They’re passionate, loyal, loud, and brash. NFL fans are truly one of the greatest parts of football, creating a unique experience at every stadium in the league. But which NFL devotees are the very best? Emory University released a report that ranked supporters of each team based on social, road, and fan equity. Here are the teams with fans that finished in the top 10.
10. New Orleans Saints
Few fans had a situation as hopeless as the New Orleans Saints in the ’80s and ’90s. It was so bad some of them wore bags over their heads. Fortunately, the team served as a source of inspiration for the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The fans’ passion for the Saints was rewarded with a Super Bowl upset win in 2010.
9. San Francisco 49ers
With five Super Bowls wins, the San Francisco 49ers are tied with Dallas for second-most championships of all-time. It’s been a while since their supporters have seen prolonged success, though. The 49ers have had quite a few losing seasons recently, and the team even moved out of San Francisco. Still, their fanbase remains loyal.
8. Chicago Bears
The Monsters of the Midway are one of the NFL’s oldest, most historic franchises. So, it makes sense that the Bears have a fanbase to match their history. Chicago may be coming off a heartbreaking playoff loss, but they still boast one of the most loyal fanbases.
7. Denver Broncos
For all their recent success, the Denver Broncos were once synonymous with losing Super Bowls. In the ’80s, they lost three of them. But their fanbase stuck with them to see John Elway go from winning two himself to leading the team to a championship as an executive in 2016.
6. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers’ faithful ought to be good fans — after all, they own the team. Packers’ enthusiasts are famous for being passionate despite playing in the NFL’s smallest media market. Few NFL experiences rival the atmosphere of a game at Lambeau Field, and that’s all due to the crowd.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are one of the NFL’s most consistently excellent franchises and their fans generally match this quality. In fact, FS1 sports host Colin Cowherd once referred to Steeler Nation as the NFL’s greatest fanbase. It’s not surprising. The team’s stellar track record gives supporters little reason to abandon ship. They haven’t finished with a record under .500 since 2003.
4. New York Giants
New York Giants fans have seen two eras of greatness sandwich some lousy seasons. Bill Parcells led the team to two Super Bowls in the late ’80s and early ’90s while Eli Manning pulled off two miraculous upsets against New England in 2008 and 2012. Between those years? Giants’ fans proved their dedication by sticking with some mediocre teams led by the likes of QBs Kent Graham and Dave Brown.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
They’ve booed opposing players. They’ve booed their own players. They’ve even booed Santa Claus. Philadelphia fans are known for being rather raucous. They’re also fiercely loyal, staying with the Eagles through the disappointing ’90s to the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb near-successes all the way to a Super Bowl win in 2018.
2. New England Patriots
Winning six titles in the first 20 years of a century certainly creates a loyal fanbase. But younger devotees may not recall the Patriots’ leaner years. New England lost the Super Bowl to the powerhouse Chicago Bears in 1985 and to Brett Favre’s Packers in 1997 — with a lot of average and bad years in between. Few fanbases have earned success like New England’s supporters.
1. Dallas Cowboys
They’re not known as “America’s Team” for nothing. The Cowboys have a huge following in Texas, but they’re also the most nationally popular team. You can’t travel far in the U.S. without seeing someone wearing Dallas Cowboys merchandise.