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A Rundown of the Most Passionate NFL Superfans

The spirit of the game lives in the hearts of fans everywhere who support their teams so passionately. ~David Baker, President and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame

Do you ever wonder what would happen to NFL teams and players without their fans? Well, that’s an undesirable place for sure.

It’s good to know that starting 2019, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is opening up its halls to accommodate the NFL’s super fans. 

In January 2019, the organization inducted three fan honourees into the Ford Hall of Fans. Over 170,000 ballots are cast through online polling that began months before the announcement of finalists. 

These are Don Wachter, a Chicago Bears fan; Rick Holman, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan; and Roger Avila, a Miami Dolphins fan.

Here’s a list of the most passionate NFL fans.

Don “Bearman” Wachter

Wachter is a 56-year-old Plainfield, Illinois resident. He was a season-ticket holder for 33 years and counting. 

Also known as the Bearman, other than painting his face, Wachter also wears a bear head hat to games—where he got his moniker from. 

Between 1998 and 2004, he was the Bears most reliable ally in firing up the home crowd. Wachter would run onto the Soldier Field 

Roger “Dolfan Maniac” Avila

Avila, who is also 56 years old, is from Miami. He was a season-ticket holder for 24 years now.

Avila was called the Dolfan Maniac and considered one of the faces of the team. He appears on TV broadcasts on his usual attire—his No. 40 white Miami jersey. 

Rick Holman

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Holman is the youngest of the three, at only 39 years old. He was a season-ticket holder for 18 years. From Beaver, Pennsylvania, Holman is a history teacher.

Holman never missed a match played in Heinz Field, whether a preseason, regular or playoff game. Holman also travels to Dallas, Tampa, and Detroit to watch the championship games of the Steelers.

Other NFL superfans

Wachter, Avila, and Holman are on a different league now that their names are up in the wall.

And while fans are not created equal, many others are worthy of the same recognition.

100% Cheese Free

Syd Davy’s alter ego, 100% Cheese Free first appeared in Halloween 1993. Other fans motivated him to continue dressing up because they loved how it looks. He is regarded as the face of the Minnesota Vikings.

Hunka Burning Fan

John Lang, 56, is a Buffalo Bills fan who dons Elvis Presley garb. It started with a bet that he couldn’t appear on TV, only he did. He received an airtime thanks to his old guitar, white jumpsuit and painted sideburns. Now known as the rock n roll fan, Lang is now a staple at every Bills game.

Sound and Fury

Leroy Mitchell has been wearing a giant whistle headdress since 1996. A fan of the New Orleans Saints, his whistle can hit up to 120 decibels.

Queen Falcon

Carolyn “BirdLady” Freeman started following Atlanta Falcons in 1998—after 12 years of confinement in bed. She was a deputy sheriff and was severely injured while on duty. She was in every Falcons game, even flying to Houston to watch the Super Bowl LI. Freeman also painted her home black, white, grey, and red or the Falcon colours.

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5 Football Players that Should’ve Already Been Inducted to the HoF

Rumours are circulating that the National Football League (NFL) will be inducting up to 20 football players in the Hall of Fame (HoF) class of 2020. But those are, well, rumours. The NFL has been criticised time and again about the limited number of inductees every year.

This is also the reason why some pro footballers should have already been living as Gold Jackets. If not for the deliberate snubbing of the committee, that is.

Here are the names of these players.

1) Ray Lewis

Lewis is the only NFL player who was selected for the Pro Bowls for 13 times. Other than being seven-time First-Team All-Pro, he was also the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team first-team linebacker.

Lewis was the defender to beat in the 2000s. If not for him, the Baltimore Ravens would not achieve what it had. The team won the Super Bowl XXXV. He received the Super Bowl MVP award as well as two Defensive MVP titles. 

2) Junior Seau

Seau is one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL, playing for San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots from 1990 to 2009. He was a six-time First-Team All-Pro. He also appeared in the Pro Bowl 12 times.

He was included in the 1990s All-Decade Team as a first-team linebacker. The Chargers won the AFC championship title and appeared in Super Bowl XXIX because of Seau.

Unfortunately, he took his life in 2012 but chose to donate his brain so the medical community could study it. He wanted to contribute to understanding how several concussions may lead to physical discomfort later on in life.

3) Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez played for 12 Pro Bowls. He was also a five-time First-Team All-Pro in addition to being included in the 2000s All-Decade team as the first-team tight end.

As one of the top tight end receivers, he was in the seventh ranking in receiving yards and sixth in touchdown catches. He led the record for all-time catches and touchdowns by a tight end in 2007. In 2008, he led the receiving yardage of all-time among tight ends.

Gonzalez has not any Super Bowl ring which could be the reason for the snub.

4) Will Shields

Like Seau and Gonzalez, Shields was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection. Shields was also voted twice to be included in the First-Team All-Pro. He was the 2000s All-Decade Team second-team guard.

Shields also became one of the starting players on his second game as a rookie. He was then included in the starting lineup in the next 2323 games that he played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

5) Brett Favre

Favre was a QB for Atlanta Falcon, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, and the Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in 11 Pro Bowls games. Favre was also a three-time First-Team All-Pro member. In the 1990s All-Decade Team, he was named as a second-team QB.

He led the record for the number of touchdowns thrown as 235 touchdown passes. With this, he became an MVP from 1995 to 1997, the first player to win the title three times. He still holds the record for the all-time passing yardage for a QB with 65,127 yards.  He was one of the reasons the Packers won the Super Bowl XXXI.

 

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Who else do you think should be included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Let us know.