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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 NBA Teams: #5 Cleveland Cavaliers

“With the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select LeBron James”. This statement, delivered by David Stern (commissioner of the NBA at the time), changed everything for not only the Cavaliers, but the city of Cleveland as a whole. All the way up until 2010, LeBron was committed to the Cavs and made them into a team that was not only well respected, but also feared across the league. After the (first) departure of LeBron, the Cavs no longer seemed to hold the same amount of strength as they had in previous season; however, they hit the jackpot with the #1 pick in the 2011 draft with future All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Although Irving struggled to bring the Cavs success in his first few years, he reignited the team’s spirits and potential. When LeBron returned in 2014, the city was joyous and the passion to win was back. During all of LeBron’s next four years as a Cavalier, he carried them to 4 straight NBA Finals appearances. Their most notable performance was coming back from being down 3-1 in the Finals and winning. The city of Cleveland was then branded as “The Land” as it was the center of focus across the league. This season, the team is fresh and young and is led by young guard Collin Sexton who has nothing but success in his future. With all of this going on for the Cavs, it is clear as to why they rank 5th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.

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Photo courtesy of the Cavaliers Grandmother 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 NFL Teams: #9 Denver Broncos

At #9 in the FanWide Top NFL Teams Ranking is the Denver Broncos. This team seems to always be around in January. The Broncos have had two of the best quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. When John Elway was the starting quarterback for the Broncos he was a part of many people who changed the culture in Denver. Since then, the same culture has been in place. In fact, Denver’s winning culture is so special, Peyton Manning decided to go to Denver at the tail-end of his career. The kings of the Mile High have won three super bowls, and more importantly have fans that are incredibly loyal. Although the Broncos had a season of disappointment in 2018, there is a lot to look forward to in Denver considering the Broncos just recently acquired past Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco.

Broncos Fans in Austin, Texas gathering for a big game. | Photo courtesy of thelocalpubandpatio
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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 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 NBA Teams: #6 Boston Celtics

From the perspective of fans across all sports leagues, Boston is the common enemy. Not only does this opinion exist because of the constant success most of all the Boston teams have, but also because their fans are some of the most supportive and rowdy fans. In the NBA, the Boston Celtics have had extreme levels of success recently and historically. Legends such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and many more have steeped  the Celtics with historical moments. Additionally, Boston has not only the oldest active NBA team, but also the oldest overall NBA franchise, along with the New York Knicks, founded in 1946. Currently, under the guidance of head coach Brad Stevens, stars such as Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum lead the team to success. Let’s look at how the Celtics placed 6th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Team Rankings.

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CelticsCon in Valencia, Spain. Photo courtesy of SB Nation.

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Top NBA Teams: #7 Miami Heat

Miami is by far one of the most active and passionate cities across the United States. On top of that, every season their home team, the Miami Heat, never fail to excite the fans and make strong pushes in the regular season. They struck gold in 2003 by drafting Dwyane Wade from Marquette with the 5th pick in the draft. Wade led the Heat, along with Shaquille O’Neal and others, to a title in the 2006 season. A few years later, LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join the Heat and led the team to four straight finals appearances, winning it in 2012 and 2013. In more recent years, the Miami Heat have had a strong roster with Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic. Lastly, Dwyane Wade’s farewell season is this year this has for sure brought a lot of attention to Miami as a legend is retiring soon. He even got invited to play in this year’s All-Star game. Without further or due, let’s look into how the Heat placed 7th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Team rankings.

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Miami fans cheering at a playoff game. Photo courtesy of Eva Ritvo.

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Top NBA Teams: #8 Los Angeles Lakers

Popular. Scary. Legendary. Historic. These are only some of the many words that can be used to describe the Los Angeles Lakers. This past offseason changed a lot for the Lakers. LeBron James chose to sign with them and that reignited the fire within the fans. Along with many young stars such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and of course Kyle Kuzma, this team has an absurd amount of potential carried by one of the best leaders to ever play the game. Nevertheless, one season good season is not the only reason they place in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking. The Lakers have always been one of the most exciting teams to watch. The organization was founded in 1947, the second year of the NBA, which ultimately gives them an advantage over almost all teams as their franchise timeline goes back further. Kobe Bryant, easily one of the best and by far the most competitive player to set foot on an NBA court, spent his whole career with LA and recently retired in 2016. Other legends such as Shaquille O’Neal, the whole Showtime Lakers (Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Wilt Chamberlain, and many more have all put on a Lakers jersey. You will never be disappointed watching a Lakeshow…trust me. No wonder why the Lakers were able to place 8th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.Image result for los angeles lakers watch party

Lakers fans packing Staples Center. Photo courtesy of LA West Media.

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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