't fault the fans for not wanting to brave the frozen tundra to come out and support their team, but they make up for it by being some of the best fans in football.

    Not only are they passionate, but (to channel Chandler Bing here) could there be any more expectations for a team that just won the Super Bowl and looks to be just as good?

    Attendance: 6

    Expectations: 10

    Passion: 10

    Total Boldness: 26

No. 2: Dallas Cowboys

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    Man these last two were close.

    Cowboys fans are amazing. No matter how good or bad their team is, they keep showing up and expecting them to be in the Super Bowl. They can talk themselves into this team every year.

    Dallas was definitely helped by an amazing new stadium, but the one thing that knocked them out of the top spot was that I just didn't see them as being on par with our No. 1 team when it came to passion and expectations.

    Sure Cowboys fans think a lot of their team each year, but can they really say that they expect anything near what this next fan base will be this year?

    Attendance: 10

    Expectations: 9

    Passion: 9

    Total Boldness: 28

No. 1: Philadelphia Eagles

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    If anybody has a right to stake claim to the boldest fan base in the NFL, it's the Iggles.

    They constantly show up on game day, they are enormously passionate and nobody in the league has higher expectations right now than Philly fans.

    I thought when I started this list that it might be the Cowboys, but the Eagles have proven themselves to be the boldest fans in the NFL in my book.

    Attendance: 9

    Expectations: 10

    Passion: 10

    Total Boldness: 29