What would football be with out the fans? For that matter, what would any sport be if it wasn’t for the fans? Could you imagine being a NFL player lining up with your team to run out on the field to confront your biggest rival team in a Super Bowl and not seeing a single fan in the stadium? Face it, as much as we love the players, they wouldn’t be playing if it wasn’t for us fans.
So just who would you choose as the best all time professional football fans? Well, I have to tell you it was a tough call for me. Now, although I reside in Wisconsin and rightly should be a Packers fan, I am not, and although my favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys and yes, I am a huge fan, but despite the fact they have the signature cheerleaders I still cannot rank their fan base in the best ever group.
Against my own favorite team, I would have to say that as far as fan base goes, the NFL Steelers take it, but not by much over the loudest fans ever, the Packers.
You can be guaranteed that when you enter the Pittsburg stadium you will find it overflowing with Steelers fans. Despite the economy, Steelers fans have stood the test of time and money. Rather then piddling their money away throughout a year on Starbucks or other frivolous things, true Steelers fans turn their nickels into dimes just so they can catch a game or two and even travel to catch the away games. Even through the whole Bret Favre craze, people living just a mere hour from the NFL Packers’ stadium didn’t go to such extremes as Steelers fans to catch a game. So based on loyalty alone, the Steelers’ fans take the cake and icing too as the best NFL fans.
Packers Fans during Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings.
Thanks to flickr.com for the picture. Source: Bjorn Hanson
Climate I feel plays a factor as well. Both the Steelers and the Packers play in some frigid temperatures and the fans still sell out the stadiums. However, the Steelers sold out a shocking 229 consecutive games. Now that is devotion. Fans come from as far as Mexico to catch a game baring their loyalty in their yellow and black attire. But probably one of the biggest shockers for football fans is the massive amount of female fans the Steelers have accumulated throughout the years. Where there are women, especially women who love football you can bet your bottom dollar the men will follow! If that doesn’t build a fan base I like to know what does, and another reason why the NFL Steelers take the show when it comes to the best all time pro football fan base.
Probably the most well known fan symbol is the "Terrible Towel" that made its grand debut at the play off game against the Colts on December 27th, 1975. The Terrible Towel started as a gimmick to attract sponsors to Myron Cope’s daily commentaries and talk show and grew to be a standing symbol for the Steelers waved by 10’s of thousands of fans at every game, home or away. What started as a gimmick has now raised over 2.5 million dollars that has gone to the Allegheny Valley School to aid in the care and education of mentally and physically disabled individuals.
Fans cheer loudly after a big play for the Steelers. Thanks to flickr.com for the picture.
The Steelers stadium stays packed with loud and adoring fans - fans that take a loss hard. These same fans make a point to make a huge presence on the other teams fields as well and even when a season isn’t going as planned, the Steelers fans stand behind their team 100%.
A true fan is never a turncoat in times of hardship. You can count on great pre and post tail gating parties and seeing some interesting get ups worn by the truest of fans. And the most significant qualifying factor that makes Steelers fans, hands down, the best professional football fan base in history, is that everyone, who isn’t a Steelers fan -- loves to hate them.
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