The Top 10 Fanbases in American Sports
You see them all the time; crazy sports fans who seem to live and die with their team. Through thick and thin, be it by radio, TV, computer, or in person, these fans follow every game their team plays in as if it were for a world championship.
These are not bandwagon fans, but rather, fans baptized into a religion at birth. The home stadium is the church and the team logo is their symbol of faith.
These are season-ticket holders who skip weddings for games and arrange to be buried in coffins with their team's logo on them.
These, in my opinion, are the best kind of fans. These are the fans, who when they get together to root for their team, are the best fans in sports.
Here are the 10 best fanbases in American sports.
10. Seattle Sounders
We all hear the stories about the passion of soccer fans in other countries. Unless you have seen it yourself, you really do not have a clue.
The faithful fans of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders are the closest thing to rabid soccer fans you will find in North America.
They show up for every match like it is the World Cup and without a doubt set the standard when it comes to passion for American soccer teams.
9. Winnipeg Jets
Hey, who says all of North America is not eligible?
In 2011, the city of Winnipeg got its hockey team back after it relocated to Atlanta of all places in 1996.
These fans took nothing for granted, selling out the season and providing the NHL with one of the league's most electric atmospheres.
Winnipeg's passion and commitment to the Jets proves once again, it is not always the size that counts.
8. New York Yankees
Try as you may, you will never be able to one-up the army of navy and grey. As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, I know this all too well.
Make no mistake, so do the Yankee fans.
The Yankees, whether we like it or not are baseball. The history of the sport in this country runs right through the Bronx. The intertwined "N" and "Y" of the Yankee logo might as well be the MLB logo.
You know it, I know it, and Yankee fans know it.
Don't try to talk trash to them. You have nothing to say that can trump the 27 World Series titles they will drop on you as a knockout punch to any short argument.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide Football
You know the Tide is coming to your town when you are invaded by an army of RVs four days before game day.
Alabama fans follow their team everywhere they go. The "Roll Tide!" battle cry might as well be "Roll Deep!", as anyone will find out when walking around a town who is playing host to the Alabama football team.
From Oxford, Mississippi to Columbia, South Carolina, if Alabama is in town, the fanbase does everything in its power to make you think you are in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Between the ringing in your ears as a result of hearing "Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer" screamed at you thousands of times to the hangover from the cherry bombs, you will know when the Tide has rolled through your town.
6. Detroit Red Wings
You have got the Lions, Tigers, and Pistons, but make no mistake, the Red Wings own Detroit.
From the blanket of red coating the arena to the tradition of throwing octopi onto the ice, there is no atmosphere in hockey like Joe Louis Arena during the NHL playoffs.
In 2011, the team celebrated as the 25 millionth fan entered the Joe Louis Arena for a Red Wings game.
5. St. Louis Cardinals
Because of the on-field performance and speed of the highlights on television, the attendance at St. Louis Cardinal games often goes unnoticed.
If you get a chance to tune in to a Cards game during the regular season, look in the stands. Unlike almost every other stadium outside Chicago and Boston, you will not see many empty seats.
Cardinal fans are among the most passionate and loyal on the planet. They also appreciate history, as evident in the standing ovation they gave the Red Sox after breaking the Curse of the Bambino in the 2004 World Series.
They also have a solid understanding that no player is bigger than the team. Little resistance was felt and few tears were shed when Albert Pujols, the franchise's second-most famous player in history, left St. Louis for Anaheim.
4. Dallas Cowboys
You can argue the "America's Team" nickname all you want, but you cannot argue the numbers. Cowboy fans are everywhere. They are loud and proud and will not be convinced that every player on their roster is not the best in the league at his position.
Eternal optimists, they are always preparing for the next season, when they know Jerry Jones will assemble a team that brings home another Lombardi trophy, even if that has not happened in over 15 years.
For better or for worse, there are no bandwagon Cowboy fans. You either love 'em or hate 'em.
3. Oakland Raiders
Raider Nation is a blue-collar, motorcycle-gang version of the Cowboy fans.
The biggest difference between Raider and Cowboy fans is their grasp on reality. Raider fans know when they are down and know what needs to happen to rise back up. They do not want you to spoon feed them stories of hope for the upcoming season; they want the truth.
They appreciate their history and know there are better days ahead. Regardless of some less than successful years recently, the Black Hole remains as loud and devoted as ever.
Raider Nation is the closest thing the United States has to a European soccer firm.
2. Nebraska Cornhuskers Football
The Sea of Red. The Children of the Corn.
Football is king in Nebraska and the Cornhuskers rule the kingdom. Weddings are rescheduled around September football games and scores are announced to passengers on flights to and from Omaha and Lincoln.
If you are one of the lucky few to beat the Huskers in their own house, the fans will show you respect with a standing ovation as you leave the field.
Above one of the entrances to Lincoln's Memorial Stadium are the words "THROUGH THESE GATES PASS THE GREATEST FANS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL."
They are not kidding. They have sold out every game since 1962.
1. Green Bay Packers
In Green Bay, the fans are not there for the team, the team is there for the fans. After all, the fans own the team.
Green Bay is the home of the Lombardi Trophy. Whether or not other fans agree, Lambeau is the Mecca of football in America.
The people of Green Bay and Packer fans nationwide are simply the most loyal on the planet. The players appreciate it, as unlike with many NFL cities, a good number of Packer players live in Green Bay year-round.
If you play for Green Bay, you are not so much a celebrity as much as just another hard working cog in the machine that keeps this town alive. The fans consider the team part of their family. They consider Vince Lombardi their grandfather.
What separates Green Bay fans from other passionate fan bases is their class. The Packers and their fans represent some of the best parts of the history of America's favorite game.