Skip to content

Likability Index: Ranking the NFL's fan bases

Dennis Wierzbicki / USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to theScore's Likability Index, wherein we rank teams in several completely subjective categories to determine the NFL's most likable team.

Factors assessed in ranking likability of fan experience include stadium atmosphere, fan base loyalty, and unique traditions.

32. Atlanta Falcons

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
31 32 32

▼ Dismal stadium atmosphere. You could take a nap during home games at the Georgia Dome.
▼ Team got caught pumping artificial crowd noise into the stadium.
▼ Many fans are far more invested in local college teams than in the Falcons.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
30 29 31

▲ Pirate motif inside stadium is awesome in a goofy way.

▼ Team has struggled to gain a large following and routinely has trouble selling out games.
▼ Many local residents are transplants who continue to root for their old teams.
▼ The NFL's least engaged fans on social media.

30. St. Louis Rams

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
29 30 30

▲ Fans' apathy is understandable considering rampant rumors of team relocation.

▼ St. Louis has always been a baseball-first market.
▼ Edward Jones Dome is a dump.

29. Washington Redskins

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
32 31 24

▲ Have to give credit where credit is due: Redskins fans manage to stay loyal despite all the dysfunction.

▼ Some fans staunchly defend a team name decried by many as racist.
▼ Worst spelling and grammar in the league.
▼ Type "Redskins fans sue" into Google. You're welcome.

28. Tennessee Titans

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
27 27 27

▲ 16-year sellout streak.

▼ For a team with a 16-year sellout streak, LP Field is conspicuously half-empty half the time. The Titans were recently accused of conspiring with scalpers to sell off tickets.
▼ One of the least intimidating home environments in football.

T-26. San Diego Chargers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
26 21 29

▲ It’s hard to beat tailgating outside the stadium in 70-degree weather in December.
▲ ♫ San Diego / Super Chargers / San Diego / Chargers! ♫

▼ Qualcomm Stadium is in desperate need of replacing.
▼ Games are often poorly attended (and when they sell out, the stadium is often full of fans of the opposing team).

T-26. Cincinnati Bengals

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
24 24 28

▲ Fans have a surprisingly good attitude about the NFL's longest run without a playoff win (24 seasons).

▼ Having trouble selling out a playoff game is a really bad sign.
▼ Paul Brown Stadium lacks the charm of most modern venues.

25. Miami Dolphins

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
28 26 21

▲ Enduring searing September sunshine is worth it if the trade-off is late-season games in shorts and T-shirts.

▼ Arrive whenever, you guys! It's not like anything happens in the first quarter.
▼ Clearly, there's just far more to do in South Florida than go to a football game.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
17 28 25

▲ There are no funnier, more self-aware fans on social media. #Duval
▲ There is a pool in the stadium!

▼ The Jaguars struggled to sell out games for a prolonged period and haven't been able to shed the reputation as a franchise in turmoil. Ticket sales have improved but remain a work in progress.
▼ One game per season is played overseas.

23. Detroit Lions

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
18 22 26

▲ Core group of fans stuck by the team even through the Matt Millen era and the embarrassment of 0-16.

▼ The Lions often take a back seat to the Detroit Red Wings locally.
▼ Stadium opened in 2002 and already needs upgrades.

22. Carolina Panthers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
22 19 23

▲ Fans rank among NFL's most polite. Southern hospitality!

▼ One of the NFL's most nondescript fan bases. What are Panthers fans really known for?

21. Arizona Cardinals

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
23 18 22

▲ University of Phoenix Stadium is known to get extremely loud.
▲ The Cardinals weathered early days of ineptitude and have cultivated a growing and passionate fan base since relocating to the desert.

▼ Not much interest to speak of outside local area.

20. Oakland Raiders

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
25 25 11

▲ The Black Hole. Enough said.
▲There's an undeniable "coolness" factor in supporting the Raiders. Celebrity fans include N.W.A. and Run-D.M.C.

▼ The dilapidated Coliseum may offer the worst fan experience in the league.
▼ Fans have a reputation for terrorizing opposing supporters.

19. San Francisco 49ers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
21 20 16

▲ New stadium makes for one of the best venues the NFL has to offer.
▲ A core group of dedicated fans has supported the team since the 1980s.

▼ It's called a chardonnay crowd for a reason. Too many fans are more worried about the quality of their Instagram posts than if the 49ers win.
▼ Will fans stick around if the team starts to struggle again?

18. New York Jets

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
15 23 18

▲ "J-E-T-S-Jets-Jets-Jets" might not be clever, but it's one of the most memorable chants in sports.

▼ Jets fans are predisposed to boo everything in sight at the draft, whether the selection is good for the club or not.

17. New England Patriots

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
20 13 20

▲ Current sell-out streak extends back 226 games to 1994.

▼ Majority of the fan base was dormant until Brady and Co. led a Renaissance period.
▼ Most expensive average ticket price in the league.

16. Houston Texans

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
19 17 15

▲ Quick to establish a strong fan base despite being a relatively new team.
▲ Some of the best tailgating in the nation.

T-14. Minnesota Vikings

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
16 11 19

▲ Fans have stuck by a middling product for decades.
▲ With a new stadium on its way, the fan experience's lone weakness will soon be eradicated.

T-14. New York Giants

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
14 15 17

▲ Slightly less obnoxious than Jets fans.

▼ New York City will always be a Yankees town first and foremost.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
13 16 13

▲ Vocal crowd has helped make Baltimore one of most difficult places to play.

▼ Wearing Ray Rice jerseys to games in 2014 is as bad as it gets.

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
11 12 12

▲ Philadelphia may be the most sports-mad city in the nation.
▲ The stadium is filled to capacity and there's a great atmosphere when the Eagles are winning ...

▼ ... but it's a very different story when they are losing.

11. Cleveland Browns

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
10 10 10

▲ Die-hard fans are the norm in Cleveland. They are unflinchingly loyal despite decades of mediocrity and dysfunction. The NFL essentially stole a franchise from them and brought in an expansion club. Locals treated it like their own from Day 1.
▲ The "Dawg Pound" boasts some of the most passionate, deranged people you'll ever meet.
▲ Least expensive average ticket price in the NFL.

▼ At some point, losing becomes part of who you are.

10. Kansas City Chiefs

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
6 14 8

▲ Everyone talks about Seattle, but Arrowhead might actually be the loudest stadium in football. Fans in Kansas City broke the world record for loudest recorded crowd noise.
▲ World-class tailgating and barbecue.
▲ Sea of red is undeniable. Fans get dressed up for games.

9. Denver Broncos

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
12 6 9

▲ Sports Authority Field is always packed and it gets very loud. Fans stomping on the metal stands creates a sound akin to thunder.
▲ Strong national following.

▼ Fans booed Peyton Manning during and after a playoff loss. Will they turn on the Broncos if they stop being a contender?

8. Indianapolis Colts

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
5 7 14

▲ Is there a stadium in sports with a higher percentage of jersey-wearing fans?
▲ Lucas Oil Stadium is often silent – because the football-savvy fans know to be quiet when the home team is on offense.

▼ It's difficult to assess fans' loyalty given how much the Colts have lucked into elite quarterbacks.

7. Chicago Bears

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
8 8 6

▲ Soldier Field's history provides an allure that not many venues share.
▲ One of the best environments in the NFL despite less-than-ideal weather conditions at year's end.
▲ The Bears are the most loved sports franchise in a city loaded with legendary teams.

6. New Orleans Saints

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
9 9 3

▲ Who needs tailgating when you can party on Bourbon Street, then walk a few blocks to the game?
▲ Fans stuck with the team through the Bountygate scandal.
▲ Stadium is an almost unassailable advantage. Saints fans get very, very loud.

5. Seattle Seahawks

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
4 5 7

▲ Probably the loudest crowd in sports. Fans literally cause earthquakes when they cheer and directly contribute to their team's on-field success.
▲ Fans, known collectively as the 12th Man, share an identity unlike anything else in the NFL. Both players and coaches alike frequently mention their appreciation for the "12s."

▼ Recent successes have inspired many fair-weather fans to jump on the bandwagon.

4. Buffalo Bills

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
7 2 4

▲ Buffalo's tailgate is rivaled only by Kansas City's for the best in the NFL.
▲ Despite being in a small, economically depressed market, Buffalo has managed to thrive in the NFL.
▲ "Shout" song gets Ralph Wilson Stadium into an absolute frenzy.
▲ Still among the most loyal fan bases despite crushing Super Bowl losses and longest active playoff drought.

3. Dallas Cowboys

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
3 4 5

▲ Topped the league in gross attendance in 2014.
▲ Although the stigma of "America's Team" can grow weary on some, the Cowboys' fan base is truly national and is one of the best travelling groups in the league.
▲ AT&T Stadium, affectionately known as Jerryworld, is so over-the-top it's beautiful. The stadium's giant video screens remain the gold standard for in-stadium opulence.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
2 3 2

▲ The best traveling fans in sports. The Steelers never play a true away game.
▲ There's rowdy and then there's Steelers fans rowdy.
▲ The Terrible Towel, though occasionally annoying, is iconic. The swaths of yellow strike fear in opponents.
▲ Heinz Field is always packed and boasts one of the league's best selections of food and beer.

1. Green Bay Packers

Woods Srinivasan Wilkins
1 1 1

▲ Green Bay is the smallest market in NFL, yet ranks near the top in stadium capacity percentage, TV ratings, merchandise sales, and social media reach.
▲ The Packers' season ticket waiting list has more than 81,000 names, making for an average wait of 30 years. Think about that for a minute.
▲ Fans are happy to sit outdoors in the bitter cold. Some of them choose not to wear shirts.
▲ Fans helped invent the Lambeau Leap, the ultimate interactive celebration.
▲ The only publicly-owned club in the league. Fans get to have a say in the running of the team.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox