Been seeing a lot of print about an article from a couple of students at Emory University categorizing the
horrible next to last fan base of the Atlanta Falcons. Was this Falcon check from the Blue and Gold Eagles
one that merit wings or just plain fodder for the Birds ? I looked into Emory and found a highly rated school, well ranked by Forbes and U.S News along with a football stadium full of achievements and awards in Science, Arts, Medicine, Business, Law and Theology to name a few. But they really did not fill a football stadium because Emory has no intercollegiate football program, and since football fans are rather hard to grasp, I needed more evidence from Professor Gridiron.
Winning brings success and with it great value. The Dallas Cowboys just were ranked by Forbes as the most valuable team for the seventh year in a row. Seven year run and at 2.3 Billion maybe these are the fans that are the best, for my thinking the AT & T stadium is a marvel, the scoreboard the biggest, the cheerleaders the trend setters so naturally the fans the very top tier. But the Cowboys have not won the NFC Championship or a Super Bowl in the last seventeen years but the fans will tell you they are the best.
Popularity makes for the best fans. The Cheese heads of Green Bay are quite an easily recognizable sight in stands anywhere. They actually own a piece of the team they support, so they may be the top fans of any team or are they thirsty for something to do in chilly Wisconsin where the next attraction after Lambeau is a visit to the National Railroad Museum in Ashwaubenon in suburban Green Bay? Cheese heads will admit they are the very best fans in all of sports.
Super fans fill the seats. During my search of the best fan stat I came across the record of the Boston Red Sox 820 consecutive sellout games at Fenway Park. I hear a lot in New England of this great fan base and have discussed in depth how Atlanta can’t match this phenomenon. I argue my slant on the fact that Fenway sits in the city of Boston which is the 21st city in the United States via population, and with little Friendly Fenway seating capacity around 37,493 it really is no surprise of the sell out record only maybe why it is not still continuing ? Atlanta in comparison is the 40th U.S City in population and Turner field seats around 50,000 so it really is not a fair assumption to conclude great fans with such see-saw stats when a good day of ticket sales in the stands for the Braves is a sell out for Sox nation.
Fans do flock to their team with heart and soul it can be said, and so I go back to January to find the
Seattle playoff game at the Dome which had attendance of 70,366 and the NFC Championship game with San Francisco had the Dome jammed with 70,863 in the seats watching and from what I remember the decibel level was equal to Century Link field and got some national recognition via the commentators that mentioned the frenzied fans in Georgia. I saw a different fan base those nights than I’ve been reading about and seeing is believing. A great turn out for the Red, White and Black when compared to the eventual super bowl champs from Baltimore vs. New England in the AFC Championship game played at Gillette stadium which had 68,756 in attendance if numbers matter in the best fan base equation. With so many angles to the topic of the best fans, like hostility at Yankee stadium, the Philadelphia reputation as boo everything in every sport, the Raiders twilight zone show or the loyal group that show a red sea at Busch stadium, and all convinced they be the best fans it can be put to rest that verification on what or whom are great fans is as impossible to authenticate as trying to herd a hundred cats.
The Falcons host some prime time televised games this year in the Pats, Jets, and Saints in fact, for all to hear and see the wonderful fans in the Falcons Dome Home and like the last few years the Nest will be a place where opposing teams have had little success and the crowd will be as boisterous and crazy as any stadium in the league. There is a good chance we could even hear Lord Dooley do a rebel yell.