Any pro football fan will tell you their city has the best fans — if not the top team and finest stadium. But as the NFL season unfolds and fans ponder a getaway to a football-fanatical city that might be, well, second best, it's worth examining which NFL cities are the football-fairest of them all.
Most of these NFL cities field teams that made the playoffs last season — and their stadiums and fans are as solid as their offensive lines. They're also cities with much more to see than football games.
The perennially competitive Packers may have the friendliest fans of any NFL team — as long as you don't block their view when Aaron Rodgers is hurling the pigskin to the end zone. They're also the most avid fans and Lambeau Field is regarded as the best NFL stadium. But it ranks high on the list for harsh winter weather conditions and lofty ticket prices.
Steelers fans are rabid in support of their team — and for good reason. They're the only NFL team to win six Super Bowls and they've made the playoffs in seven of the last ten years. Heinz Field is also first-rate, with views of the downtown skyline across the Ohio River from many seats.
At a Broncos game, expect to go big. Big scores (the team has remarkably never been shut out at home in its 56-year history), big crowds (with a 76,000-capacity stadium) and big mountains nearby. Oh yeah, and they won big at the Super Bowl last February.
Ever since Belichick and Brady began working their magic, Bostonians have backed the New England Patriots with a fervor normally reserved for the Red Sox. After a game you can tour Boston's historical sites and feel smarter by strolling the leafy Harvard campus.
It was an awful 2015 season for the Dallas Cowboys, making the rival Texans the state's leading team with three AFC South titles in the last five years. A few more seasons like that and Houston might just steal the Cowboys' nickname, “America's Team," which would go nicely with their red-white-and-blue uniforms.
Barely a year after the Kansas City Royals ate the Mets for breakfast in the World Series, KC sports fans are hoping to feast on a Super Bowl title by the Chiefs. Whether it's baseball or football, though, count on barbecue — at the stadium, at tailgate parties and in the city's most packed restaurants.
The Minnesota Vikings play in the newest stadium in the NFL, a $1.1-billion beauty with a translucent roof and walls that treat fans to a view of downtown Minneapolis — while letting sunlight in and keeping the Minnesota winter out. It's an architectural marvel — and the team is pretty good, too.
Seahawks fans are known for their enthusiasm and their ear-splitting cheers (amplified by the stadium architecture), which drown out the play calling of opposing quarterbacks. But the team deserves the decibels after going to two Super Bowls in the last three years. Seattle is a cool city too — cool weather, cool coffee, cool people.
The Redskins date back to 1927, making them one of America's oldest NFL teams — and one of its most successful, with three Super Bowl titles. After taking in the sights of the nation's capital, visitors can catch a game at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, where the 82,000-fan capacity is the NFL's third largest.
Don't be put off by the nickname of the riverfront stadium — “The Jungle." Most Bengals fans are as well behaved plus making the playoffs for five straight seasons keeps them purring. Ohio is more than a swing state; it's a state with one of the swingingest NFL cities.
The Chicago Bears are one of only two charter members of the NFL, kicking off for the first time in 1920. They have one of the oldest NFL stadiums (Soldier Field, 1924), the most wins of any NFL team (741 after the 2015 season), the highest all-time winning percentage (57%) and the second-most NFL titles (nine). All that and fiercely loyal fans make Chicago a great football city.