There are people who claim to love their organization and the NFL, and there are people who aren’t as excited as they may lead on. But how can you tell who these people are? What’s the best way to determine the most passionate NFL-supporting cities? You do a survey, obviously.
The people at Livability were curious to determine which cities in the United States contained the most NFL-loving residents, so they enlisted the help of Experian Marketing Services and its Simmons National Consumer Study. If the average index score is 100, then each point above that number represents the percentage that residents of a particular city are “very” enthusiastic about the National Football League.
With the numbers doing all the work, here’s a look at the NFL’s four most passionate fan bases.
4. Detroit Lions
- Cities: Detroit, Marquette (Michigan)
- Index: 116
The Detroit Lions have fans who are more than just grammatical wizards, they’re also among the most passionate in the NFL. If the average index is 100 and the residents of both Detroit and Marquette each have an index score of 116, then these residents are 16% more likely to love their football than the average fan.
Considering the bleak history of the Lions organization, we can’t help but be surprised by this piece of information. After all, Detroit’s all-time regular-season record is 528-625-32, the team is 7-12 all time in the playoffs, and the organization has never won a Super Bowl. But you keep fighting the good fight, Lions fans. One day in the distant future, your overwhelming loyalty will pay off. Maybe.
3. New Orleans Saints
- Cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge (Louisiana)
- Index: 117
Residents of Baton Rouge and New Orleans are absolutely representing when it comes to loving the National Football League. These folks have 17% more pride for the league than the average Joe. You have to give it up for the Who Dat Nation. After suffering through the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, these fans banded together and found solace in their team of destiny.
When the New Orleans Saints took home the Super Bowl in 2009, they did so by feeding off the energy of a monumentally supportive group of survivors. These cities, and this team, became bigger than the sport itself. It’s no wonder that if you were travel to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who didn’t love the NFL (and their trusted Saints).
2. Green Bay Packers
- Cities: Green Bay, Milwaukee (Wisconsin)
- Index: 118
The residents of Green Bay and Milwaukee feel an overwhelming connection to the Packers. It’s a tie that goes beyond the love of a sports franchise. They are a piece of the organization; a genuine part of the franchise. The reason for this is because the Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned nonprofit corporation, and it’s been that way since August 18, 1923.
Some of these folks literally own a part of the team. How awesome is that? The Packers have a rich tradition of excellence that features four Super Bowls and 13 championships in all. They have Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr and Reggie White. They have Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. At Lambeau Field — frozen tundra and all — you will see football at its purist form. For these reasons and more, the cheeseheads completely love the National Football League.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
- City: Pittsburgh
- Index: 119
The rough, tough, and hardworking folks of Pittsburgh top the list of the NFL’s most passionate fanbase. At 19% above the average, there are no cities in the United States that can say their residents are more interested in pro football than those who reside in the Steel City.
What makes these fans cheer so hard for the Black and Gold? Years and years of winning. The Steelers franchise has been to the Super Bowl on eight different occasions and have lifted the Lombardi Trophy six times. That sort of success breeds loyalty and support. Like it or not, this group has every reason to wave that Terrible Towel. Congratulations, people of Pittsburgh. “Yinz” done your city proud.
To see the rest of Livability’s list of NFL-loving cities, click here.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.