Likability Index: Ranking the NFL's fan bases
Welcome to theScore's Likability Index, wherein we rank teams in several completely subjective categories to determine the NFL's most likable team.
- Fan Experience
- Final Verdict
Factors assessed in ranking likability of fan experience include stadium atmosphere, fan base loyalty, and unique traditions.
32. Atlanta Falcons
▼ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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 O.co Coliseum may offer the worst fan experience in the league.
▼ Fans have a reputation for terrorizing opposing supporters.
19. San Francisco 49ers
▲ 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
▲ "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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ Slightly less obnoxious than Jets fans.
▼ New York City will always be a Yankees town first and foremost.
13. Baltimore Ravens
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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
▲ 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.