November 8, 2009

NFL's Most Annoying Fans - AFC North

This is the fifth in a running feature at ECB. We'll be rating NFL Fanbases by annoyingness and picking a winner for each division. After that, we'll select wild card teams, and have ourselves a little playoff. If you have suggestions for upcoming divisions or wildcard selections, send them to [email protected]. So far we have given you the AFC West, the NFC West, the AFC South, and the NFC South. Who will join the Raiders, Cardinals, Jaguars, and Panthers fans as the most annoying fans in their division? This week we present the NFC South.

Note, I have to handle this week's selection to give a degree of neutrality to the proceedings. Brien is a Steelers fan, J-Red is a Ravens fan, and they'd undoubtedly pick the other if they had the ability to do this week's poll. I have a feeling the runner-up this week may well be a wildcard selection.

Cincinnati Bengals

Quick Reaction:
Yeah, I had to find the safe-for-work picture. The fact that this alone happens in the stands at Paul Brown Stadium by somewhat attractive girls (and trust me, I've seen the not-safe-for-work version - they're real, and they're spectacular) gives them the nod for having decent fans. Hey, when the product on the field sucks year after year after year, you have to entertain yourself somehow. Good for Bengals fans to have something to cheer about this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quick Reaction:
Steelers fans are annoying as fuck. They're EVERYWHERE. Seriously, I would venture to guess that every city in this country has a Steelers bar somewhere for Pittsburgh fans to congregate on Sundays. But, that's the counter - Steelers fans know their football, they're about as far from bandwagon fans as you can find, and they live and die by the Steelers. You get the feeling that it almost means more to Steelers fans than any other fanbase when their team wins the Super Bowl. That doesn't excuse them from being obnoxious, from thinking that the Terrible Towels are some unique invention by Myron Cope, and from in general being guilty of not shutting the hell up. I nominate the Steelers for a wildcard selection. But they're not going to win this division.

Baltimore Ravens

Quick Reaction:
I will carve out one subset from this group - the members of the Baltimore Marching Ravens who were formerly members of the Baltimore Marching Colts and who were the subject of the ESPN documentary The Band That Wouldn't Die. Aside from that, Ravens fans are obnoxious in so many ways, I can barely get into it in my limited time here. I'll save most of it for the playoffs. But camouflage pants, the Essex/Dundalk/Glen Burnie accent, refusing to let the fact that the Indianapolis Colts took the Baltimore Colts' statistics die, the fact that they have blind hatred for Redskins fans even though Redskins fans couldn't give half a good goddamn about Ravens fans or their team, the fact that they treat their one Super Bowl victory/appearance in 13 seasons of existence as if they have the tradition of the Pittsburgh Steelers - yeah... Ravens fans... you win. Just look at the guys in the picture above - like the Village People in purple. And unfortunately that's not all that unusual at all in the 500-level on Russell Street on an NFL Sunday.

Cleveland Browns

Quick Reaction:
Grown men who chew dog bones and dress up like dogs. This is pretty annoying. However, they've suffered through more indignity than just about any other fanbase. Getting their hearts torn out by John Elway and Ernest Byner in the 80s, losing their franchise in the 90s, and getting a "franchise" back in the 2000's that is an NFL organization only in the loosest sense of the word. Add this to the fact that Cleveland has been torn to shreds by the economy, the fact that Browns fans sit through some of the shittiest weather of any NFL team, and the fact that you don't hear Cleveland in any of the same breath as NFL teams who are in danger of blackouts and you know what Browns fans - keep dressing up - do whatever you need to do.

In the closest competition we've had so far, the nod goes to the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers could very well be a wildcard selection when we get down to the end. However, on the gestalt, Steelers fans at least can both talk the talk and walk the walk. They may well be obnoxious, but they have more reason to be obnoxious than Ravens fans. And on the scale of fan IQ, the average Steelers fan is going to score well ahead of the average Ravens fan.

10 Responses:

J-Red said...

You used the wrong method here. If the Ravens and Steelers are even CLOSE, the Steelers get the nod because people throughout the world must encounter them regularly.

I don't blame Pittsburghers for leaving that craphole. I don't blame former steelworkers for having to relocate in MY craphole. I don't blame millions of bandwagoners for getting blinded by their admittedly impressive six rings.

All that aside, they're the most annoying because they're unavoidable.

Brien said...

I would actually have said Steelers fans are more annoying, too. It's the sense of superiority that pushes them over the top. I like the Steelers, but I really don't like Steelers fans.

As for Ravens fans, you forgot the inferiority complex. It's not just about the Redskins, it's about the referees "screwing" them every week.

W said...

When choosing the NFL's most obnoxious fan base, one need not look further than the Steelers. They win without serious competition.

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Tim said...

While being a Redskins fan may not effect your impartiality (debatable), the fact that you are from Washington, or suburbs of, most certainly does. I wouldn't say that every Washingtonian thinks of Baltimore as an inherently second class city, but the fact that your major argument invokes Essex and Dundalk doesn't help. As Jason pointed out, Pittsburgh is it's own craphole.

Michelangelo said...

I don't know... I've been mildly amused by fans in purple camo in the greater Baltimore area. I've sat in the 500 level at Ravens Stadium and enjoyed games despite the rampant public intoxication. But I have been annoyed by Steelers fans in different cities all over the country. They can't seem to travel without announcing their love for the Steelers.

For example: a few weeks ago, I went to New Orleans on business, and my flight down (out of BWI) was full of Steelers fans wearing their jerseys, Superbowl T-Shirts, hats, etc. Then I saw groups of them all over the city down there. Tourists from all over the country were everywhere, but only those from Western Pennsylvania were wearing football attire. I saw no other football jerseys but Steelers and Saints. And I saw a lot more Steelers jerseys than Saints jerseys in the French Quarter. There was a table of people wearing nothing but Steelers-related clothing next to us at dinner the first night.

At first, I guessed that maybe the Steelers were in town playing the Saints that week. But NO! The Saints were out of town, playing Miami on the road! The Steelers fans were just on non-football related vacations, wearing their Steelers clothes everywhere! I think they just wanted to make the point that they were Steelers fans, and thus superior to the rest of us.

Jeremy said...

Did any of you watch Monday Night Football and see the 20,000 Steelers fans some 2000 miles away in Denver?

gpb said...

I watched the Colts band segment and I felt bad for the fans since they pretty much got crapped on. I do think their anger about it was somewhat justified, though at some point you have to let it go. But I haven't really met any obnoxious Ravens fans. Or Ravens fans at all.

The Steelers fans I have seen are some of the most obnoxious people. It's almost as bad as UGA fans wearing UGA apparel to Falcons games. I realize there's nothing to be proud of in Pittsburgh except the Steelers but you don't need to tell everyone about how much you love them all the time.

I would call them a blight across the country only because they do such a good job of indoctrinating their kids into becoming fans and then their grandchildren. I would say they are more effective at getting converts than Scientology.

If you want to pick by annoyingness, Steelers fans win. Hands down. It doesn't matter that they know football and aren't bandwagon fans. The fact that they are everywhere and love to showcase the fact makes them winners (or losers I guess) in my mind.

NestMinder said...

Michelangelo FTW.

The problems with Steelers fans are their 1) omnipresence, and 2) the fact that their identity as such comprises the entirety of their being. I know you're skewed as a Redskins fan towards hating the purple camo-clad army to the north, but I'd think the way the towel-waving cockroaches took over FedEx last season would be enough to prove which team really wins the annoying crown in this division. If they get the "wild card" in this competition, the AFC title game should be Pats vs. Pitt, which is, in effect, the annoying fan Super Bowl.

Aire said...

Bitterness looks lovely on all of you, I must say. And for the uneducated person that said Pittsburgh has nothing to be proud of besides the must have missed our Stanley Cup Champion Penguins, as well as being voted the most livable city in America, TWICE.

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