It’s finally here. On Sunday, February 13, 2022, the Super Bowl LVI will be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, and the two teams going head-to-head for the Vince Lombardi trophy are none other than the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. Of course, it would be natural to think the Rams have a home advantage, and they do.
But let’s not discount the Bengals fans just yet. They have been following their team for years, and many will be at the championship game to bleed orange and black for the team they love the most.
However, before we talk about just how die-hard some fans are, we must discuss what makes a fan, despite what the Super Bowl odds are. So: whose fans are the best? The Rams or the Bengals? There are a few ways to measure this.
How Many Fans… Stand?
Sports debates are difficult to scientifically quantify because so much is subjective. Ask different sports fans, and you would get different answers across the board. Nonetheless, we consider these calculations to be a bit more tangible.
The most obvious one would be how many fans support their teams at actual games? The 2021 data for the NFL showed that the L.A. Rams had a 100.1% capacity for all their home games, which placed them in fourth place as the most supported team, whilst the Bengals had only a 92.1% capacity, placing them in the 25th position.
However, is this an entirely fair comparison, considering that Los Angeles has a population of 18.7 million people, whereas Cincinnati has nearly nine times less? Ticket buying will clearly be far higher in L.A.
Another thing to consider is a ticket bought is not necessarily a seat occupied, and not always by a home team supporter. This can be attested by Bengals fans who know that many Steelers and Browns fans attended games at the Paul Brown Stadium during the Bengal’s off years, and they most certainly weren’t Bengal’s supporters. In fact, many Browns fans say they will not even cheer the team on during the Super Bowl this year.
In TV land, the Bengals beat the Rams by miles. They had the eleventh highest viewership in the country, with a rating of 28.8, with the Rams fans watching at home only rating 10.5 and coming in 29th.
A point to remember though is that Los Angeles is the second-largest market in the country and Cincinnati is the 36th. This means that their rating is representative of far more households than that of Cincinnati. While a greater percentage of Cincinnati watched their team, there were physically more LA people watching due to the bigger market.
Social Media Influence
Although the engagement of Rams and Bengals Fans won’t compare to Kylie Jenner’s following, they are still making their mark in the digital world and reaching out to their teams. Here, both teams’ supporters are neck-and-neck, with the Rams ranked 29th with 2.9 million followers (including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), followed closely by the Bengals with 2.6 million subscribers.
Who Do You Wear?
Sales of merchandise unfortunately don’t contribute to this comparison, as both teams did not make the top 10 team jersey sales. It is safe to say though, that sales would’ve definitely spiked after the success of this season for both teams, but those exact figures won’t be available until after the Super Bowl.
Who Are The Biggest Bengal Fans?
When asking whose blood runs the most orange and black, you would be hard-pressed to find bigger supporters than the Nagel twins of Cincinnati. Steve and Jeff have been season ticket holders for the Cincinnati Bengals for the last 32 years, through the team’s many ups and downs. They have an entire room decked out in every Bengals merchandise conceivable – from pillows to jerseys to cups and figurines. This year is a dream come true for them.
Then we have the Craft Family of Hamilton, who will be attending the Super Bowl game in their best orange and black. Mike Craft, a Butler County Sheriff’s Office Major, said he and his dad had been attending games since 1985, and now he gets to take all fifteen of his family members to see the Bengals play live. His dad has since passed on, so it is an emotional journey for Mike on many levels.
The truth is, no matter who has the most fans or who is the underdog, both teams have surprised many by coming up against each other in the championship game, and it is set to be a nail-biter. The feeling from most of the Bengals fans, however, is that of excitement, pride and great emotion – no matter what happens, their team will have their support until the day they die – and even then, their blood will forever bleed black and orange.