Colts fans receive the worst insult a fan can receive in recent NFL fan base ranking

Indianapolis Colts fans wear sad face paper bag masks Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, after a game against the
Indianapolis Colts fans wear sad face paper bag masks Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, after a game against the / Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY

In a recent ranking of all 32 NFL fan bases, fans of the Indianapolis Colts received an insult that every fan group hates.

Typically, NFL rankings are all about what happens on the field. Whether it’s a ranking of rosters, general managers, or position rankings, it’s about the on-field product. However, from time to time, the things that the team can’t really control gets ranked. That could be cities, stadiums, stadium food, and in this case, fans.

Mike Freeman of USA Today recently ranked all 32 fan bases. Instead of ranking them from one to 32, Freeman separated teams by tiers, and wrote a blurb on each team. In total, there were 10 tiers, teir one having the best fans and teir 10 having the worst.

The fans of the Indianapolis Colts were ranked in teir six, which is already average. However, it was what Freeman said about Indy’s fans that hurt. Freeman led with a compliment, saying that Lucas Oil Stadium can get pretty loud, but he followed that up by saying the Colts “fans are a tad front-runnery.”

Colts fans called front runners in a recent ranking

Being called a front runner is essentially like being called a fair-weather fan, saying that the fandom is only vocal when things are going well. For people who consider themselves true, die-hard fans, getting that tag thrown your way is like the ultimate insult.

Not only is it insulting, but it isn’t the most fair characterization of the Colts fan base. Things have been pretty rough for Indianapolis in the years since Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired. As Indy cycled through quarterbacks every year, fans have remained pretty committed and have started each year with optimism. Colts fans deserve more credit for staying loyal through this rough patch than being called “front-runnery.”

If there is any way that fans are front-runnery, it’s their behavior to specific players. While fans generally remain committed to the franchise, a lot of Indy’s fans’ view of players can tend to change with the wind, or the second any adversity arises. Everyone saw that play out with Andrew Luck, and it’s currently playing out with Shaquille Leonard who has been going through a tough time over the last year.

If there is one criticism of Colts fans, that would be it. But for the most part, Indianapolis has a pretty committed group of fans.