The NFL’s Wildest Fans

Football fans are among the most passionate and inspired sports enthusiasts in the country. From Oakland to Buffalo, throngs of people load up their cars with tailgating equipment, pull out jerseys, paint their faces, hang banners, and travel out to the game on Sunday mornings. Loud, wild, inspired chants, heckling of opposing players, and downright ravenous behavior is all part of the overall package, but the alcohol fueled fever boils over in some cities more than others with an all too common frequency. If you’re wasted enough to tackle an 8-year-old in a parking lot in front of his parents after a heartbreaking loss like a Cleveland Browns fan did on November 14, your city sounds perfect for this.

Philadelphia Eagles – From the fabled booing of Santa Claus to throwing snowballs and batteries in the stands, Philadelphia fans are among the craziest, yet supportive groups in the country. Municipal Court judges have been assigned to their stadiums to deal with unruly fans, beer sales were banned after snowball throwing incidents, and just about every other form of lewd behavior has gone down during an Eagles game at some point in their storied history of hijinks.

Cleveland Browns – The infamous Dawg Pound is one of the more formidable sections in stadiums around the country, filled with some of the most loyal, yet rowdy fans in the NFL. Most recently, a drunken fanatic tackled an 8-year-old Jets fan to the ground after a bitter defeat to their AFC rivals, sparking more controversy for the already embattled franchise. Let’s not forget the incident where attendees showered the field in empty beer bottles after a poor call by an official, which sparked the enforcement of open container rules during tailgating years ago.

Oakland Raiders – A ferocious pack of supporters packs the Coliseum’s feverish section known as The Black Hole for each Sunday contest, decked out in face paint, costumes, and masks. The Raider Nation might be a loyal herd of fans, but their behavior has been the subject of documentary films, as well as a target of state police and politicians. By far taking the cake was the 2000 incident where a San Diego Chargers fan was stabbed, but not far behind was a 2003 riot after the Raiders lost in the Super Bowl. While most of the Southern and Western organizations are considered to have tamer fan bases than the Northeast, Oakland remains the one true exception throughout the NFL.

New York Jets – Where exactly should we begin with this one? The infamous Gate D, which once stood for “drunk and disgusting,” attracted the attention of state police and senators, after fans chanted “show your tits!” at women walking by and hurling plastic beer bottles when the goods weren’t delivered. For the final game held in Giants Stadium, alcohol was banned from the stadium after a flurry of arrests and ejections for indecent exposure, intoxication, and violence, including concern for further incidents during the game. Finally, there was the lawsuit in 2009 which alleged Jets fans assaulted a female Patriots fan, threw her over a row of seats, and poured beer on the victim’s child for wearing a New England jersey.

Buffalo Bills – While it might sound like a calm, sleepy town in comparison to Boston or New York, the Buffalo faithful are still among the more disorderly populations in football. For over a decade, Monday night games were banned due to behavior, and after the league allowed one for the first time in 13 years, nearly 60 people were arrested, over 100 were thrown out, and over 40 were turned away at the gate for appearing visibly plastered.  Add in reports of boozed-up attendees throwing objects at the luxury suites and pouring beer onto opposing fans, and you’ve created a hotbed for craziness.

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