Bills Mafia T-Shirt

The NFL's 15 Best Fan Traditions, Ranked

September 19, 2022

Football isn't just about football. It's also about the fans in the stadium getting up to some pretty wild hijinx. Over the course of more than 100 years, the fans have come up with some great traditions to celebrate the sport.

Here's our ranking of the top 15 best NFL traditions. If you've experienced any of these first-hand, you'll know there's nothing quite like them.

15. Cleveland Dawg Pound: Beer Can Chicken

 Beer Can Turkey Dawgs Gotta Eat T-Shirt

The Browns may struggle as a team, but that's not for their fans' lack of passion. Every Sunday during the NFL season, you'll find the Dawg Pound starting their legendary tailgate at 7 a.m. with beer can chicken on the grill. Nothing says football like a chicken stuffed with a can of beer served in a parking lot.

Shop our Cleveland T-Shirts

14. Baltimore Flock: Pit Beef

Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich Flock T-Shirt

Continuing the theme of epic tailgates, we have the Baltimore Ravens' meaty tradition of pit beef. A style of barbeque native to Baltimore, it's roast beef cooked over a charcoal fire and served in a tin with tiger sauce. Ask around, and you're likely to hear old family stories about the origins of each pit beef recipe.

Shop our Baltimore T-Shirts

13. New Orleans Who Dat Nation: Zing Zang Bloody Mary's

Louisiana Helmet Stripes T-Shirt

Sunday game mornings in New Orleans start with football and a bloody mary cocktail—one specifically made with Zing Zang. Best served with horseradish, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, and spicy green beans, this bloody mary mix is a fan tradition spicy enough to get any fan going.

Shop our New Orleans T-Shirts

12. Atlanta Dirty Birds: The Dirty Bird Dance

Atlanta Dirty Birds Dance

Originating from Falcons running back Jamal Anderson's touchdown celebration, the dirty bird dance has caught on with Atlanta players and fans alike.

Shop our Atlanta T-Shirts

11. Philadelphia Eagles Fans: Cheesesteaks and Booing

Philly Cheesesteak T-Shirt 

Eagles fans are known to be rowdy. So rowdy in fact, Veterans Stadium in Philly even used to have a jail inside of it (no, we're not joking). When fans of the Birds get a cheesesteak or two into them, they love to carry on the 'tradition' of letting their feelings known by booing—even if that means booing their own pick at the draft, Donovan McNabb.

Shop our Philadelphia T-Shirts

10. Miami Dolphins: Cheerleaders and... Stripper Poles!

Miami Retro T-Shirt

Arguably not the most family-friendly tradition, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders are known to take traditional sideline cheerleading up a notch with the help of provocative gyrations and even stripper poles. Fans with high blood pressure might be advised to look away!

Shop our Miami T-Shirts

9. Kansas City Chiefs Fans: KC Barbeque

Kansas City By A Thousand T-Shirt

The Chiefs have courted plenty of controversy over their team name and the "Tomahawk Chop." But one thing that isn't controversial is their love of great barbeque. Before, during, and after the game, Chiefs fans consume vast quantities of KC-style ribs, brisket, and burnt ends.

Shop our Kansas City T-Shirts

8. New England Patriots Fans: End Zone Militia

Patriots End Zone Militia

Looking like they just arrived via time machine from the War of Independence, the End Zone Militia are a fan-favorite attraction at Pats games. Armed with muskets and 18th-century costumes, they bring a fun taste of New England history to the field.

Shop our Massachusetts T-Shirts

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cannons and Pirate Costumes

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cannons Tampa Bay Retro Mascot T-Shirt

Giving New England a run for its money in the costume department are the Buccaneers fans and their tradition of pirate get-ups and cannon firing. Whenever the Bucs score, fans are treated to the familiar sound of cannons from the giant pirate ship at the end zone.

Shop our Tampa Bay T-Shirts

6. Minnesota Vikings Fans: Skol Chant

Vikings Skol Chant

The fight song for the Minnesota Vikings, Skol, Vikings dates back to 1961, around the time of the team's creation. With the fans chanting along to the beat of a drum, this Viking war chant makes U.S. Bank Stadium an imposing environment for visiting teams.

Shop our Minnesota T-Shirts

5. Chicago Bears Fans: Dressing Like Mike Ditka

Dressing Like Mike Ditka Da Coach T-Shirt

Whether it's in the crowd, at the tailgate, or at a Bears-watching party at the bar—you're bound to find a few Chicago fans dressed as legendary Bears tight end Mike Ditka. One of them has even made a bit of a career as a Ditka-lookalike!

Shop our Chicago T-Shirts

4. The Seattle 12s

 I am the 12th Man T-Shirt

Most teams have 11 players in the game; Seattle has 12. Seahawks fans, known as the "12th man", have shown their rabid support with feats like setting the Guinness world record for loudest crowd noise. Talk about a home team advantage.

Shop our Seattle T-Shirts

3. Pittsburgh Steeler Nation: The Terrible Towel

Steeler Nation The Terrible Towel

A rally towel proudly showing off the team's black and gold, the Terrible Towel is present at every Steelers game. Fans have even taken them to the summit of Mt. Everest and on board the International Space Station.

Shop our Pittsburgh T-Shirts

2. Green Bay Cheeseheads

Cheesehead T-Shirt

The nickname for Green Bay Packers fans, Cheesehead also describes their iconic headgear. Dating back to the late 80s, fans have shown their Wisconsin pride with the tradition of wearing cheese-shaped hats. Between that and the Lambeau Leap, Cheeseheads know how to do football traditions.

Shop our Green Bay T-Shirts

1. Buffalo Bills Mafia: The Table Smash

Buffalo Bills Table Smash Billa Mafia T-Shirt

Our number one NFL fan tradition is also the most dangerous: Bills Mafia members jumping through folding tables. Since about 2015, Bills tailgates have seen hundreds of tables crushed to pieces by flying football fans. Don't try this one at home.

Shop our Buffalo T-Shirts

There you have it—our top 15 football fan rituals. Sorry to those teams who didn't make it (we're looking at you, Dallas Cowboys). If you're looking to show your team support, check out our collection of awesome football shirts.

Football Fan Gear


Also in News

Baker Mayfield
LET HIM BAKE: Best Moments From Baker Mayfield's Pro and College Career

October 09, 2023 0 Comments

From Oklahoma to the Browns, Baker Mayfield’s football career has had some great highlights. Check out his top moments here.
Read More
Pittsburgh. T-Shirts
15 Pittsburgh Shirts Perfect for Fans of the Steel City

October 04, 2023 0 Comments

Celebrate the Steel City with 15 Pittsburgh shirts! From the Steelers to the Condors, find the perfect shirt to show your pride.
Read More
What is Philly Known For
What is Philadelphia Known For?

October 04, 2023 0 Comments

Explore Philadelphia's fascinating history and heritage. With an abundance of culinary delights, historical sites, and art, the city has got it all.
Read More