FanDuel - WFBC

October 02, 2007

Most Popular NFL Teams (in Order): Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, Packers: This year's Harris poll of NFL team popularity has the Dallas Cowboys passing the Pittsburgh Steelers to claim the top spot, ahead of the fast-climbing Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers. The least popular team for the third straight year: My Jacksonville Jaguars.

posted by rcade to football at 06:34 PM - 73 comments

I don't understand why Jacksonville would be the least favorite team. Does anyone outside a 40 mile radius from the stadium actually care one way or the other?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:44 PM on October 02

I seem to be the only person that doesn't like what Tony Romo is turning into.. I mean, I knew all along he was a good quarterback, and he's doing a great job, but his instant super-stardom got to his head almost immediately. I say this as a person who knows how he was as a rookie, and someone who can see the difference in his attitude now..

posted by freeze_over98 at 07:49 PM on October 02

When the Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league,you never heard anything about them.Now that they have a pretty good team and Tony Romo as their quarterback,what, all of a sudden they're back as football's most popular team?A bunch of bull to me.If you have a team that's supposed to be your favorite team,you should stick by them,win or lose.Just ask any Patriots fan who went through the tough years of 2-14,1-15,4-12,3-13,etc. or any other team that never won too often.[Saints?] Just my opinion of how it seems that some people seem to jump on the band wagon when once an elite team falls to the bottom,and then starts to win again,they suddenly gain popularity.

posted by Ghastly1 at 07:55 PM on October 02

America's Team My Ass Anyway... when I was growing up (in Chicago, Bahamas, Guam, San Diego, Durango, Panama City - etc, etc) I'd watch sports with Dad, but he didn't ever have any favourite teams, just "wanted to see a good game" - but I wanted to root for somebody, so had to come up with some reason - it was usually about how cool the logo and/or mascot was. Bengals cool, Browns not, Raiders cool, 49ers not-so-much. And the old, ugly Pats icon? No.

posted by bobfoot at 08:12 PM on October 02

Here is the correct link for 2007: click here Another part of the poll was who will win the superbowl this year: Indianapolis Colts 25 New England Patriots 23 San Diego Chargers 8 Dallas Cowboys 7 Pittsburgh Steelers 6 Texan_in_NY, the question was who are your favorite 2 (not rank them all best to worst). rcade, you must be happy to know the Jags were middle of the pack for the superbowl question.

posted by endorfin at 08:17 PM on October 02

Pleasant surprise to see my Cardinals finish so high on the list!!! ;)

posted by Bozemanite at 08:42 PM on October 02

It's a good thing that the games aren't decided by popularity contests. I'll love seeing how many bandwagon jumpers there will be when Jacksonville is still winning in January (ok, a guy can dream right?). But if you want to jump on that bandwagon now, go ahead, apparently we have plenty of room.

posted by jagsnumberone at 09:39 PM on October 02

As a Broncos fan, I actually hope the Jags go deep considering how they manhandled us two weeks ago. Plus, my sister used to live there. Something tells me that Chargers ranking would drop way down if they did the poll this week. Poor Norv Turner.

posted by drumdance at 11:34 PM on October 02

among 2,392 U.S. adults, of whom 1,182 follow professional football. Less than half the people in the poll even follow football so what does the poll really mean. The teams are being ranked by who markets more effectively or more often.

posted by Familyman at 11:38 PM on October 02

Actually, the 2,392 adults were the basis of the entire poll, including questions about whether or not they followed football. When it comes down to the graph of favorite teams, you will see directly above it the qualifier "Base: Adults who follow professional football"

posted by tahoemoj at 12:32 AM on October 03

Google Trends, although a touch less reputable in the world of polling than Harris, but always also confirms the Cowboys as pretty consistently America's Team, and the gap seems to be widening this year. Link I'm pretty bleh about the Cowboys (although I did probably Google them a few times last year to watch youtube videos of Romo dropping the game loser) but still interesting. Of course, the nice thing about fair weather fans, is it gives teams a financial incentive to compete. Gets people in the seats and wearing your licensed apparel. Speaking of which, I can apparently finally buy some Browns merchandise, and be the 13th most popular person in Anytown, USA.

posted by bmauger at 01:21 AM on October 03

Proud bandwagon-hopper here. I like to root for winners. I live in the Bay Area, and the 49ers and Raiders are laughing-stocks of the league. What, am I to sit in the wings waiting for them to bloom in five seasons? No, I enjoy watching the game to the bitter finals with a cause to celebrate. This season, I'm a Pats, Cowboys, Colts, Favre, and Vince Young fan. I guarantee I know more than 90% of each fanbase too about "their" teams. I probably also cheer way louder and am more enthusiastic. Am I probably missing something? Sure. Nothing beats a resurgence after several heartbreak seasons backing the same pony. But here's the thing: who am I backing exactly? To me, I like to back players. Meaning I've been a Green Bay fan for several years and will probably stop once Favre retires. I'm in my mid-twenties and have lived eight different places since I was born. I'm moving again in a few months. Geography's out of the question. So do I choose a team off of team colors? What's left? That's right: the players. And coaches. Personnel changes, as do my allegiances. Just to add a little perspective for the oft-quiet minority of your token fairweather fan.

posted by charlatan at 03:39 AM on October 03

I don't watch American Football but if I did I'd support the Steelers. Just thought you'd all like to know that.

posted by squealy at 05:00 AM on October 03

Any particular reason?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:17 AM on October 03

I grew up fans of the Dodgers, Celtics & 49ers. My emotions rose and dropped with their respective luck. I cried in '88 when Kirk Gibson hit his historic home-run. The Catch. "Bird steals the ball!". They all mean something to me. Those allegiances have softened over the years, although they still exist, I will typically pick teams to cheer for on the fly. Free agency has created that atmosphere. No longer do I die a little inside when one of those teams tanks. I'm not sure exactly at what point all this started happening, but I feel like I've lost something in the transition. I'm much like charlatan now. I pick players to root for and usually wind up rooting for whatever team they happen to be on. As a soccer fan, I do have those same emotions attached to the US National Team and Liverpool. I hurt when the Brasilian women beat us last week. I hurt in last years Champion's League final. Another aspect of the fair weather fan these days is fantasy football. I root for the players on my team and against the players on my opponents team. I don't necessarily think it's to blame for my soullessness as I've never played fantasy baseball or basketball. As much as I enjoy it, I think Tiki Barber is probably right when he said it is ruining football (from the fan's perspective). But it's here to stay so football has to find a way around that. As for the hurt, I miss it.

posted by Ricardo at 07:21 AM on October 03

The Steelers & Cowboys & Packer still rock and always will, even when they lose, the fans stick with these teams thru thck & thin.....the rest of the teams are all bandwagon teams........

posted by steelerbroad at 07:51 AM on October 03

I don't like that the Cowboys are considered America's team, but it is probably true. I live in Washington Redskins' land and there are tons of Cowboys fans here. I think it is mainly youthful rebellion that stuck. I am surprised that the Panthers are so high (14th) on the list. They are an expansion team.

posted by bperk at 08:33 AM on October 03

I grew up in Dallas rooting for the Pokes and am now living in Jacksonville. Dallas was a hard team to pull for during the Gailey/Campo/Parcells years. They were inconsistent, constantly changing direction, and towards the end Parcells' mopey demeanor spread throughout the organization. Today, they're fun. Romo's having a blast, T.O. hasn't pulled a major stunt in months, the defense rocks and they've got in Jason Garrett an up-and-coming offensive coordinator. I'm more of a Jags fan these days, even though I think they're going downhill. Del Rio has fired coordinators every year he's been here, GM Shack Harris has assembled the weakest wide receiver corps in the league, and fans are staying away to the point that the future of the franchise is in doubt. I think the Jags are the least popular team because they have no history, an extremely small market, and a state in which the Dolphins and Bucs compete for the rest of Florida. The only way that changes is if the team makes a long run of greatness, which is how the Colts have attracted so many bandwagoners.

posted by rcade at 08:44 AM on October 03

I am surprised that the Panthers are so high (14th) on the list. They are an expansion team. They're in a fast-growing population center that was long deprived of its own pro football team.

posted by rcade at 08:45 AM on October 03

steelerbroad, how can you say that only the Packers, Steelers, and Cowboys are the only ones who have true fans? I think you'd be hard pressed to find any bandwagon fans on for the Lions. Every team has it's core fan base that follows no matter the W/L ratio. The more successful your team is, the more likely you are to attract bandwagon fans, but when times turn bad some of the bandwagon fans stick and become part of the core.

posted by apoch at 09:37 AM on October 03

I don't think steelerbroad meant that those teams are the only ones with "true fans". Of course other teams have true fans. I think she means that a large percentage of the fanbase in those cities are not fairweather fans. Those 3 teams will always be near the top of these type of polls.

posted by Steel_Town at 10:18 AM on October 03

Texan_in_NY, the question was who are your favorite 2 (not rank them all best to worst). endorfin, You might want to look at the text rcade wrote after the FPP. First, there is no question about 2 top teams (or any question at all) and second, he brought up the Jaguars issue. Maybe you were reading another post and resonded in this one. Either way, the next time you want to correct me, know what the fuck you're talking about.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:18 AM on October 03

apoch, To back steelerbroad, I am not doubting true fans for other teams but I was one of the 125,000 fans that left Pittsburgh and took over the city of Detroit for several days when the Super bowl was there and nothing against all the other teams, but watch a steeler game sometime. It always sounds like they are the home team. NO ONE TRAVELS BETTER THEN THE STEELERS. We are the stalkers of the NFL

posted by Debo270 at 10:19 AM on October 03

I think part of the problem with the Jags is the uniforms. They're not so much ugly as chaotic, and that blue is too close to pastel for my taste. Uniforms are also why the Cowboys are up so high, as are the Steelers and Colts. Their designs are simple, stylish and basically the same as they've been for decades. Same with the Pack. Hey, the Bucs didn't do well until they changed their unis, and neither did the Broncos. How you look matters, as my old finance professor used to say: "You look good, you feel good; you feel good, you do good." Silly but true.

posted by Uncle Mikey at 10:25 AM on October 03

You might want to look at the text rcade wrote after the FPP. First, there is no question about 2 top teams (or any question at all) and second, he brought up the Jaguars issue. I believe they figured out popularity by asking "what are your two favorite NFL teams." (Table 3).

posted by bperk at 10:32 AM on October 03

I believe they figured out popularity by asking "what are your two favorite NFL teams." (Table 3). I get it: semantics. My apologies, endorfin.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:38 AM on October 03

For some reason I was always a Baltimore fan. Colts, Orioles, Bullets. A little strange since I grew up in NW Illinois. I was somewhat happy when the Colts moved to Indy, just because they were closer. I was still a fan for some really bad years and went to my first game pre-Manning. Glad to still be a Colts fan after 40 years and 3 Super Bowls (2 wins). I didn't follow the Bullets to Washington and could care less about Pro basketball. Unfortunately the crap the pros call basketball keeps working its way down to college, high school and even grade school. The Oriole luster left with Ripken my "twin" (born same day, same year). I'll cheer for the lovable losers (Cubs) even though I don't follow the game anymore. Open wheel racing is the only sport worth anything anyway!!! Never saw a strike, owner's lockout, doping scandal, etc., etc. there.

posted by FSCCA6 at 10:57 AM on October 03

NO ONE TRAVELS BETTER THEN THE STEELERS. We are the stalkers of the NFL They just want to get out of Pittsburg. Kidding. But who am I to talk? We're number 20! We're number 20!

posted by THX-1138 at 12:05 PM on October 03

Open wheel racing is the only sport worth anything anyway!!! You realize this is a sports related web site? And you're in a thread about football? And racing isn't a sport?

posted by Ricardo at 12:37 PM on October 03

Drive fast!!!! Turn left!!! Repeat!!!! The keys to victory

posted by Debo270 at 12:56 PM on October 03

Debo, I don't buy your assertation that Pittsburgh has a better core fanbase because they travel well, especially to a Superbowl where the other team was much further away. I disagreed with steelerbroads claim that only the Steelers et al have true fans and not bandwagon fans. Definitions - Bandwagon fans: Fans that only stick around while a team is successful. Core Fans: Fans that follow the team even when they stink. Looking at the stats since 1978 (the start of the 16 game schedule), the Steelers have 20 winning seasons, 7 losing seasons, and 2 .500 seasons. They've never done worse than 5 and 11. They have a record of 268-187-1 for a .587 winning percentage. Over that time period, they've never had three nonwinning seasons in a row (and two in a row only twice). Not much time for bandwagon fans to jump off. Let us compare the Steelers to the Lions. Over the same time frame 8 winning seasons, 19 losings seasons, 2 .500 seasons. The Lions 2 seasons each of 2, 3 and 4 win totals. (not counting the four win strike shortened season in 1987). Total record for that time: 182-273-1 for a .399 winning percentage. During this time frame the Lions have only had a winning season strike once, from 1993 through 1995. Three seasons. They've had consecutively losing streaks of 2, 2, 7, 2, and the current streak of 6. Almost no time for band wagon fans to jump on. By definition, anyone cheering on the lions any time before this year would almost certaintly be a core fan. Sure the Steelers are more popular than the Lions, but that is because the Steelers are more successful.

posted by apoch at 01:20 PM on October 03

apoch, You have way to much free time. Sorry but you do.

posted by Debo270 at 01:29 PM on October 03

Apoch, I think in Pittsburgh, Dallas and Greenbay we difine a bad season as: A season when the team doesn't go to the Playoffs. How about before the 70's, the Steelers stunk but people still went to Forbes field to watch them. I can only speak for Pittsburgh with confidence, but Steeler fans are core fans. There are very few fairwether fans. Infact, if you live in a major city there is probably a Steeler bar in your town.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:31 PM on October 03

How about the Mark Malone/Bubby Brister days. We sucked ass but 68,000seats at three rivers were always full. Like i said. Watch a steeler away game. Most times the crowd makes it sound like they are at home.

posted by Debo270 at 01:34 PM on October 03

Brett Keisel got the away crowd to get louder on third down during last weeks game. When have you ever seen the visiting team hype the crowd.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:41 PM on October 03

the rest of the teams are all bandwagon teams Really? You might want to tell that to long suffering Jets Fans (in the process of enduring another long season) who have sold out all their home games since 1979. This includes such epic years as 1996, when they were 1-15. In fact, in my years spent in the Northeast, I've yet to find a team that doesn't have a solid hard core group of fans that support them through thick and thin, including the Jets, Giants, Pats, Eagles, Redskins and Bills. And for those of you who are bandwagon fans, the thick is indeed better after being enduring years of thin.

posted by cjets at 01:48 PM on October 03

I've yet to find a team that doesn't have a solid hard core group of fans that support them through thick and thin I have to agree with this.

posted by Steel_Town at 02:04 PM on October 03

To really judge bandwagon teams just look at attendance on game day. Although the Steelers / Cowboys and others that are near the top of that list have had poor seasons from time to time and I am sure attendance was probably down a little those years it still remains that they sold more tickets those years than many of the "winning" teams did. If you can sell your stadium out or 80% or higher on those down years then my friend those are real fans not the "bandwagon" variety.

posted by T.C. at 02:06 PM on October 03

Speaking as a fairweather fan, I can attest to our powers of destroying teams we support. Look at the job we did on the GS Warriors in the playoffs. What was once home to loud throngs of core Oakland-area fans became the coliseum of Silicon Valley socialites once they got past Round 1 of the playoffs against the #1-ranked Mavs. Ticket prices shot through the roof and quiet rooters replaced the decibel-blaring charge of the core fans. Homecourt advantage lost its dominance. Then we moved on to the next underdog after the Jazz trounced them. We're really like a pack of vultures.

posted by charlatan at 02:18 PM on October 03

debo, Your argument is based entirely on what you wish to believe. Confronted with a counter-argument, you duck and cover. Sorry, but you do.

posted by yerfatma at 02:37 PM on October 03

You have way to much free time. Sorry but you do. Anyone who gets in a pissing match over which NFL team has a "better fan base" has way too much free time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:54 PM on October 03

debo and steel_town, I'm not saying that the Steelers don't have good fans. My point is this: Bandwagon fans are attracted to succesful teams. Over the last 28 years the Steelers have been pretty good. They are more likely to have bandwagon fans than teams that haven't been very good, such as the Lions or Cardinals or (new) Browns. It logically follows that popularity polls will favor successful teams because they have more support from fans who only like to cheer for successful teams.

posted by apoch at 03:52 PM on October 03

This whole survey would be better if they would expand it to include people who don't live in the state of Texas...

posted by steeldude at 03:56 PM on October 03

This whole survey would be better if they would expand it to include people who don't live in the state of Texas... I think that one's going to need some clarification. I sense some sort of sarcasm, but just don't get it, I guess. Steeldude, is there something you see that I don't or are you being somehow deliberately obtuse?

posted by tahoemoj at 05:09 PM on October 03

Until the Carolina Panthers gave me a home team I was one of those people whose support flopped around every few years, so I understand how that can work. I grew up in NC and we were supposed to be Redskins territory, but for some reason I could never stand them. But I found personalities I liked and then stuck with that team. "Mini" Mack Herron and then Steve Grogan in New England, Steve Deberg in Tampa, Dino Hackett in KC. It was never a concious decision, I just found myself rooting for them. And I'm sure that is what has driven Indy up to #2. Hard not to like Peyton Manning. But now I have a franchise 90 miles down the road and all that has changed. Now I'm a Panthers fan, just like I've been a Baltimore Orioles and Wake Forest fan all my life. So if you see Julius Peppers wandering around your town please send him back to Charlotte and get rid of the imposter that's been playing left tackle!

posted by gradioc at 05:44 PM on October 03

Dino Hackett in KC. Appalachian State, if I remember correctly. I also loved Deberg in KC. Damn that was a fun team to root for.

posted by hawkguy at 05:51 PM on October 03

I think that one's going to need some clarification. I sense some sort of sarcasm, but just don't get it, I guess. Steeldude, is there something you see that I don't or are you being somehow deliberately obtuse? How dare you call steeldude deliberate!

posted by THX-1138 at 05:54 PM on October 03

I'd like to respond to Ghastly, who claims nobody followed the Cowboys when they were no good. I invite him to look at Table 3 in the Harris Survey, which shows that Dallas was never worse than second place in terms of fan popularity (with the exception of 2002, when they fell to 4th):

 1998 1st 10-6 1999 1st  8-8 2002 4th  5-11 2003 1st 10-6 2004 2nd  6-10 2005 2nd  9-7 2006 2nd  9-7 2007 1st  4-0 

For an 8-8 team to be the fan favorite (1999), or a 6-10 team to finish second overall (2004) I think indicates that Cowboy fans do indeed follow their team even when they aren't winning Super Bowls.

Caveat: since this season just started and the Cowboys are already rated no. 1 overall, I think the rating should be matched up with the previous year's record; but even that produces an interesting result: the 2002 team finished 5-11, and by the next season, they were once again rated #1 overall!

posted by fgoodwin at 05:59 PM on October 03

My two favorite NFL teams Arizona Cardinals ...and whoever is playing against the Dallas Cowboys!!

posted by Bozemanite at 06:31 PM on October 03

I myself just like to watch a good close football game with lots of action, regardless of who is playing. But I do pick a favorite of that particular game. As someone who witnessed the "Kardiac Kids" of the 70's-early 80's (?) I have watched the Browns snatch defeat from the jaws of victory too many times. And I just could never bring myself to be a Browns fan despite living in Canton, Ohio. I was a long time Raiders fan, because I like the "bad boys" and they were it. Got away from football while married. After we split and I got back into football, I became a Pittsburgh Steeler fan because I like the blue collar work ethic that is Pittsburgh (the town) and I spent 24 yrs in a steel mill. When the day comes that they have a bad year(s), I will still be a fan. There will always been a few teams that will consistently rank in the top 5 who draw the "fair weather fans". But hey, everyone likes a winner! And I see we have a few new Steeler fans on board here! Nice.

posted by steelergirl at 09:28 PM on October 03

DALLAS Rocks. Always has, always will. Face it, they are the best franchise whether you love or hate them. And, it is one or the other. But, played in more super bowls than any other team (some have never even been there), and won as many as any other team (tied with SF and PIT). So, some of the winningest programs in all of sports with an owner that will pay anything for more. "How 'Bout them Cowboys"?

posted by Mickster at 09:40 PM on October 03

But Mickster, the Chicago Bears have 26 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Green Bay lists 21. The Pittsburgh Steelers have 17. The Cowboys? 10. So "the best franchise" is a bit much if you ask me.

posted by steelergirl at 10:00 PM on October 03

Your argument is based entirely on what you wish to believe. Confronted with a counter-argument, you duck and cover. Sorry, but you do. Thats because you scare me so

posted by Debo270 at 06:54 AM on October 04

Of course only 1 team has played in the big game more than once and won every time ... and that would be the 5-0 San Francisco 49ers. Pittsburgh: 5-1 Dallas: 5-3 And the only other undefeated Super Bowl teams: Tampa Bay: 1-0 New York Jets: 1-0 Baltimore: 1-0 And I agree the "best franchise" isn't necessarily the most popular franchise. Best is such a non-tangible idea with way too many variables to actually be determined. There will never be a best franchise.

posted by Ricardo at 07:31 AM on October 04

Steelers fans have such an away presence because there are Pittsbourgeoisie living all over the place; a massive number of Steelers fans show up to games in, say, San Diego, because a massive number of steeltowners emigrate every year to somewhere, anywhere, nicer. Like San Diego. Cowboys have lots of fans because they're a historically winning team, and kids who aren't taught about sportsmanship and the joy of the game, win or lose, but instead learn that winning is everything and backing a winner is like winning yourself, start rooting for them early. Of course, these kids grow into warped adults who probably root for the Yankees and the Lakers and Chelsea from their home in Cleveland. I'm not on about local fans of these teams; Texans and Penn/Ohio/WVians who root for the Cowboys or Steelers, respectively, are just like fans elsewhere, no matter what airs of superiority they take on for their teams having been historically good (or their team owners having been historically deep in the pockets). It's the fan diaspora that makes the difference, and there's a different story behind each.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:45 AM on October 04

Steelers fans have such an away presence because there are Pittsbourgeoisie living all over the place; a massive number of Steelers fans show up to games in, say, San Diego, because a massive number of steeltowners emigrate every year to somewhere, anywhere, nicer. Like San Diego. Rand-McNally holding on line one.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:09 AM on October 04

One winning season does not a perennial champion make.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:29 AM on October 04

Face it, they are the best franchise whether you love or hate them. And, it is one or the other. No. While I was growing up, the SF 49ers were the best. Now, it's the Pats. I feel okay hating both of them (though I don't really hate the 49ers anymore, I respect what they accomplished). I don't feel strongly one way or the other about the Cowboys. They haven't been to the Super Bowl (in a weak NFC) for more than 10 years. They had a good little run 10-15 years ago, but that seems like a long time ago now.

posted by bperk at 09:36 AM on October 04

Crafty, maybe Hugh means that fans from Pittsburgh move to nicer places, like San Diego. Or not. Maybe Hugh needs one of those "such as" maps. Unless they only make them for "the Iraq" and Asia and South Africa;)

posted by steelergirl at 12:00 PM on October 04

NO ONE TRAVELS BETTER THEN THE STEELERS. We are the stalkers of the NFL They just want to get out of Pittsburg. Who said that?

posted by THX-1138 at 12:11 PM on October 04

The reason there are so many out of town Steeler fans is because of the econonmy. The Steel, manufacturing and similar industries went down hill. People had to move or go to school.

posted by Steel_Town at 12:22 PM on October 04

I think what HJ meant (or maybe not and I should let it go...nah) was that the people leave Pittsburgh, or other cities in the region to seek a city like San Diego, where the weather is nicer. I grew up in Cincinnati, and happen to love the cities and the people of Cincy, Cleveland, Louisville, Chicago, Pittsburgh, et al. but the weather there is the shits. Cincy once won the same most liveable city honor, but the heat in summer and the cold in winter guarantee I'll never live there again. Then again he might have meant that those cities are inferior for another reason. Then, pfffft.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:30 PM on October 04

Standard bandwagon teams. Ever notice guys that the biggest fans of the Raiders, Cowboys and Steelers are NEVER from the city or state? Bandwagoners are the scum of sports fans.

posted by Brahdakine at 01:09 PM on October 04

Yeah, tahoemoj, that's more or less what I meant; there's a good fifty years of Pittsburgh fans leaving the city for greener pastures, whether for weather, jobs, or the hell of it (a few years of being a destination doesn't change a few dozen years of being a departure point). Every city in America is stacked with Pittsburgh fans who moved to that city from Pittsburgh. They live elsewhere, but when their team comes to town, look out! They'll be at the game. It makes it seem like there are more traveling Steelers fans than there actually are; in fact there are many more away fans than traveling fans, because a great number of away fans don't have to travel to see away games. I don't know that this is unique to Steelers fans, but it is remarkable in their case. Pittsburgh is the #1 exporter of diehard Steelers fans in the country. I used the example of San Diego because there actually is a large contingent of Steeler fans, from Pittsburgh, living in the city, who show up whenever the Steelers come to town. I contrast Dallas with this, as Dallas fans in other cities seem more likely to be from that city and to have made a choice at some point to root for the Cowboys; these aren't expatriate or traveling fans, but something else entirely -- fans who have chosen another team from another city over their hometown team. I'm not judging fans, or cities, beyond a historical sense of who has come and gone, and why (a sense which is available to anyone with the time, interest, and capacity to find out). I'm sure there's more I haven't thought of, and I grant that I might even be off-base. Maybe this shower of out-of-town fans comes from the fact that almost everybody in Pittsburgh is nuts about sports, and fans who move away remain nuts, and find it easier to get Steelers tix in away stadia. Pens fans are the same way, at least in Caps country.

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:40 PM on October 04

HJ, to back your assertion. I work in a town of about 7000 in Northern Nevada managing a sports bar. Among my regulars are no less than 4 transplants from Mechanichsburgh (sp?) a small suburb on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Add in other transplants from the 'burgh, and we can have as many as 20-25 Steeler fans (the vast majority of whom moved from Pittsburgh) in the room on Sunday. As a Bengal fan (#18 and climbing!) I've often threatened to bar the doors from the outside while they're all in, trapping them like rabbits, and FedExing them home.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:52 PM on October 04

I contrast Dallas with this, as Dallas fans in other cities seem more likely to be from that city and to have made a choice at some point to root for the Cowboys; these aren't expatriate or traveling fans, but something else entirely -- fans who have chosen another team from another city over their hometown team. Or fans that didn't have a local team (from florida). I've rooted for the cowboys since I was 6. Tampa Bay was just getting started, and miami was 10 hours away. But the cowboys were always on tv. Ever notice guys that the biggest fans of the Raiders, Cowboys and Steelers are NEVER from the city or state? Bandwagoners are the scum of sports fans. posted by Brahdakine Rooting for a team that isn't in your state isn't a bandwagon fan. You're confused. Besides, when I was a kid florida had no MLB team. By your theory I shouldn't have rooted for anyone.

posted by justgary at 05:43 PM on October 04

Kind of like being a Reds fan, gary.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:45 PM on October 04

The lack of a local team leading to Cowboys fandom makes perfect sense, justgary; I never thought of it. I grew up in Maryland, so any Cowboys fans aside from my Cub Scout pal Dave, newly arrived from Texas, were the kind of kid who only cheered winners, perhaps only stars, or were general contrarians seeking attention. It took me a while to learn that there's nothing wrong with or unusual about someone who views sports and fandom from a different angle and along different lines than I do. To some, it's about art; to others, craft, or history, or math, or military science. I'm most satisfied by locktight team play; someone loves the stars, another sees the game as a coach, or a general manager. Hell, some people are sports fans because it makes them horny. So it makes no difference to me whether anyone's a fairweather or bandwagon fan, or whether this is the second or fifth team they've been diehard for, the fact is, they're out at the game Sunday, tuning it in on the car radio, or watching it from the couch, and getting pretty thrilled about something they love.

posted by Hugh Janus at 07:16 PM on October 04

Standard bandwagon teams. Ever notice guys that the biggest fans of the Raiders, Cowboys and Steelers are NEVER from the city or state? Bandwagoners are the scum of sports fans. You've obviously never been to Texas, much less, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area. I live 6 hours away from Dallas, and we have several stores around town called "The Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop." Nothing but Cowboys memorabilia and souvenirs.

posted by freeze_over98 at 09:12 AM on October 05

So it makes no difference to me whether anyone's a fairweather or bandwagon fan, or whether this is the second or fifth team they've been diehard for, the fact is, they're out at the game Sunday, tuning it in on the car radio, or watching it from the couch, and getting pretty thrilled about something they love. That right there is an incredibly well-stated reason why I am who I am. Whether you love them or love to hate them, (that's you, Mizzou and Denver Broncos!) being a fan or an anti-fan gives you something to look forward to and makes each work day a little bit easier to get through. I even suffer through ESPN despite Stephen A. Smith, Woody Paige, and Jay Mariotti.

posted by hawkguy at 11:05 AM on October 05

I even suffer through ESPN despite Stephen A. Smith, Woody Paige, and Jay Mariotti I'm trying to figure out which one of those guys is most NOW.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:48 PM on October 05

The Dallas Cowboys are Mexico's team. And my experience as an NFL fan with no local team is similar to justgary's. Except I hated the Cowboys, because they were on TV all the time, and Roger Stauback seemed like kind of a tool, but John Stallworth and Lynn Swann and Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier were fucking gods, so I became a Steelers fan. Now I root for the Falcons, because they're in easy driving distance. And Warrick Dunn's a good guy who should run for public office one day. But when it gets to the playoffs, I suddenly start bleeding black and gold again.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:37 PM on October 05

I'm sure a lot of British fans (of a certain age) adopted the Redskins because they were the champions in the first season broadcast on national television (Channel 4, 1982/3, a frankly scary 25 years ago) and the Joe Gibbs / John Riggins story had a certain appeal. It also set up America's Teamô as the bad guys. I have to say, though, that I've developed a soft spot for the Packers, for the usual sentimental reasons: small city team; would never get a franchise today; community-owned in a way that the league now outlaws.

posted by etagloh at 10:21 PM on October 08

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