At the outset of an article this week by USA TODAY Sports columnist Mike Freeman ranking NFL fan bases in a very unscientific manner, readers were asked to prepare themselves for outrage. That is, in the title. While the bait was set early, the water was still cloudy as to whether satire or honest, crazy opinions were set to unfold.
It’s essentially all of the above. But at its core, it’s brilliantly humorous, both inward and out-facing. In the end, throwing light-hearted shade is what so much of being an NFL fan is all about. Right? While factually incorrect (perhaps intentionally), including the transition of our star (aka, the sun) to its next phase as the point when Tom Brady finally retires — that deserves kudos.
Are you prepared to be outraged? Don’t be. It’s just someone’s opinion, man. Keep reading below the listed tiers for my hot take on what’s certainly a very misguided, yet humorous exercise. Or is it?
First of all, that’s a lot of tiers for 32 teams. Second, the teams are listed in order of their appearance on Wallace’s list. As such, the Bills end up with the 11th-best fan base, per this very subjective ranking. Landing in “Tier 4” here isn’t even that bad. Anyone who loves a team that isn’t in the first tier will of course be outraged. It’s called fandom, after all.
Look, I understand that comedy wins the day quite often. But to say a fan base like the Jacksonville Jaguars is among the best? We might have to have a conversation that includes those games overseas. While very few these days will read something several thousand words long, it would have been nice to get more than the following about the Buffalo Bills:
- Mentioned in Wallace’s open — “And you, Bills fans, who managed to turn something as dumb as jumping onto tables into something cool. You silly billys.”
- The write-up for the tier placement — “Bills: Jump on tables in minus-400-degree weather. Enough said.”
There’s far more to Bills Mafia than table jumping. Without looking for pats on the back, it seems disingenuous of a prestigious national publication like USA TODAY to overlook mentioning the giving spirit of Bills fans.
PS: The Bills’ “Shout” fight song is far superior to the Chargers’ four-plus minute barrage of sound. While the Chargers have a great song, a succinct wall of sound punctuated by “hey, eh, eh, eh” cannot be defeated. Plus, anytime you go to a wedding and the original “Shout” by the Isley Brothers comes on, everyone hits the dance floor, especially Bills Mafia.
All told, there are great fans for every team. But Buffalo Rumblings finds that none are better than Bills Mafia!