Metro Atlanta’s top pro and college football teams hopefully will improve on their 2015 seasons—and if not, there’s always tailgating!

So say the kickoff-ready respondents to the latest 1Q cellphone survey of residents in Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown communities.

A 54 percent majority of the 167 respondents said the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons are their favorite local professional team, with the rest almost evenly split between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. And 54 percent thought their favorite team would have more wins than last year—which would be good news for the 3-9 Yellow Jackets and 8-8 Falcons.

Tailgate partying was by far the activity fans most enjoy about football season. But some respondents also cited fantasy football, visiting impressive stadiums and the game itself.

“I absolutely love tailgating,” said a 20-year-old Buckhead woman. “What’s better than BBQ, a cold beer and watching the game with your buddies?”

What some respondents said they love about football season:

“Tailgating, watching the live game with friends and family, the nostalgia and ambiance of fall football.”
–32-year-old Sandy Springs man

“I love the football season vibe. It gets everyone in a team mood, and from everything to tailgating with friends and creating fantasy football leagues [to] going to games with work colleagues, everyone comes together to have fun. You don’t even have to love football to enjoy football season.”
–27-year-old Atlanta woman

“Fans and the stadium. [The] Georgia Dome is pretty cool. Can’t wait ’til they are finished with the Mercedes-Benz [Stadium].”
–27-year-old Dunwoody woman

“Tailgating and the atmosphere of the games! Win or lose, it is always a great time with friends!”
–24-year-old Atlanta woman

“Just watching and enjoying the game, period.”
–25-year-old Brookhaven man

“What excites me about football season is the camaraderie of its fans. Whether it is meeting new people at a tailgate or starting a fantasy league at your job, football season brings all fans together.
–24-year-old Buckhead man

“I love the feeling I get when I smell the grills going and hearing cheers at tailgates while other games are going on! The excitement is everlasting and it gets me excited for the game later that day!”
–28-year-old Sandy Springs woman

“Tailgating with friends. I never stay for the whole game.”
— 20-year-old Atlanta woman

“The excitement, the competition, the fact that you never know what will happen. Football is the best reality TV!”
–36-year-old Atlanta woman

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.