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Top NFL Teams: #8 Chicago Bears

At #8 in FanWide’s Top NFL Teams Ranking is the Chicago Bears. The Bears seem to never be forgotten when mentioning the top NFL teams. The Bears, otherwise known as the Monsters of the Midway, have a history like no other. Since the Bears’ establishment in 1920, the Bears have had quite a lot of success. The Monsters of the Midway have a record of 761-583-42. That is a respectable percentage of victory of 56.4%. This dominance has been seen through the presence of legends like Walter Payton, Gayle Sayers, Mike Ditka, George Halas, and Sid Luckman. The Bears dominance, although lost in recent years, has been restored due to the acquisition of all-pro linebacker Khalil Mack. Although the 2018 season ended on a sour note for the Bears, Bears fans have a lot to look forward to. The Bears have a solid foundation with a more-than-legitimate quarterback and a ferocious defense.

 

Bears fans smile as their team exerts their power on other opponents| Photo courtesy of 710 Beach Club.
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Top European Soccer Teams: #3 Barcelona

Since its inception, La Liga has been dominated by two football clubs: Barcelona and Real Madrid. Lionel Messi’s brilliance has kept Barcelona relevant for years, but he doesn’t do it alone. Aside from a star-studded supporting cast, Barcelona boasts one of the largest fan bases in the world, across all sports. While F.C Barcelona’s claim to have 1 billion fans might be inflated (generally attributed to double counting fans on social media, visits to their website, etc.), they are not far off. A history of elite talent has lead to perennial Spanish football dominance, but where do they stand on the global stage? FanWide has collected data that measures both popularity and on-field success. The result? Barcelona ranks #3 among European soccer teams.

Barcelona fans at Camp Nou prove that they are among the most spirited in the world. | Photo courtesy of Futaa
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Top 10 Baseball Teams: #2 Los Angeles Dodgers

Coming in second on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the Los Angeles Dodgers. From Brooklyn, home of the Dodgers until 1957,  to LA, it is difficult for many teams to boast the historical greatness of the Dodgers. The team has a rich history of success, both past and present. The Dodgers also have a rich history of superstars, from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax to current ace lefty and 3 time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Situated in the nation’s second largest market, the Dodgers are always situated at the center of the baseball world, and they never disappoint. 1st place finishes in fan clubs, recent wins, recent All-Stars, and and average attendance earned them the spot as FanWide’s #2 Baseball Team.

Dodgers fans have enjoyed consistent success in recent years. Photo courtesy of dailynews.com

Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Dodgers graded out as follows:

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Top European Soccer Teams: #4 Manchester United

With 20 English football titles, Manchester United is the most decorated football club in England. Their history as an English football powerhouse is undeniable. Because of this reputation, Manchester United has attracted some of the most talented English footballers. English players like Wayne Rooney, Bobby Charlton, and David Beckham have all called Manchester United their home at some point. With better players comes more wins, a cycle of success that has worked in Manchester United’s favor over the years. The club’s tradition of success has given them one of the largest fan bases in the world. Each year, United is always in the mix for a title. Their prominence in English football and beyond has earned them the #4 spot in FanWide’s European soccer rankings.

The Manchester United Supporters’ Club in Egypt | Photo courtesy of Scoop Empire
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Top NFL Teams: #10 Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks come in at #10 in the FanWide Top 10 NFL team ranking. The Seattle Seahawks are a well rounded team who have found successful recently. They are the winners of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 which Russell Wilson, Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, and the “Legion of Boom” willed them towards victory with FanWide’s own brand ambassador Cliff Avril starting the game with a sack.  Many of the players on the Super Bowl winning roster are still playing for the Seahawks today. While the Seahawks were unable to advance past the wild card round this past season, no NFL team ever wants to face them come playoff time. Around the league, the Seattle Seahawks are known for their crazy fan base which is commonly referred to as the 12th Man. The Seahawks’ fanbase is always loud and excited regardless of the rainy weather. While most of the Seahawks’ success occurred recently, they have still had some NFL greats in the past. Players such as Shaun Alexander and Steve Largent played major roles for the Seahawks in the past. While they only have one Super Bowl to celebrate, their future provides hope for Seahawks fans. With perennial Pro Bowler Russell Wilson returning along with a dominant defense their second Super Bowl appears to be on the horizon.

Seattle Seahawks fans celebrating their Super Bowl win. | Photo courtesy of RantSports
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Introducing the Top NFL Teams

In the United States, football is by far the most prominent and popular sport. Every Sunday (and some Saturdays) from September to January, most Americans wake up with excitement and eagerness. Watching NFL games and rooting for a favorite team is part of American tradition. On average, NFL games tend to get 18 million viewers and the big games are consistently the most watched broadcasts every year. The next most popular league in America, the NBA, only gets around 1.8 million viewers per game. Considering how important football is to America, FanWide has decided to create its own ranking of the top 10 NFL franchises. Using FanWide’s unique data, this top 10 list includes the amount of Fan Clubs each team has around the nation. FanWide has evaluated all 32 NFL teams across both the AFC and the NFC. The top 10 teams have been successful in recent seasons as well as throughout history. They all have their fair share of Lombardi Trophies and are all considered “NFL Elites” relative to the rest of the league. In addition, all 10 NFL teams are big market teams with large and loyal fan bases. Due to their consistent prowess, every football player growing up wants to play for these 10 teams. These teams are considered the tip of the top and have succeeded for decades on and off the field.

NFL fans celebrating their teams at the NFL Draft. | Photo courtesy of 247Sports
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Top 10 Baseball Teams: #3 Boston Red Sox

The reigning World Series champs take the #3 spot! At the moment, there are few fan bases in all of sports happier than Red Sox fans. For the Sox, 2018 was nothing but a resounding success. Following a franchise-record 108 wins in 2018, the team cruised through the playoffs to take home another Commissioner’s Trophy upon winning their 4th World Series. During this streak they lost only three total games while defeating the archrival Yankees, reigning champion Astros, and a Dodgers team making its second consecutive World Series appearance. Expectations couldn’t have been higher at the recent Red Sox Winter Weekend, held every January, an annual event that allows fans to hear from and even meet current players, team officials, and Red Sox legends. Led by young manager Alex Cora and stars such as right fielder Mookie Betts, designated hitter J.D. Martinez, and ace left-hander Chris Sale, the Red Sox (and their fans) hope to be firmly in the mix for another World Series title in 2019. As a franchise with a rich and storied history, the Red Sox are popular with fans in New England and across the country. It should come as no surprise that they graded out highly among FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams, finishing third overall.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale is a fan favorite at Red Sox Winter Weekend. Photo courtesy of mlb.com.
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Top European Soccer Teams: #5 Liverpool

It is not a bad time to be a fan of Liverpool Football Club. The team is currently in second place in the English Premier League, and they aren’t too far behind in the Champion’s League race. Young phenom Mohamed Salah is driving the team’s success as of late, but if you know Liverpool, you know that the team is much more than one player and much more than one year. Liverpool’s success has transcended eras, gaining them the reputation of one of the elite football clubs in the world. Alongside their deep trophy case lies an impressive social portfolio; in short, Liverpool is successful on and off the field- successful enough to land them the #5 spot in FanWide’s European soccer rankings.

Liverpool fans in Jakarta, Indonesia proudly display the fan-favorite saying “You’ll never walk alone.” | Photo courtesy of Liverpool Echo
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Top 10 Baseball Teams: #4 Chicago Cubs

FanWide’s #4 team on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the Chicago Cubs. Few teams can match the history, good and bad, of the Chicago Cubs. In 2016, the Cubs broke the 71 year “Curse of the Billy Goat”, a period in which did not even appear in a World Series, let alone win a championship. Now, led by young stars such as third baseman Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and second baseman Javier Baez, the Cubs hope to win another World Series soon. Led by top 10 finishes in every category and top 3 showings in fan clubs, regular season wins, national games televised, and Forbes value, the Cubs can proudly call themselves FanWide’s #4 Baseball Team.  

The 2016 World Series is a defining moment for Cubs fans. Photo courtesy of mashable.com

Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Cubs graded out as follows:

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Top European Soccer Teams: #6 Arsenal

Arsenal is currently in a scorching hot Champions League qualification race. Each year, the top four teams in the English Premier League earn themselves a ticket to the Champions League. Arsenal will continue to battle with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea for the third and fourth spot- the top two spots are currently occupied by Manchester City and Liverpool, who have all but secured entry. Arsenal is no stranger to the Champions League- they have failed to qualify just twice since 1998. Unfortunately, they have never been able to capture the elusive Champions League trophy. Even without this hardware, Arsenal has been a staple in English football since they were founded in 1886. In fact, in 1891, they became the first London football team to turn pro. Today, London (the largest city in England and 24th largest city in the world) is a hub for soccer; Arsenal is one of six EPL teams to call London their home (along with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, Fulham, and West Ham United). Arsenal consistently performs among the top teams in the EPL, and the “Gunners” have grown out of their original home- The Royal Arsenal- and into the third largest stadium in England. Arsenal’s rich history has played a key role in their success. Their prominence on and off the field has earned them the #6 spot in FanWide’s European soccer team rankings.

The Arsenal Supporters Club in India is one of the largest Arsenal fan clubs in the world. | Photo courtesy of goal.com