Make Dad Happy: Become a New York Jets Fan

Which NFL fan base is most likely to try and convert a spouse? And which supporters would remain most loyal if their favorite team relocated? We answer these and other questions in Covers' NFL loyalty survey.

James Bisson - Contributor at Covers.com
James Bisson • Contributor
Jun 10, 2024 • 10:25 ET • 4 min read
New York Jets fans NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Few things transform regular people into maniacs like a discussion over NFL fan loyalty.

Just try telling your Ravens-obsessed neighbor that you're the bigger Baltimore booster. And good luck convincing your jersey-wearing, face-painting BFF that her Packers fandom is nothing compared to yours. 

The NFL brings about a whole other level of sports passion. But which fan bases are the most loyal to their respective teams? We're here to answer that question – and those of you in Philadelphia, Green Bay and Kansas City are about to enjoy some serious bragging rights.

The NFL's most loyal fan bases

To reach this sure-to-be-controversial conclusion, we surveyed 3,000 NFL fans and aggregated the results of six questions geared toward determining fan loyalty across a variety of different scenarios:

  • Do you always bet on your favorite team to win, regardless of odds/lines?
  • Would you ever bet on your rival to win the Super Bowl to soften the blow of them being successful?
  • If your partner/spouse supported your rival and you could convert them, would you?
  • Would you encourage your children to support your favorite team, or let them choose for themselves?
  • Would you ever accept paid work/employment with your rival team?
  • If your favorite team relocated to a different state, would you stay loyal or switch allegiance to a more local franchise?

Here's a look at the average rankings across all categories for fans who participated: 

Team Average Rank
🥇 Philadelphia Eagles 5.9
🥈 Green Bay Packers 7.0
🥉 Kansas City Chiefs 7.2
Baltimore Ravens 9.7
New York Giants 10.7
Cleveland Browns 11
Buffalo Bills 11.9
Detroit Lions 12.3
Chicago Bears 13.2
Miami Dolphins 14.0
Pittsburgh Steelers 14.2
New England Patriots 15.0
Los Angeles Chargers 15.4
New Orleans Saints 15.5
San Francisco 49ers 16.0
Las Vegas Raiders 16.2
Dallas Cowboys 16.3
Cincinnati Bengals 17.9
New York Jets 17.9
Atlanta Falcons 19.5
Jacksonville Jaguars 20.0
Houston Texans 20.3
Denver Broncos 20.3
Minnesota Vikings 20.3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20.5
Seattle Seahawks 21.5
Arizona Cardinals 21.5
Carolina Panthers 22.0
Washington Commanders 22.2
Indianapolis Colts 22.4
Tennessee Titans 24.5
💀 Los Angeles Rams 26.2

History and success breed loyalty – and the three teams atop this list have both in spades.

The Eagles have reached the Super Bowl twice in the past seven seasons, with three NFC East titles and six playoff appearances over that stretch. They're also a fan base that travels well, generating the second-highest road attendance average in 2023 (73,857).

No one can question Green Bay Packers fan loyalty – just look at the length of their season ticket waiting list (more on that later). The third-oldest franchise in the NFL has captured four Super Bowl championships and has more wins than any team in history.

The Chiefs round out the top three, and it's easy to see why. Kansas City has been the most successful NFL franchise over the past 10 years, compiling an absurd 117-46 regular-season record with three Super Bowl titles and four championship appearances in that span.

Now that we've established a clear fandom pecking order, let's check out how teams fared in each of the six main survey questions.

Kansas City Chiefs fans

Chiefs fans the best at betting on themselves

It takes an incredibly loyal NFL fan to be willing to bet on his or her favorite team no matter the spread or moneyline. Here's a look at the fan bases who bet on themselves the most – and the least:

Do you always bet on your team to win, regardless of the odds/lines?

Rank Team Yes No
🥇 1 Kansas City Chiefs 44% 56%
2 Buffalo Bills 38.4% 61.6%
3 Philadelphia Eagles 37% 63%
4 New York Giants 36.7% 63.3%
5 Baltimore Ravens 36.5% 63.5%

This just makes financial sense. When your favorite team is a combined 71 games over .500 in the previous 10 regular seasons, why would you ever bet against it? Betting on the Chiefs has been a lucrative option (at least in terms of straight W-L) for a long time now – and it's not at all surprising that Kansas City fans have embraced a ride-or-die betting mentality.

Rank Team Yes No
28 Washington Commanders 21.1% 78.9%
29 Carolina Panthers 20.4% 79.6%
30 Denver Broncos 19% 81%
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 14.8% 85.2%
💀 32 Tennessee Titans 13.5% 87.5%

There's a lot of pain in this group of teams. Titans fans are the most squeamish about wagering on their own team to win, followed closely by the Jaguars. The Broncos, Panthers and Commanders, who combined to go 14-37 straight up and 16-31-4 against the spread last year, justifiably round out the top five.

Kansas City supporters also won't bet on their rivals

Some bettors are perfectly content to wager on their rival team as a financial-emotional hedge: If that team wins, at least there's money to be made. If it loses, the betting loss is a more than acceptable trade-off for the incoming flood of rival tears. Here's a look at the fan bases most and least likely to hedge on their No. 1 hated team:

Would you ever bet on your rival to win the Super Bowl to soften the blow of them being successful?

Rank Team No Yes Only vs. my team
🥇 1 Kansas City Chiefs 71.1% 23.3% 5.7%
2 Green Bay Packers 70.4% 23.5% 6.2%
3 Philadelphia Eagles 67.3% 27.9% 4.8%
4 Jacksonville Jaguars 66.7% 29.6% 3.7%
5 Detroit Lions 64.7% 29.4% 5.9%

Say it with me one more time, Chiefs Nation: Ride or die! More than seven in 10 Kansas City fans won't bet on a rival no matter what; Packers fans are the only other supporter base to reach that plateau. And let's have a chat, Jacksonville. You won't bet on your own team, but you won't hedge on a rival. Who exactly are you betting on?

Rank Team No Yes Only vs. my team
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45.9% 47.5% 6.6%
T29 Los Angeles Rams 43.6% 50.9% 5.5%
T29 Indianapolis Colts 43.6% 51.3% 5.1%
31 Buffalo Bills 42.0% 44.3% 13.6%
💀 32 Arizona Cardinals 40.0% 42.5% 17.5%

Combining the fifth-worst records in the NFL in 2018 with one of the most vibrant sports betting landscapes in the U.S. is the perfect recipe for selective fandom – and no supporter base does it better than Arizona, with six in 10 respondents willing to bet on a rival. On the flip side, the Bills sitting 31st on this list is a true shocker given their other loyalty ranks.

Buffalo Bills fans

Bills fans the most insistent on converting a partner/spouse

An NFL house divided ... implodes like a supernova. Or something like that. While we've all seen examples of partners or spouses with rival rooting interests co-exist, the thought of bringing your other half over to your side is an appealing scenario for most NFL supporters. Here's a look at the fan bases most and least likely to try and convert a partner:

If your partner/spouse supported your rival and you could convert them, would you?

Rank Team Yes No
🥇 1 Buffalo Bills 75.3% 24.7%
2 Jacksonville Jaguars 74.1% 25.9%
3 Baltimore Ravens 73% 27%
4 Cleveland Browns 72.2% 27.8%
5 Indianapolis Colts 71.8% 28.2%

"No partner of mine is rooting for the Patriots!" You could totally picture Bills fans thinking that very thing as they hurtle eight feet onto a collapsible table. We're still trying to figure these Jags fans out, while Baltimore and Cleveland are lumped together – a fitting result given their fan bases' hate-on for one another.

Rank Team Yes No
28 Seattle Seahawks 59.8% 40.2%
29 Houston Texans 59.7% 40.3%
30 Los Angeles Chargers 53.3% 46.7%
31 Atlanta Falcons 51.8% 48.2%
💀 32 Los Angeles Rams 50.0% 50.0%

The Rams are the most "whatever" fan base in this survey, and here's another example of that: Only half would consider converting a partner or spouse who literally rooted for their most hated rival. The Chargers are low on this list, as well, so maybe it's an L.A. thing.

Jets fans most likely to encourage their kids to root for their team

There's certainly something extra special about being able to share your NFL fandom with your children. At the very least, it's better than being a San Francisco 49ers supporter and watching with horror as your daughter asks for a Seattle Seahawks jersey for Christmas.

Here's a breakdown of which NFL fan bases are most and least likely to try and steer their kids into supporting their favorite team:

Would you encourage your children to support your favorite team, or let them choose for themselves?

Rank Team Same team Their choice Their choice but no rival
🥇 1 New York Jets 49.2% 39.7% 11.1%
2 Cleveland Browns 45.2% 34.2% 20.6%
3 Green Bay Packers 43.2% 43.8% 13%
4 New England Patriots 42.8% 44.7% 12.5%
5 Miami Dolphins 42.2% 50.6% 7.2%

It appears that Jets fan parents have found a punishment worse than grounding. Nearly half would persuade their children to root for their beloved J-E-T-S, which seems like cruel and unusual punishment. The Browns register as a solid No. 2 (with more than a fifth saying they'd let their kids decide, as long as that choice wasn't a rival.)

Rank Team Same team Their choice Their choice but no rival
28 San Francisco 49ers 27.1% 52.3% 20.7%
29 Tennessee Titans 27.0% 59.5% 13.5%
30 Los Angeles Rams 25.5% 61.8% 12.7%
31 Arizona Cardinals 24.4% 65.9% 9.8%
💀 32 Jacksonville Jaguars 18.5% 74.1% 7.4%

Jacksonville fans might show no quarter when it comes to persuading a partner or spouse to embrace #DUUUUVAL, but they give their kids more autonomy more than any other fan base. Arizona and the notoriously cavalier Los Angeles Rams are next in line, while San Francisco rounds out the bottom five but is more stringent when it comes to kids favoring a rival team.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans

Pennsylvania NFL fans to rivals: Take this job and shove it

We've all dreamed of working for our favorite NFL team at some point, whether as the general manager, head of social media or on the field breaking tackles or slinging TD passes. But would you be as willing to accept a job with your most hated NFL rival? Here's the skinny on which fan bases balked at that idea – and which ones were most open to it.

Would you ever accept paid work/employment with your rival team?

Rank Team No Yes
🥇 1 Pittsburgh Steelers 35.2% 64.8%
2 Philadelphia Eagles 33.3% 66.7%
3 Green Bay Packers 28.4% 71.6%
4 Seattle Seahawks 28.2% 71.8%
5 Dallas Cowboys 26.7% 73.3%

States don't get much more sports-obsessed then Pennsylvania – and given the depth of fandom attached to both the Steelers and Eagles, it isn't at all surprising to see both fan bases at the top of this survey question. And the thought of a die-hard Packers supporter leaving Green Bay to take a job with the (urgh) Bears ... it strains credulity, no?

Rank Team No Yes
28 Indianapolis Colts 15.4% 84.6%
29 Cincinnati Bengals 15.3% 84.7%
30 New York Jets 15.2% 84.8%
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 14.8% 85.2%
💀 32 Carolina Panthers 13.0% 87.0%

"When can we start?" That's how the majority of Panthers supporters would react to being offered a job with their rival team – and based on how Carolina football has fared over the past few years, that completely checks out. And who do we find occupying the No. 2 slot? It's our friends from Jacksonville, who continue to steal the show.

Raiders fans most likely to remain loyal post-relocation

Watching a beloved franchise switch cities is easily one of the most heart-rending scenarios any NFL fan could possibly endure. But it does happen – and we wanted to see which fan bases would be most likely to support their team even after a change of address, along with which supporters would be more inclined to switch allegiances.

If your favorite team relocated to a different state, would you stay loyal or switch to a more local team?

Rank Team Stay loyal Switch teams
🥇 1 Las Vegas Raiders 87% 13%
2 Pittsburgh Steelers 83.6% 16.4%
3 Miami Dolphins 83.1% 16.9%
4 Dallas Cowboys 82.3% 17.7%
5 Kansas City Chiefs 79.8% 20.2%

Say what you will about the franchise itself, but you won't find a more passionate fan base – and Raider Nation travels particularly well, so you could expect strong support wherever the team landed next. Also, a Cowboys move should have higher odds than an alien invasion, but it's good to know that America's (Relocated) Team would still be the No. 1 option in Big D.

Rank Team Stay loyal Switch teams
28 Detroit Lions 59.5% 40.5%
29 Houston Texans 58.6% 41.4%
30 Seattle Seahawks 56.4% 43.6%
31 Cleveland Browns 55.6% 44.4%
💀 32 Carolina Panthers 52.7% 47.2%

Carolina as the No. 1 (or rather, No. 32) option isn't all that surprising, but there's more intrigue behind the Browns at No. 2. On one hand, having already lost the original iteration of the Browns to Baltimore, it's understandable that Clevelanders might prefer to simply cut ties with Browns Version 2.0. But would a self-respecting Cleveland native suddenly be okay with rooting for, say, the Bengals?

Methodology

We surveyed 3,023 NFL fans across all 50 states, the demographic breakdown is as follows:

Gender Share
Male 66.7%
Female 32.7
Non-Binary 0.6%

Age Group Share
18-27 13.9%
28-43 52.4%
44-59 26.5%
60-69 5.9%
70+ 1.3%

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