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Jacksonville No. 3 most fanatical football city

4:13 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- Tell a football fan that your city supports its team better than theirs and you may quickly learn the alternative meaning of "pancake." But short of counting the people who turn up for the Super Bowl victory parade, is there really a way to determine which place has the most dedicated fan base?

Foursquare, the smartphone app that lets users "check in" at restaurants, attractions and other venues, took a number-crunching approach to an emotional topic to come up with this list of the USA's ten most football fanatic cities:

1. Green Bay (Packers)

2. Charlotte (Panthers)

3. Jacksonville (Jaguars)

4. Houston (Texans)

5. Seattle (Seahawks)

6. New Orleans (Saints)

7. Indianapolis (Colts)

8. Tampa (Buccaneers)

9. Buffalo (Bills)

10. Boston (Patriots)

The rankings cover check-ins at football stadiums and sports bars on game days during the 2012 football season. The inclusion of the sports bars is key -- bigger stadiums would logically yield more check-ins, but there are millions of rabid fans who may never attend a game but still like to join their fellow supporters to cheer on their team.

So on any given Sunday, the percentage of Wisconsinites who are either attending or watching a Packers game in a public venue makes them the USA's most dedicated supporters (going shirtless in sub-zero weather and wearing cheese-shaped foam hats in public are other strong indicators).

Charlotte and Jacksonville are other cities where you're likely to find a serious football focus if you're visiting on an autumn Sunday, according to Foursquare.

Curiously, many of the league's biggest cities don't appear in the rankings. This could be attributable to the diversity of entertainment options in those places (I was in New York last Super Bowl Sunday and short of the Empire State Building being lit up with Giants colors, you may never have known their team was fighting for a championship that night).

Ben Abramson, USA TODAY

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