Throwing shade, talking smack, put-downs, disses–whatever your go-to term is for trash-talking in sports, we are all guilty of doing it. Sometimes it’s just to make fun of your rivals, and other times it’s spurred out of a pure passion for your team.
But which fan bases are guilty of running their mouths the most?
At VegasInsider, more than 1,000 sports fans to find which fan bases are the biggest trash talkers in the NFL.
We also asked how frequently they talk trash as well as which players and coaches run their mouths the most in the league.
Trash Talking NFL Fans
Three-quarters (75%) say they have taken part in trash-talking while watching an NFL game. Only 1 in 4 sports fans say they’ve never trash-talked before. When asked the top reasons why they trash talk, the top choice was for fun (56%), followed by a bad call that was made (52%), and to let off some steam (28%). Other reasons that fans cited for trash-talking were because they were invested in the outcome of the game (28%), wanted to tick off rival fans (23%), wanted to encourage their team (15%), and wanted to discourage the other team (11%.)
When it comes to who the trash-talking is directed at, it’s actually spread pretty evenly. Almost one-third (32%) say they direct their smack talk at referees, 28% aim it toward players, 14% talk smack to other fans, and only 2% say they trash talk the coaches.
You may be surprised to hear that 53% of sports fans admitted to trash talking about their own team. When asked why most (76%) say it’s because they had a bad play, 55% say they were annoyed at a player, 49% say they were mad at them for losing, and 43% say they were annoyed at the coach.
Interestingly, even though the overwhelming majority of sports fans have trash-talked, only 7% think it actually impacts a game. Also, 44% think it is rude to trash talk at a game.
Who Are the NFL’s Biggest Trash Talkers?
We asked fans to rank the NFL team fan bases that are the biggest trash talkers. The New England Patriots came out at #1, followed by the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Green Bay Packers.
We also asked fans to rank the funniest trash talkers, the most intimidating trash talkers, the most savage trash talkers, and the fan bases that leave them speechless with their trash talking. Finally, we asked fans to rank the fans that cannot back up their trash talking.
The Green Bay Packers landed on a few lists, ranking in the top 5 for both the biggest trash talkers and the funniest trash talkers. The Dallas Cowboys landed in the top 5 of every list and ranking #1 for the fans that cannot back up their trash talking. The New England Patriots landed on almost every list, ranking #1 for biggest trash talkers, #2 for most intimidating trash talkers, and #3 for funniest.
The Philadelphia Eagles ranked #1 for trash talkers that will leave you speechless, the most savage trash talkers, and the most intimidating trash talkers. Watch out for those Birds!
Biggest NFL Trash Talkers
When asked which NFL coaches are the biggest trash talkers, the top pick was Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. Next was John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), followed by Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks), and finally Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys–maybe that’s why their fans are also ranked so highly; on the list of biggest trash talkers?
Next, the quarterbacks that were ranked the biggest trash talkers are Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers), Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns), and Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs), and Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys.)
And now for the Superbowl of trash talkers. The top all-time best trash talkers in NFL history: Deion Sanders (#1), Chad Johnson “Ochocino” (#2), Terrell Owens (#3), Tom Brady (#4), and Odell Beckham Jr. (#5).
Time to Take Out the Trash?
When asked if they trash talk mostly in person or hide behind a screen, 50% of NFL fans say they prefer trash-talking in person. Just over one quarter (26%) say they’d be more likely to trash talk on social media (keyboard warriors, anyone?)
In fact, 27% admit to trash-talking at an NFL team, player, or fan on social media. 40% of fans believe taunting should be allowed in the NFL, and 12% think they could call a game better than a referee.
But what do the fans who are subjected to the trash talk think? One quarter (25%) say that other fans’ trash-talking ruins their experience watching a game, and a mere 7% say they’ve left early or moved seats due to trash-talking fans. 48% would trash talk at a game if their mom was there, and 26% would in front of their own kids.
Some fans even avoid particular team stadiums because of their trash-talking habits. The top stadiums that fans avoid are: the Philadelphia Eagles, the Las Vegas Raiders, the Dallas Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots.
Last year, the NFL introduced a new rule to discourage taunting between players. With a new NFL season kicking off in September, fans should be clearing their schedules for Sunday nights with friends…and maybe avoid those fans that trash talk the most.
In April 2022, we surveyed 1,028 sports fans to get their feedback on the NFL fan bases and the biggest trash talkers.
Respondents ranged in age from 19 to 85, with an average age of 41. 54% were male. 44% were female. 2% were non-binary/non-conforming, transgender, or did not identify.
Featured Image: Vegas Insider