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12 Feb 2018

RealSport Top 10: Craziest fanbases

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Honorable mention: New York Yankees

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10. Austrian skiing team

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9. Great Britain Davis Cup team

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8. Ireland national rugby union team

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7. Borussia Dortmund

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6. Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball

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5. Oakland Raiders

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4. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

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3. Alabama Crimson Tide football

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2. Montreal Canadiens

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1. Indian national cricket team

(Photo credit: Acrocynus)

All it takes is a stroll down Broad Street this morning to realize the craziness of Philadelphia Eagles fans in response to their team’s first ever Super Bowl.

The fan’s systematic destruction of their own city is evidence of one of the rowdiest fanbases in all the NFL, but how do they stack up against the rest of the sports world? 

While madness such as the tearing down of a town certainly earns points for this list, destruction is not the be-all and end-all; fanbases also earn points for other shows of support, such as loyalty, loudness, and how intimidating they are to play in front of.

Here are RealSport’s top 10 craziest fanbases in the sports world.

Honorable mention: New York Yankees

Many people note how corporate fans ruin the atmosphere of a sports event; at Yankee Stadium, even the corporates in the most expensive seats are worth their weight in craziness.

In fact, the inebriated suits are often the pacesetters for a wild night at the ‘Bronx Zoo’, and for good reason. With 27 World Series, New York Yankees fans have had plenty to be loud about over the past 95 years.

10. Austrian skiing team

Hear me out here, because this one’s going to take a leap of faith, but skiing fans truly know the meaning of “the party never stops”. Domiciled in a ski resort over a number of days in freezing conditions, FIS World Cup events are often 24-hour-long parties.

While it is often the citizens of the world coming together that makes the event, nowhere does the party get wilder than in Austria, skiing’s most revered nation. If cheering loud really does warm you up, these fans are loud enough to be a wildfire.

9. Great Britain Davis Cup team

British tennis fans have often been lampooned over the years, but a round of applause should go to the nation’s Davis Cup fans for topping the World Group in the cheering department.

Led by Andy Murray and Leon Smith, the UK’s fans came into their own in 2015, when they went on a magical run to Cup triumph, defeating Belgium in the Final. Of course, it would’ve been impossible to not have one British team on this list.

8. Ireland national rugby union team

Echoing the above sentiments, Ireland’s fans belong somewhere on this list, and they make an appearance for their rugby fans at Aviva Stadium. 

First comes the team’s anthem, ‘Ireland’s Call’, belted out by 51,000+ fans, and of course, no trip to Lansdowne Road would be satisfied without hearing the dead silence that befalls the crowd when Johnny Sexton lines up a place kick.

7. Borussia Dortmund

In the hotly contested soccer category, this place could’ve been anyone’s for the taking, but German club Borussia Dortmund eked it out with their passion and “yellow wall”.

It is truly a sight to behold when the fans of the North Rhine-Westphalia club coordinate among their fans the club’s logo, or “on the trail of the lost Cup”, as we saw against Malaga. 

6. Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball

There’s plenty of contention as to who has the craziest student section, (most coming from Duke), but the Kansas Jayhawks’ record at Allen Fieldhouse speaks for itself. The only experience more intimidating than playing the team is facing the fans.

The insanity starts before the national anthem, with the singing of the traditional school and team songs. What follows is two hours of confetti and sarcasm from the students of Lawrence, who oftentimes have been camping out since the night prior.

5. Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia will be sore to not be the NFL’s representative on this list, but we’re rewarding the Oakland Raiders fans for their undying loyalty and support of a team owned by a family who has never shown any interest in keeping them in the city.

Boasting their own Wikipedia page, Raider Nation kicked off a phenomenon of crazed support that fanbases around the league have taken on, but never topped. Get to a game at O-A County Coliseum while you can, before they take off for Las Vegas.

4. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Decidedly smaller than the rest of the fanbases on this list, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs rugby fans more than make up for their size with their sound.

On gameday at Belmore Oval, fans can be heard from multiple surrounding suburbs, with drumbeats, chants and claps to fire up their team and fellow fans. Don’t cross these supporters either – they’ve been known to get violent, even towards players.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide football

While fellow southern units South Carolina and state mates Auburn could easily have made the list, the Alabama Crimson Tide are the undisputed kings of college football, both on and off the gridiron.

Playing in the eight-largest stadium in the world sets the tone for what gameday is like in Tuscaloosa, with visiting fans, coaches and players often overawed by the grandeur of the game, and beaten before even emerging from the tunnel.

2. Montreal Canadiens

As we’ve established, rioting a city after a win or a loss does not guarantee a place on this list; sorry Vancouver Canucks fans, it’s the Montreal Canadiens who rule the roost of hockey fans.

Many players from different teams have consistently ranked the Bell Center as the most awe-inspiring and threatening rink to skate in, but they’re lucky to be on the opposite end. Montreal fans are known to be harder on their own than the opposition.  

1. Indian national cricket team

How can you argue with 1 billion people? As a member of the Indian national cricket team, you’re going to have to contend with that number of fans one way or another, as you’ll bask in their love when you’re winning, and cower from their ire when not.

The scariest part is that number may even be bigger than quoted. Indian diaspora around the world has only added to, not drawn from, the team’s support, leading them to be perhaps the best—and most furiously supported—sports team on the globe.

Who would make your list? Discuss in the comments below!