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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can UK fans get a consensus on a favorite NFL team?

Are the Green Bay Packers the favorite NFL team of the UK fanbase?

It seems that as far as favorite NBA teams go, there are usually just a few options for UK fans.  Many choose the Boston Celtics, for their history and now for Rajon Rondo.  Certainly the Houston Rockets have taken on a UK following for Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson.  And maybe the Wizards have a decent percentage of the fanbase now.  Sorry, but the Kings and Cousins have not got their yet.  Point being, Kentucky fans generally have 3-5 teams that 95% of the fanbase consider their favorite. 

But when it comes to the NFL, I never have got a sense of what teams draw the most interest and why.  It seems the Steelers fans have come out pretty hard the past 5 years due to their success.  I am on the record saying it’s amazing how many Bengals “fans” there are, but only when they win 10 games.  For the other 95% of their seasons, they have no fans.  There are Colts fans scattered in the state, and some Titans fans in the southern regions, especially Bowling Green.  But, is there any team that gets the majority of favoritism in the UK fanbase?  A couple options:

-Cleveland Browns
Why: This is my favorite team and the reason in simple: TIM COUCH.  Maybe the best player from Kentucky in the last 50 years, Couch was the first ever draft pick of the new look Browns, and despite what people depict him as now, he actually had success in Cleveland until getting injured.  Once that happened, the fans turned on him and his production dropped.  But, Couch gave me a reason to cheer for them, maybe he did for you too.  Plus, they are fairly close to Kentucky. 

-New York Jets
Why: Two main things the Jets have going for them.  First, the Terminator John Conner plays for them.  Secondly, they are cocky as hell.  It’s something that turns some people off, but really appeals to some also.  Let’s be completely honest.  The Kentucky basketball team has been pretty cocky the last 2 years.  But when you back it up, it can be quite interesting.  The Jets have made 2 straight AFC Championships, so they have backed it up.  And Conner makes a nice addition.

-Green Bay Packers
Why: Defending Super Bowl champs, so the bandwagon fans can jump on board.  Plus, Randall Cobb is there now, and he was the most popular player since Couch.  Plus they have the history and already have a national following.  They play an exciting style and have other players (Rodgers, Hawk) that seem to be personable. 

So, is there a correct answer?  And if there is not an NFL team that holds the majority of the fanbase, what would need to happen for a team to get that majority?  Is is simply which UK players go where?  What would it take?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

79 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can UK fans get a consensus on a favorite NFL team?

  1. RidgeRunner
    9:07 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I just can’t seem to find one team I follow. I watch all the teams that UK players are on but really can’t call myself a 1-team NFL fan.

    Oh..the Bungles suck and it is nice to see them lose. Last time I checked, Cincinnati is not in the state of Kentucky. (Sorry Reds fans) –but I am a state homey who by the way lives in Georgia with UK all over the place in & out.

  2. mores
    9:08 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    There will never be a consensus favorite NFL team in this state, but that’s not a bad thing. Just reflects our own lack of a pro team and the number of other pro teams in close proximity. From what I’ve seen, you get the following mix

    Eastern KY- Steelers
    NKY and central KY (inc. Lexington)- Bengals
    Louisville, Owensboro- Colts
    Bowling Green area- Titans
    Western KY- Bears
    Western western KY- Rams

  3. KY
    9:08 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    philly eagles

  4. UhWhat?
    9:09 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Tim Couch possibly the GREATEST player from Kentucky in the last 50 years? My, my. What color is the sky in the world you live in?

  5. Stud Studerson
    9:09 am July 12, 2011 Permalink


  6. RidgeRunner
    9:11 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    2..ya left out eastern, eastern, hillbilly, eastern ky where I’m from.

    On second thought…we didn’t know what NFL was -nevermind, give us a moonshine still & we will pull for any1 ya want us to.

  7. Ben
    9:11 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Tim Masthay, +1 more for packer fandom

  8. AaronJ
    9:14 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    The Browns? You have got to be kidding.

  9. Ahoogahoo
    9:20 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Packers… no brainer

  10. Cheesehead
    9:22 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Packers fan through and through! Now we got us 2 UK legends! REPEAT!!!!

  11. That guy.
    9:27 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I moved to San Antonio from Lexington at the begining of triplets greatness and still can’t find a team I like better. So I’ll send up love for the boys, yet I know romo will fall flat again.

  12. ahoogamaga
    9:27 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Packer’s punter, Tim Masthay, is from UK. don’t forget him. Packers are the team.

  13. Appalachian Wonder
    9:28 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I grew up in the ’80s, so…San Francisco 49ers it is. Always pull for the Cats in the NFL, though. When the Colts play, I pull for Jacob Tamme to catch about 8 balls and Peyton Manning to throw about a dozen interceptions with the rest of his passes.

  14. That guy.
    9:28 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I moved to San Antonio from Lexington at the begining of triplets greatness and still can’t find a team I like better. So I’ll send up love for the cowboys, yet I know romo will fall flat again. Sad.

  15. willdcat1
    9:35 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    used to follow the Dolphins back in the days of Csonka, Griese, & Warfield; lived in New Orleans awhile, so couldn’t help but get caught up in the craziness for the Saints. When the Saints played the Colts in the SB (was living in Indiana then), it was me vs a roomful of Colts fans. Great thing to see. Still follow the Rams & Bears also (originally from W. Ky). Know lots of folks that are Titans fans, which I can understand – but I’ve never gotten caught up in that.

  16. JLuke
    9:35 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    The Pittsburgh Steelers. Most Super Bowls = Winningest basketball program. Champions hang out with champions..

  17. Spread The Love
    9:44 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    How did BTI omit Tim Masthay from the Packers’ blurb? Oh, wait. I forgot. He’s an idiot.

  18. Miguel
    9:45 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    The steelers are the least likable franchise in sports… Ugly colors, ugly fans, and they’ve had their last 2 superbowls handed to them. O and their qb sexually assaults coeds.

  19. Dark Helmet
    9:47 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I think if you conducted a poll in Kentucky of the NFL fanbase the poll show the fanbase identfying 1. Bengals, 2. Titans, 3. Cowboys, 4. Packers, 5. Steelers. Not sure if it’s because of other state immigration or what. Or the simple fact that Kentuckians are truly lost NFL fans except for northern KY. If Randall gets a lot of playing time the Packers will make a major leap in Kentucky. I am a new cheesehead.

  20. Boogerjones
    9:51 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    BROWNS!!!!!! My favorite team since I was born. (My father’s fault) Tim Couch is one of the most hated players by all Browns fans in the world.

  21. Xryanx
    9:52 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Post number 2 pretty much got it right in my book. Very right actually. Although on a personal level, I’d look good in a packer Cobb jersey.

  22. cpacat
    9:52 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    N. Kentucky area…Bengals are as pathetic as a franchise (back office, management, etc.) as they are on the field. I would love to be a Bengals fan, but will absolutely not give them ANY money as long as Mike Brown is in charge there…See today’s Wall Street Journal for a good rundown of how they are fleecing Hamilton County for millions each year, unbelievable…

    Grew up a Steelers Fan in the 1970 (Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Mean Joe Greene, etc.) One of the best run pro sports franchises out there (philandering QB aside). The Rooney’s “get it”, they understand how to win and how to be a vital part of the community (vs. a blood sucking leach, like Mike Brown!)

    ++Dermonti Dawson, UK alum and Steelers All-Pro center

  23. 44 Stitches
    9:53 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    From KY but lived in A’town, GA for 20yrs now and I roll hard with the FALCONS!

  24. DoubleZeroMostel
    9:54 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    My family, like many other families, moved from Western KY to Detroit during the auto boom before moving back to Paducah, hence (SMH) I am a Lions fan.

  25. anonymous
    9:56 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    4: I believe he means from the University of Kentucky, not the state.

  26. Walsh Is Gay
    9:59 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Have not got their what yet, BTI? Or did you mean not got THERE yet?

    9th grade grammar called. It’s for you.

  27. Nutwrap
    10:02 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky will never have a united NFL team to route for. There isn’t enough population or a hardcore fanbase to earn a NFL team itself. The only city that could be considered is Louisville, but with teams close by (Cincinnati, Nashville, Indi, and possibly St Louis) the NFL won’t consider it necessary to add one there. Many of the NFL team fans grew up watching their team or inherited their “fandom’ from their parents. The possibility of adding UK players could sway non NFL fans to cheering for a team which might give your (BTI) argument some leverage but I don’t think it will affect it in the same way UK basketball players going to the NBA will sway Kentuckians allegiance.

    The Reason: Kentuckians are much more passionate about their NFL teams, than they are any NBA team.

    Historically, there have been few NBA teams near (within 3 hours of the KY border), and even more so, the successful NBA teams have been located in places that don’t match up with Kentucky’s values. Let’s face it, Boston and LA aren’t really close to Kentuckians’ hearts. But the NFL has many successful teams that Kentuckians can relate to. The Packers are one of them since they are a small city team with close ties to a small community; the Steelers could be considered another due to the iron city workers and their relation to the coal miners in WV and KY; the Cowboys with their Southern “Charm”; and of course Cincy (although not successful) and Indy with their proximity to KY. No NBA teams speak to KY like NFL teams can.

    Want further proof? Go to a KY sports bar on ANY Sunday during football season, then compare it to the most anticipated NBA night. I am willing to bet that the bar is packed full of cheering patrons on any Sunday from Sept-Jan while you may only hear a few fans during the biggest NBA game.

    *Yuck Foo Georgia Police, Go Steelers!

  28. ajhjack
    10:05 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t limit the Titans to Bowling Green– far western Kentucky is big-time Titans area. The Caravan (which the stupid lockout preempted this year) is attended by more fans in Paducah than anywhere else in the state!

  29. Powerlifter165
    10:06 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I’m probably the only Seahawks fan in Kentucky since I lived there for several years… went to every home game the last year of the Kingdome.

  30. Colt
    10:13 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Can’t we just be fans of whatever team we want, no matter the UK affiliation? I don’t connect my UK fanhood to which team I pull for in the NBA or NFL.

  31. Katie Martin
    10:19 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    It always seemed to me that there were a lot of Cowboy fans in the BBN. They both had great decades in the 90s and like someone above me stated “Champions hang out with champions”.

    On another note: In 1993, my dad told my mom that the only way he’d get a vasectomy is if the Cowboys won the SB, the Cats won a National Championship, and our highschool boys team won a state title. When the Cowboys won the SB, Jeffersonville won State, and UK went to the Final Four, he deemed that good enough.

  32. dustyblues
    10:29 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    When I was younger I knew UK would always be my favorite college football team. They were not always great so I picked a team that was consistently good so I would have two teams to pull for. I grew up loving the Nebraska Cornhuskers…That is sort of similar to the NFL. My love is the Bengals, but the Green Bay Packers are the version of the Cornhuskers, the consistent good team. I dream one day UK football will have a few elite years like the Cornhuskers.

  33. RandallCobbisdeadtome
    10:38 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    F the Packers! Bear down, Bears!!!

    Jones, a true Bears fan would not allow this type of blasphemy on his site.

  34. uklaw95
    10:38 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Bengals by birth, Cowboys by choice, Steelers-hater because it’s the right thing to do.

    Obviously, Kentucky (the Commonwealth) is divided because we stretch across so many other states that have pro football.

  35. Stat
    10:40 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Agree with 30…I’m a Redskins fan (granted Jarmon is there), but I’m originally from DC – so love my skins – just hate Dan Snyder! I’m a Lakers fan (no UK connection) and hate hate the celtics (despite Rondo and many other UK connections there over the years). Fell in love with the Lakers in the early 80s with Showtime and Magic and been a fan ever since.

  36. uklaw95
    11:02 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Oh, and the BROWNS??? Are you kidding me? The team whose fans CHEERED when Tim Couch got hurt because they had such a porous offensive line that he was running for his life on every down?

    If Browns fans blame their suckassedness on Tim Couch, the are delusional. 33-63 since he left.

  37. Joe
    11:08 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I was a St Louis Cardinal fan until the moved to Arizona, I then jumped to the Patriots bandwagon when they played the Bears in the Super Bowl and have been with them ever since.

  38. Biglaw Dawgin'
    11:12 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    It’s all about location with UK fans. Since we don’t have a home NFL team, we have no loyalties. So, the first city you move to with an NFL team (or close to an NFL team) is usually your favorite by default. In essence, we are so excited to finally have an NFL team to root for that we never go back! E.g.: I’m a Jags fan now living in Miami.

    Those who have never left Kentucky will obviously have a different theory.

  39. ATB (Always True Blue)
    11:15 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Steelers fan but I like the Packers as well (always have my second favorite team), just the way life is.

  40. Tricky Rick
    11:23 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Until the Bungles came into this world the folks at NBC had decided that the Lexington market got the Brown telecast most Sundays, so there are a lot of Browns fans in the area. That would be less true for younger fans but poll those > 50 and you might be surprised by the number of Browns fans.

  41. SeoulCat
    11:23 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Long suffering Detroit Lions fan here (although I support the Bengals too). My father is a Browns/Bengals fan. My older brother likes the Bengals, and my eldest brother loves the Packers. Most of my relatives like the Bengals (we all grew up on the banks of the Ohio, so the hapless Bungles are, by default, our team).

  42. James
    11:27 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    The BROWNS?

    I cannot cheer for the Browns, or any Cleveland team for that matter, after the way they treated Couch. Booing your own player getting hurt? Classless doesn’t even start to describe it.

    That’s the reason I don’t blame Lebron for getting out of there (that and Dan Gilbert’s obviously an idiot), and my worst fear on NBA draft day was that one of ours would get drafted by the Cavs. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

    The Browns…. wow…

  43. The Judge
    11:28 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    After the way the Browns turned on Tim Couch, I hate their friggin’ guts. I want them to lose till Doomsday.

  44. Football Man
    11:36 am July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Steeler fan growing up
    Bengal fan in college
    Bengal fan today
    The radio voice for the Titans makes it exciting

  45. Blue Gray
    12:02 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Tamme and the Colts.

  46. Jimtown Catfan
    12:10 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Was a Raider fan my whole childhood. They acquired Sapp and then Moss and I wiped my hands clean of the Silver and Black! Glad I did b/c Davis is a crusty old fool who makes questionable draft choices (ie Jamarcus Russell and Heyward Bey).
    I spent a few years without a favorite NFL team. I couldnt really decide on one, so I just went regional basically. I have adopted the Titans as my new fave NFL team. Its a relatively easy drive to Nashville to catch a game. My two best friends live in Nashville and are rabid Titan fans. Lastly, Nashville is a pretty cool town as well. Just makes since.

  47. BlacknGold
    12:19 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink


  48. mee
    12:23 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink


  49. bti sucks
    12:24 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    #18. Absolutely. Yes.

  50. mee
    12:24 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    and im not from eastern kentucky

  51. Huff
    12:30 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously? You list a team that cheered Tim Couch’s injury and rejoiced as he was carted off the field on a stretcher? All in the same breathe as calling him the best player in the past 50 years? What are you smoking? No way. Cleveland doesn’t deserve to be on the list. An expansion team that couldn’t come to grips with being an expansion team…all because they revived a dead team name from the team that walked out on them. It made me sick to see Couch basically have a promising career flushed by getting drafted by Cleveland.

    I grew up a Niners fan and still cheer them on. I adopted the Bengals as my team when I moved to Northern KY a decade ago and have cheered them on through their miserable seasons (still cheer on the Niners when the two teams meet though).

  52. Well pilgrim, I gotta tell ya
    12:37 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve been pulling for the Packers since they got Masthay..I saw him come up with mouthfull of soccer field after a collision with Graves Co. keeper in district a kid I pulled for the Raiders due to George Blanda and others…Al Davis ruined that. But with Cobb and Masthay, GBP ALL THE WAY.

  53. WKyPT
    12:37 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Being from Western KY I am a Titans fan so I’m sworn to hate the Colts, but I can’t help but root for Tamme. I never liked the Packers but with Cobb and Murray’s own Masthay I will have to at least not root against them.

  54. ERStLouis
    12:44 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I grew up as a Cowboys fan in the late ’70s and ’80s. In the ’90s the ‘boys had Super Bowl wins and combined with Kentucky’s success made it a great decade for me. I moved to St. Louis in 1999 and the Rams won the Super Bowl that season and became “the Greatest Show on Turf” in the early 2000s. I became a Rams fan, but still pull for the Cowboys as my sentimental favorite from childhood.

  55. bobknighthasapegleg
    12:46 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    tamme was actually hugely relavent last year, and those keeneland hats with the horseshoe over the K to make the UK symbol are the fashion icon of the 21st century. as long as it’s not the f&%*ing patriots, who cares.

  56. Nolecat21
    12:46 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Couch is one of the most overrated players in the history of UK. He was a product of Mumme’s dink and dunk gimmicky offense, rarely completing a pass over 20 yds. The NFL just exposed him, injury or not. If he would’ve played real high school competition during the regular season, he would’ve been exposed much earlier. The way he was when he played against Highlands in the playoffs. Completely layed an egg.

  57. ERStLouis
    12:51 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    As follow up to my post (54) I need to include my hometown as Shelbyville, KY. I admit I was a fairweather Bengals fan around the Super Bowl contending years with Boomer and Icky Woods. I also like Payton Manning so I pull for the Colts some too. However, I’m mainly a Rams fan since living in St. Louis, even through these bad years. I believe Sam Bradford with Steven Jackson will get them back in contention along with former UK WR Keenan Burton. There is a reason for UK fans to also cheer on the Rams!

  58. Jeff Mobley
    12:52 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Back in the day many Kentuckians were Cleveland Browns fans. This is before the Bengals joined the league. The Browns’ game was usually the game most shown in Lexington & Louisville & Cincy tv markets. Dale Lindsey from Glasgow was a star of Brownies. Of course that team is now the Ravens.

    Anyway, i’m still a fan of the Cleveland Browns because of this. Leroy Kelley, Frank Ryan, Bill Nelson, Paul Warfield, et al.

    Just my opinion (I suspect this is generational bias-I’m over 50), GEOGRAPHY should matter. Sports fans should be faithful to the teams nearest them, worship the local gods so to speak, and not pick & choose whatever front-runner is currently in vogue. Bengals to the North. Titans to the South. St Louis Rams to the West. Pick one.

  59. Nolecat21
    12:52 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Lorenzen was 10x the QB Couch was. He put up his numbers through 4 different offensive coordinators if I recall correctly.

  60. Lori M
    12:53 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Remember, the Packers cut Couch, too.

  61. PsychoMike
    12:57 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    16: Green Bay Packers – most championships… contrary to Pittsburgh fans’ beliefs, there was football being played before the SuperBowl era.

  62. J-Bone
    1:03 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Atlanta Falcons, they have Corey Peters, and they are already my favorite team…so if they are the consensus team that would work well for me…

  63. J-Bone
    1:06 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Lorenzen was 10x the QB Couch was, if you then divide that by 10 and cut whatever that number is in half. I don’t recall Lorenzen even in the discussion for being the overall draft pick. May be 10x Couch’s size though, so there’s that.

  64. cattough
    1:32 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Steelers fan here.

  65. Sammydog
    2:08 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I hate the Browns because they DID draft Couch and then threw him to the wolves. He was never surrounded by enough talent to protect him. He played injured much of the time. They used him up and then threw him away. I am always for whoever is against the Browns. My favorite teams are the Colts and the Giants.

  66. JLuke
    2:12 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    #18 Miguel must be a Ravens/Browns fan…

  67. bdubbz
    2:14 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    what about the best kentucky player in the nfl right now???

    Stevie “why so serious” Johnson and the Buffalo Bills!

  68. CALCats
    3:39 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Nolecat21 you are right on the money. Couch said he wanted to come to KY to make a difference and change peoples outlook on UK Football. Then he bailed after his Junior year. As much pain as I have in saying this, Peyton Manning didn’t do that (although he could have). He stuck it out at UT. Couch took the money and ran and it cost him because the Browns sucked so bad. Reap what you sew!

  69. Davideezy
    3:56 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    I’m a huge UofK fan and a big Packers fan! Perfect!

  70. Paducahfan
    4:07 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Where will Packer Central in Louisville convene now that Dutch’s Tavern is closed?

  71. Jim
    4:09 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink


  72. Jawn
    5:13 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    steelers for life!

  73. RondosDribblingHand
    6:01 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Hate to admit it, but I’m a Bengals fan. I live in Marion County, central Ky. I have become more of a Packers fan since Masthay and Cobb arrived though. I also have 3 or 4 Packers players on my fantasy football roster every year too, (qb and wr).

  74. KyKid
    7:46 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah, no doubt Stevie is awesome, but the Bills are a joke.

    Go Packers!

  75. Origina;CatFanForLife
    7:57 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    What about the Denver Broncos??? Home of Wesley Woodyard, Braxton Kelly and DeWayne Robertson was there 2 yrs ago. The Denver coaching staff raves about UK players and how they are really prepared for the NFL.

  76. Cabethy
    9:13 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Cowboys then, now and always! A benefit is that it’s convenient to be able to use the same blue nail polish for UK games and Dallas games. Also Mitch looks like Romo!

  77. Chad
    10:44 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    If it wasn’t for bti, ksr wouldn’t be the same

  78. Neil
    11:56 pm July 12, 2011 Permalink

    Tim Mastay is also a reason why people should root for the Packers. I became a fairly big Bears fan when I moved to Chicago, and was telling all my die hard Bear’s friends how good Mastay really was. They all laughed at me about being obsessed with Kentucky (and hyping a punter) until he helped dominate the field position battle in their last game of the season and again in the NFC Championship Game, Randall Cobb is the best and my favorite UK football player (including Couch) in recent memory. I go to Bears games and they are by far my favorite pro team in Chicago, but there is no chance I wont be rooting for these guys in Green Bay all season long. GO CATS

  79. Cory
    2:16 pm July 13, 2011 Permalink