How Do You Rate The Best Football Cities?

Packing its stadium on most game days/nights, Baton Rouge is one of the best football cities in America ... photo by CC user Getawaypaul27 on wikimedia

Who are the most ferocious football fans? The most devoted (is there a difference?) or the most loyal?

It maybe impossible to know some of the intrinsic qualities that make up football fan-dom. I know a Giant’s fan who gets so emotional he finds it hard to watch the screen when his beloved team is playing. I know a Buffalo Bills fan so crazed, he gets into a three-point stand before every offensive play, while he watches the game on TV.

There are people out there like this who need both on and off the field action year-round. For those people, I suggest visiting the site of Direct-TV and checking your options.

No one has yet devised an accurate crazed-loyalty scale for fans. At least, even as I determinedly search the Internet, I have yet to find one.

You can’t measure emotions or loyalty, but there are other ways to measure a city or a town’s football character. You could count sports bars or the number of bumper stickers per 100 cars, to site two examples.

The WalletHub Web site measures football character with a survey that focuses mainly on measurable traits fans would appreciate, like ease of parking, the number of local teams, and the win-loss records of college and professional teams.

But a few notable items were left out of the “best football city” matrix. WalletHub, for example, did not stoop to
including beer prices. If it did, it would come up with Baton Rouge, LA., which WalletHub says, in another of its amusing lists, has the cheapest average price for a six-pack in the country, running at $7.41, compared with $13.31 in
both Chicago and Aurora, Ill., making it a tie for the highest-priced beer in the country.

What the Web site included in the “best football city” list was best team performance for pros (Denver, followed by Boston) and college teams (Columbus, Ohio, followed by Tallahassee, Fla.), lowest average ticket prices (Cleveland, Ohio, followed by Jacksonville, Fla.), accessibility of pro and college football stadiums (Green Bay, WI. and West Point, NY) and the cheapest beer question included usually a kid with a butterfly on one cheek A dude decked out in full gear [native American Indian style], riding a horse at full speed and throwing a flaming spear into the ground. and actual tiger that makes appearances at LSU games.

No. 4 is the Texas longhorn cattle, named Bevo, standing on the sidelines with horns as wide as goal posts. No. 5 is Puddles the Duck at the University of Oregon. If it quacks and runs like a duck, it’s the University of Oregon (How Puddles beat out Ralphie the Bison at Colorado State is anyone’s guess).

Best Cheerleaders

There are many rankings for best cheerleaders. Just to avoid repetition (it’s been done before countless times), I thought I would avoid looking for cheerleaders and go with what might more rationally be called the best groups.

For pros, it’s all about hottest, in which case it’s every man for himself. In college, that would be the one and only University of Kentucky, which last year won its 20th national cheering championship; an unprecedented feat. In fact, since 1995, the team has won the championship 15 times, coming in at a different ranking only five times in the past 20 years.