The NFL, as everyone knows, is the biggest pro sports league in the world. Sure, no one outside North America really knows anything about it, but 20 of the 30 most valuable sports franchises in the world are NFL teams, and all 32 teams are in the top 50. Even the Jaguars.
So in economic terms, yeah, the NFL is tops. And in the United States, at least, the NFL is tops culturally, too. Baseball may be America’s pastime, but the NFL is everywhere, from politics and business to arts and entertainment. In fact, it’s so pervasive that every NFL team has at least one famous fan. Even the Jaguars.
Don’t believe it? Here’s a list to prove it. You probably know about some of these famous NFL fans already, but others may surprise you.
And the rankings? Well, they are based not so much on the total level of star power in a given team’s fanbase, but according to how surprised I was while doing my research. (Which is to say, they’re subjective, so relax.)
Let’s get started, shall we?
Yep, New Jersey native and Lakewood Ranch, Florida, resident Dick Vitale is the Bucs' biggest fan. And he's the Rays' biggest fan, too. In fact, Dick Vitale might just be the only famous person from or living anywhere near Tampa, Florida.*
*Okay, that's not true. Dwight Gooden, Fred McGriff, and Gary Sheffield are all from Tampa. How ironic that such a terrible baseball town produces so much baseball talent.
32. Buccaneers – Dick Vitale
To be honest with you, I'm surprised Jacksonville has even one famous fan, let alone one of the greatest actors of his generation. I mean, at least the weather is nice in Tampa, so people move there when they get old. What does Jacksonville have going for it?
31. Jaguars – Gene Hackman
I heard the guys from Jimmy Eat World like the Cardinals. But since only people between the ages of 30 and 40 know who they are (they're a band that was popular in the early 2000s), I decided to go with John McCain.
30. Cardinals – John McCain
And speaking of ex-politicians, how about President Bush I and President Bush II? The former relocated to Houston for business in the 50s, and the latter was raised there. Hence, they're huge Texans fans.
29. Texans – George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush
Drew Carey is a big Cleveland Browns fan. However, as Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice used to be fourth in line for the Presidency of the United States. Being the host of The Price Is Right only makes you eight in line. So Condi wins.
28. Browns – Condoleeza Rice
Supposedly, Donald Trump claims to be a Bills fan because they are the only NFL team that actually plays their games within the State of New York. However, it's hard to imagine the Donald would ever actually go to Buffalo.
Sadly, the Bills' biggest celebrity fan used to be the late Tim Russert.
27. Bills – Donald Trump
It's unclear if the Dolphins have any real celebrity fans, or just the typical Miami bandwagon types. We do know, however, that Fergie here owns a tiny fraction of the Fins, as does J-Lo, Marc Anthony, and Serena Williams. (I gave Fergie-Ferg the nod over the others because she actually has a Dolphins jersey.)
26. Dolphins – Fergie
Nashville native Vince Gill is also a Titans fan supposedly, but Faith Hill > Vince Gill, so I gave the honors to the country music power couple.
25. Titans – Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
I imagine other famous St. Louis natives (like Jon Hamm, who is a noted Cardinals and Blues fan) might be fans of the Rams, but Nelly is still their most famous celebrity fan.
Well, most famous for being a fan. Not most famous in general. I'd say Hamm has easily surpassed the rapper in that regard.
24. Rams – Nelly
Word has it that Hammer goes across the Bay to root for the 49ers every once in a while, which some might say disqualifies him as a Raiders fan. However, I don't blame him. Everybody needs a break from losing now and then.
Honorable Mention: Ice Cube
23. Raiders – MC Hammer
The internet says UFC legend Chuck Liddell has been seen tailgating outside Chargers games. And given that he was born and currently resides in Southern California, that would make sense.
22. Chargers – Chuck Liddell
I don't know if Rob Lowe became a Colts fan when Peyton Manning made them respectable, or if he was just getting into character for Parks and Recreation (in which he plays a guy from Indianapolis), or what. But he's a Colts fan and, as we all learned a few years ago when Lowe incorrectly tweeted that Peyton Manning was going to retire, a good friend of team owner Jim Irsay.
Honorable Mention: David Letterman
21. Colts – Rob Lowe
Yep, the nicest person in the world is from New Orleans, and she's a big Saints fan.
20. Saints – Ellen Degeneres
Anyone who watches South Parkknows these Denver natives are big fans of the NFL and the Broncos in particular—though that doesn't mean either gets spared their satire.
19. Broncos – Trey Parker & Matt Stone
The greatest swimmer of all-time is from Baltimore, and everyone from Baltimore loves the Ravens.
Honorable Mention: Stacey Kiebler, Josh Charles (a.k.a. "that guy from Sports Night and The Good Wife")
18. Ravens – Michael Phelps
Apparently Jay-Z is a Jets fan, too, but we all know he's too good for the Rex and the gang. Thus, I decided to go with somebody who makes movies about as good as the Jets play football.
Honorable Mention: Ray Romano, obviously
17. Jets – Adam Sandler
Vince Vaughn is also a Bears fan, and I'm pretty sure everyone (except Mila Kunis) likes him better than Ashton Kutcher. However, it seems like Vaughn is a bigger Blackhawks fan than Bears fan, and Ashton is at Bears games all the time. So he gets the honor here.
16. Bears – Ashton Kutcher
I actually don't know if Owen Wilson is a 49ers fan, or if this was just one time when he wore the free swag the team gave him. Still, I couldn't find any photographic evidence of the other supposed celebrity 49ers fans—like Robin Williams and Dana Carvey—so Owen Wilson it is.
15. 49ers – Owen Wilson
How low is President Obama's approval rating right now? So low that I decided to go with a guy named "Wiz" here instead of the President of the United States. (Also, in fairness to Wiz, Obama never wrote and performed a rap song called "Black and Gold" about the Steelers. At least, I don't think he did.)
14. Steelers – Wiz Khalifa
Seriously, how much more do you hate the Washington Racial Slurs now that you know Tom Cruise is their biggest celebrity fan?
Honorable Mentions: Matthew McConaughey, Wolf Blitzer, Bill Nye (The Science Guy)
13. Redskins – Tom Cruise
Snoop Dogg is also a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but more recently he's also become a fan of the Seahawks—apparently because he and coach Pete Carroll are BFFs. Which is weird.
Intertestingly, people have also said Drew Carey has become a Seahawks fan. However, it's unclear whether that is true, or if people are just getting confused because, as owner of the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, he's often seen hanging around at CenturyLink Field wearing navy and lime green.
12. Seahawks – Snoop Dogg
If Usher isn't the most famous citizen of Atlanta, I don't know how is. (Sorry, Big Boi.)
11. Falcons – Usher
The Giants surely have tons of celebrity fans. But not all of them went to the Super Bowl dressed like this.
Well done, Katy Perry.
Honorable Mentions: Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Spike Lee, Tracy Morgan
10. Giants – Katy Perry
Come on. Duh.
Honorable Mention: Kid Rock
9. Lions – Eminem
Since they're "America's Team" (barf), the Cowboys have tons of celebrity fans. However, Carrie Underwood gets the honor here because she actually went so far as to date Tony Romo. And she's hot.
Honorable Mention: Jamie Foxx
8. Cowboys – Carrie Underwood
Did you know Prince is from Minneapolis? Well, he is. And apparently "Purple Rain" is all about the Vikings.*
*I made this up. It's probably not true.
7. Vikings – Prince
Pretty much every famous person from Boston is a Patriots fan. Matt Damon, Tyler Perry, John Krasinski, Conan O'Brien—you name it. (Not Denis Leary, though. Apparently this Bruins and Red Sox die hard decided to be a Packers fan as a kid just to piss off his older brother, which is kind of awesome.)
In any case, the coolest celebrity fan of the Patriots has to be Mark Wahlberg, mostly because wears pretty much nothing but vintage Pats gear.
6. Patriots – Mark Wahlberg
This is pretty much the greatest photograph of the 21st century. Seriously, stop taking pictures right now. There's no point.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Timberlake, and the aforementioned Denis Leary.
5. Packers – Lil Wayne
No, George Clooney didn't walk of Mount Olympus, ladies, but he is from that other cradle of Western Civilization: Cincinnati.
Seriously. He's a big Bengals fan.
Honorable Mention: Nick Lachey
4. Bengals – George Clooney
The biggest celebrity Eagles fan? How about Bradley Cooper, a.k.a. the New George Clooney?
And no, I'm not an idiot whose just confused because Cooper played a huge Eagles fan in Silver Linings Playbook. He actually is from Philly, and he actually is an Eagles fan.
3. Eagles – Bradley Cooper
Yep, Andy Roddick's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue wife, Brooklyn Decker, is a Panthers fan. Why? Because she grew up just outside Charlotte.
2. Panthers – Brooklyn Decker
Seriously. The Chiefs are number one. Having Brad Pitt alone would be pretty good, but they can also count the brilliant Paul Rudd and Eric Stonestreet (a.k.a. Cam from Modern Family) among their fans. Pitt grew up in Springfield in southwest Missouri, while Rudd and Stonestreet both grew up near KC.
That's a pretty good lineup. Who knew?