In an interview with WYKC’s Jim Donovan during rookie minicamp, Cleveland Browns General Manager, John Dorsey, states the following: “The fan base for the Cleveland Browns is more passionate than Green Bay Packers fans.” Dorsey gives little reason why he believes this to be true. He goes on to say, “That means a lot, but there are a lot of similarities between the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns because of those iconic years early on. That’s why I’m so ecstatic to be here because this is the Cleveland Browns. You can go back to Paul Brown. If it wasn’t for Paul Brown, I probably wouldn’t have a job because he basically evolved scouting.”
Although Brown was known for his keen and systematic scouting approach, this says nothing of how passionate the fans are. It certainly does nothing to prove Cleveland fans are more passionate than Packers fans. Dorsey didn’t seem to have a clear explanation for why he believes this to be true, other than his obvious bias. Over the years, the Green Bay Packers fans have proven why they are more passionate.
Green Bay Packers Fans More Passionate
While Cleveland is overly excited about the future of the team, and especially their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, home game attendance continues to fall. In 2008, 72,778 fans attended Browns home games. However, in 2018, only 65,765 fans made their way to First Energy Stadium. Recent renovations have limited attendance by 5,000 seats, but the Browns could have filled 2,130 more seats last season to reach full stadium capacity. Meanwhile, ticket sales in Green Bay are steadily growing. 70,682 fans attended home games in 2008. Last year, though, 77,834 fans filled Lambeau field.
While more Packers fans attend home games than Browns fans, Packer Backers also help make game parking easier. Residents in neighborhoods surrounding Lambeau Field offer their yards and driveways as parking spaces. Fans attending home games can find parking ranging from $10 to $20, depending on the distance from the field. Sure, some offering game-day parking at their homes might only do so to make extra cash. However, many do so because they love Packers football. Green Bay, as an entire community, is passionate about their football team.
Rating the Fan Bases
ESPN ranks the Browns as the second-most miserable fan base of the NFL. The team hasn’t had much to cheer for since the late ’80s and early ’90s. In a similar study last year, Dr. Michael Lewis of Emory University “ranked the Browns fans as the fifth worst fan base in the NFL.” Lewis had the Browns following the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, and Tennessee Titans. His study was based on fans’ support for their teams at home games, in the online community, and at road games.
Meanwhile, the Packers rank 30th least miserable NFL fan base, according to ESPN. The last two seasons have certainly been disappointing for Green Bay. Going from playing regular January football to missing the playoffs has been an adjustment, to say the least. Despite the Packers recent shortcomings, Cheeseheads know their team boasts a rich history with a Super Bowl trophy named after their iconic coach.
Because of the almost college town atmosphere that is Green Bay, the fans are reminded on a daily basis that they are some of the most passionate fans in the NFL. Their passion is not dependent upon winning, but it obviously helps. After all, as Vince Lombardi said, “We run to win, not just to be in the race.”
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