All good teams need a set of passionate, loyal, vocal and slightly mad fans behind them. A good fanbase can have a direct impact in what happens during the game, and this is true of all sports. They are capable of firing up the team and helping them to play with an extra swagger and confidence, and simultaneously they can also intimidate the opposition and make them feel uncomfortable throughout the duration of the match. A good fanbase will get behind the team through thick and thin, unlike many ‘fair weather fans’ that you will find all around the world in all leagues. Cut these real fans and they bleed the team’s colours, with many of them being so fanatic that the team has become a part of their identity and personality.
Throughout sports around the world there are a number of teams that have a terrific set of supporters behind them. You can feel their presence at both home and away fixtures, and if you ever meet one then their passion is evident from the moment the sport is mentioned (it is likely they will also be constantly wearing team apparel). To be a good fan you need to be behind the team at all costs, but the great fanbases will also be able to accept defeat and know when they were beaten fair and square. In addition, although rivalries and teasing between rivals is expected, and should be encouraged, the best fanbases will never have this escalate to violence either at the games or in the streets. It is usually the minority that cause this trouble however, but there are a few teams that have fanbases with an unfortunate history of violence.
Here are 10 of the best fanbases around the world in professional sports who know how to support a team. It could be their enormous following, amazing chants at games, their attendance at away games, their ability to stick by the team through the dark days, their passion for everything related to the club or a combination of all of these things.
10 Boston Celtics
9 Montreal Canadiens
8 Chicago Cubs
It’s easy to be a fan of a team when things are going well and the trophy cabinet is packed, but you can tell when a team has real fans when they stick by them throughout the darker days. This has certainly been the case for the Cubs, who have not won the World Series in a staggering 106 years. That is the longest wait any team has had in all the major North American professional sports. You would not have thought it though, as the Cubs have some of the best fans in all of sports.
7 Pittsburgh Steelers
Nobody can deny the incredible fanbase that the Pittsburgh Steelers have, and Steelers Nation has become an important part of the city of Pittsburgh. When the steel industry plummeted, the Steelers brought the community together and gave them something to cheer for, and you can certainly feel it when they do cheer. They sold out an astonishing 335 straight games, and this spans over an amazing 40 years. This demonstrates that Steelers fans support their team no matter what and show their loyalty even through the tough days.
5 Boca Juniors
4 Boston Red Sox
3 Celtic F.C
2 St. Louis Cardinals
1 Green Bay Packers
Being the only non profit, community owned major league team in the U.S., the Packers are owned by the fans and have an exceptional following. They are also the only remaining “small town team”, giving them a unique character but they are also one of the most popular teams in the NFL. Getting tickets to their home games is no easy feat, with one of the longest season ticket waiting lists in pro sports, with some saying the wait is over 30 years. The community support and non-profit structure is what has kept them in Green Bay, a very small market, but they have enjoyed great success as well as huge popularity, with a record setting 13 NFL World Championships (4 Super Bowl victories). Their unique ownership structure and the community aspect is refreshing to see in professional sports, and attributes a lot to the team’s identity and popularity.
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