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Old 10-08-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
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Talking Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

U guys, who R the Steelers fans, R awesome.

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Tuck's Takes: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

The news out of Jacksonville Monday morning that approximately 25 percent of the fans for Sunday night's Steelers-Jags contest were waving yellow Terrible Towels came as no surprise to me. The Steelers have the most dominant fan base in the National Football League and their ability to consistently travel, en masse, and infest other team's stadiums gives the Steelers a competitive advantage that no other franchise can claim.

For the record, I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, was an Eagles fan during my youth and subsequently played for five NFL squads that were not located in Pittsburgh, so I have no allegiance whatsoever to the Steelers or their fans. I just call it like I see it.

Seemingly minutes within signing with a new team, a player will be told by someone within the organization that, unequivocally, they have the best fans in the world. And though there are thousands of die-hard fans in Green Bay, Washington, Dallas, Buffalo, Cleveland, New England, and every other NFL city, the simple truth is very evident to every player in the NFL: Steelers fans are the best in the business.

My thoughts on NFL fans were confirmed in a recent straw poll of a couple active players who said the Steelers fans far and away do the best job of taking away a home team's advantage. None of the players wanted to state their feelings publicly and disenchant their own fans, and for good reason, but the fact remains there is nothing quite as powerful in the NFL as Steeler Nation.

I realized this for the first time in 2004, while playing for a resurgent Bills team that was one win away from a playoff berth. Running out of the home tunnel and seeing the smattering of Terrible Towels and black and yellow in the stands was disheartening. The Steelers had already clinched homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, so this final regular season game was meaningless to them, yet their fans had made the trip in droves.

Though playing at home doesn't assure a team a victory, there are typically four significant advantages to playing in the friendly confines. There is no travel involved. The field and facility are familiar. The players can certainly feed off the energy of the home crowd. The noise can make it difficult for the opposing team's offense to call audibles or utilize the snap count to their advantage. Ask any offensive tackle how much fun it is blocking elite rushers on a silent cadence. They flat-out detest it.

The significant presence of Steelers fans in opposing stadiums, whether they are Steel City transplants or folks who traveled in for the game, effectively eliminates the last two advantages. It is difficult to feed off the energy of the home crowd when you look up in the stands and see that a significant portion of the crowd is actually cheering for the other team. Plus, the noise is not nearly as deafening when less than 80 percent of the fans in the stands are screaming in unison.

All of this adds up to the Steelers having a significant competitive advantage based upon their fans' ability to partially, if not completely, eliminate some of the basic reasons teams are so happy to play at home in the first place.

I know exactly what everyone is going to write in their e-mails to me. First, people are going to comment on the Jags having arguably the worst fans in the NFL, and I will not dispute that in the slightest. People in Jacksonville would probably be more excited to watch an SEC clash between Kentucky and Vanderbilt. But it is not just Jacksonville. Seemingly, no stadium is truly immune to the Steelers culture.

Secondly, I am well aware that the Packers, Raiders, Cowboys and Redskins, just to name a few, have great fans who pop up in away stadiums every time their team is on the road. Trust me, it does not compare to Steelers fans. I have played for some of those teams and it is not even close. The Steelers have the best fans in the NFL.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...kes/index.html
I must've "jumped on" the right bandwagon.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

Well, now........ aren't we just awesome!
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

Would the best fans in the league boo their own team before half-time of a week 4 game?
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

I would have thought that was obvious. I guess they print that stuff on occasion to remind the New Englanders.

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Old 10-08-2008, 10:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

damn skippy you did.....
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

So what.....they booed their team when they played like crap. And then they went out and filled one quarter of a stadium 700 miles away the very next weekend. The best fans in the league are there thru thick and thin.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

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So what.....they booed their team when they played like crap. And then they went out and filled one quarter of a stadium 700 miles away the very next weekend. The best fans in the league are there thru thick and thin.
Well wouldn't playing like crap for ONE HALF constitute "through thick and thin?"
We definitely travel better than anyone, and I think our home game atmosphere is among the best in the league, but our support is just as inconsistent as every other team. I don't think you Boo unless there is a clear lack of effort.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

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Well wouldn't playing like crap for ONE HALF constitute "through thick and thin?"
We definitely travel better than anyone, and I think our home game atmosphere is among the best in the league, but our support is just as inconsistent as every other team. I don't think you Boo unless there is a clear lack of effort.

Lack of effort or lack of performance that we're used to seeing/know they're capable of.
If they deserve it, I don't mind a good booing. They seemed not to like it much and responded. It's the fans sending a message.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

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Well wouldn't playing like crap for ONE HALF constitute "through thick and thin?"
We definitely travel better than anyone, and I think our home game atmosphere is among the best in the league, but our support is just as inconsistent as every other team. I don't think you Boo unless there is a clear lack of effort.
For once we're in agreement about something.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers fans are unquestionably best in the NFL

This thread is taking a nasty turn. Let's keep the discussion in the spirit of which it was intended, please?

Yes - for the most part, Steelers fans are not only the best in the NFL, but in any major league sport!
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