Dispute Arises Over World’s Best Fans

Drew Brees proudly proclaimed tonight that New Orlean’s fans are the “best fans in the world.” At first I believed him. Then I began doing a little research. As it turns out, this is in direct contradiction to what Steelers’ Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said last January when Pittsburth defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game on January 18, 2009, announcing that “Pittsburgh Steeler fans are the best fans in the world!”

And the controversy doesn’t end there.

On February 3, 2007, when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17 to 14 to win the Super Bowl, Giants’ running back Ahmad Bradshaw said quite seriously that New York Giants’ fans were “the best fans in the world.” Mr. Bradshaw never provided third party verification or evidence of any kind to support this statement, but it’s difficult to imagine one making this kind of announcement, usually on national television, without it being true.

The debate becomes heated.

On January 7, 2006, in a wild card victory over the New York Jets, New England Patriot’s wide receiver Jabar Gaffney claimed that New England fans were the best fans in the world, and just a week later on January 14, the Bears’ Rex Grossman stated that it was indeed the Bears fans that were the best in the world after Chicago defeated Seattle 27-24 on their way to the Super Bowl. Similar claims were made by Joe Jurevicius after the Buccaneers won Super Bowl 37 in 2002 and by Kurt Warner after the Rams Super Bowl 34 victory in 1999, though in Warner’s case, he simply said that Rams’ fans “may be” the best fans in the world.

When I searched outside of the world of the NFL, it became obvious this would prove to be a difficult if not impossible case to resolve, as almost identical statements have been made by the White Sox’s Mark Buehrle in 2005, Bob Hartley of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001, and by the Houston Rocket’s Hakeem Olajuwon in 1995.

Difficult as it may be to sort through the mounds of statements, counter statements, contradictions, hypothesis, and outright intentional misinformation that has been proposed regarding who are the actual best fans in the world, this much is clear: If you are fan, of any team, in any sport, you stand a very decent chance of someday being the best.