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Taking a sTroll with Divisional Round Combatants

Remember when the exact same number of fans all screaming at the top of their lungs could only muster 112 decibels? It would take 30 times the energy to hit the new record of 142 decibels, but the laws of physics don't apply to Seattle and KC fans.
Taking a sTroll with Divisional Round Combatants
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In last week’s predictions, I analyzed the playoff field, which included the size of the markets, team’s success, and fan bases. This week it will differ slightly to show the gap between the last championship, and will swap the “best fans” category with most obnoxious. This highly opinionated subject is now a separate article. In this particular study, six published and fairly consistent rankings were analyzed. Google “Obnoxious fans” and you will find more than a dozen lists, many trolling based on the fan writing the article (eg. an admitted Bears fan ranked the Packers as the most obnoxious). I attempted to filter the lists to include the most objective. Comments were added below, paraphrasing relevant opinions from the lists. In addition, the rankings were statistically normalized, and final rankings differed slightly from those normalizations based on my personal experiences (I’ve attended roughly 100 games in a dozen stadiums).
 
My personal criteria included the number of fans who show up home and away when times are good compared to bad (possibly legitimizing some of their obnoxicity…It’s a word), their interaction with away fans during home games and vice versa, and the constant need to show and discuss one’s fandom outside of the stadium. Think of it as a combination of the memes: how do you know someone is a vegan? Don’t worry they will tell you (and explain why you should also be one); and how do you know how awesome someone is at long distance running? Don’t worry, they will have bumper stickers with big numbers printed on them. The larger the number, the cooler they are. For this reason, it’s sad to see the Raiders leave the playoffs. Their fans would have given “the 12th man” a run for their money. At least their team made the playoffs unlike those fans found in neighboring San Fran or in “The City of Brotherly Love”.
 
 

Oldest (year)Championships (year)Championship gap Most Obnoxious Fan Bases***Obnoxious based on list average
Packers (1921)Packers- 13* (29*, 30*, 31*, 36, 39, 44, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67, 96, 10)Patriot - 1SeahawksPatriots
Steelers (19330Steelers 6 (75, 76, 79, 80, 06, 09)Seahawks - 2PatriotsCowboys
Chiefs (1959)Cowboys 5 (71, 77, 92, 93, 95)Packers - 5SteelersSteelers
Patriots (1959)Patriots 4 (01, 03, 04, 14)Steelers - 6CowboysPackers
Cowboys (1960)Chiefs 3 (62, 66, 69)Texans - 17FalconsSeahawks
Falcons (1965)Seahawks 1 (13)Cowboys - 20ChiefsChiefs
Seahawks (1974)Texans 0Chiefs - 46PackersFalcons
Texans (1999)Falcons 0Falcons - 50TexansTexans

 
 
*prior to 1933, the league standings leader was crowned champion
**prior to the AFL/NFL merger (1966 – 1969), the AFL and NFL crowned individual champions regardless of Super Bowl outcome.
***Not an exact reflection of the ranking lists as mentioned. As an example, I’ve followed Seattle and their fanbase from their AFC West days and know them well. And for those who are offended, I am a Ravens fan would have ranked my home team fairly high on this list (and last week’s list) if they actually made the playoffs. Ravens fans are great and loyal, but can be obnoxious at times and can be seen wearing horrible pants.
 
 
Details on “obnoxious” list:
1. Seahawks – Fake noise (that started in the Kingdome days), 12th man ceremony, ~12 men showed up at their first Super Bowl, recently learned how to travel and attract bandwagon fans after more than 40 years in the NFL. Yes, Seahawks fans, your original screaming crazy fan base noise record was 112 decibels. Learn the laws of physics or look at an audio physics equation to calculate the likelihood of getting to 132 decibels let alone 140+. You might want to sue the team when the sound they are pumping through the speakers ruins your hearing. A talking human speaks at 70 and screams at 88. A gunshot is about 140 decibels.
2. Patriots – SpyGate, DeflateGate… Question Pats fans about it. Half will tell you it didn’t happen, and the other half will say “everyone does it”. Add in the Tuck Rule, high/low QB hit rules, the fact that Pats’ fans were tantamount to Bengals fans in the early 90’s when they owned a 17-game television blackout streak followed by record-breaking attendance totals in seasons after a Super Bowl appearance. You can understand why many lists had them #1.
3. Steelers – Bumper stickers, license plates, gym bags, towels… every Steelers fan loves to publically show their loyalty, no matter if the setting is appropriate or not. Away fans aren’t terrible when compared to Raiders, Eagles, or Cowboys (and a few others) minus the close towel waving, although I have watched a few get tossed around me, even pre-game. The Steelers sellout every game, but 5K to 19K fans (no shows) either continue their tailgating or are completing honey-do lists, especially during primetime games. This has resulted in questioning by Roger Goodell and a light wrist slap. During the 2016 season, the Steelers one primetime home game had over 7,100 no shows (week 17 they had over 13K which is still high even if the game didn’t matter). Donate your tickets to charity or to those who can’t afford to attend, people!
4. Cowboys – No fan has taken more pride in a 20-year championship drought than Cowboy fans. As a matter of fact, the Cowboys haven’t won a divisional round game in those 20 years and have just three wild card wins. They still show up to talk shows and away stadiums bragging about rusty hardware and rings. It’s easy to get a ticket to their stadium however. Their fans also wear a lot of paraphernalia, but its even more inappropriate as Cowboys fans tend to be about 20 years older than your average fan.
5. Falcons – Last on many lists because nobody has seen them in the stadium or on the road, probably because they don’t care about any professional sports team unless they make a Championship game. Its at that time the team will make a music video so fans know who they are.
6. Chiefs – Travel similarly to fans of a college team when good, but also show up on the road when bad. They get a negative mark for their home attendance struggles, although they have had some horrible teams recently. They also get negative marks for their noise competition with Seahawks fans, and seem to have similar issues with their sound system.
7. Packers – They were ranked high on a few of these lists, but the only “obnoxious” traits described were oversized cheese hats, that cheeseheads infiltrated opposing stadiums, and the constant talk of Packers history. Those traits might be an annoyance, but they are generally overly nice and respectful in away stadiums.
8. Texans – Does anyone care? One ranking (Thrillist.com) said it best: “No, they’re not America’s Team. No, they’re not Texas’ team — that one wears burnt orange. Hell, they’re not even Houston’s team, since THAT team plays in Nashville. But, hey, it’s a big city, and it’s football, and it’s an excuse to go grill something on a Sunday, so why not? And since you’re all just kind of Texans fans by default, nobody gets too worked up about things.”

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