Who to root for? An unaffiliated fan declares playoff allegiances
- Updated: January 2, 2013
Well, here we are again. A Jets fan with nothing to cheer for as the NFL postseason begins (well, maybe at least one thing but more on that later). Although there is much to complain about in Jetland, our non-playoff “plight” is not one deserving of remorse. Gang Green nation is only a few seasons removed from back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances. So, despite how far away that destination may now reside, weep not for Jets fans. Others have it far worse. This predicament, though, leads to a familiar conundrum. With whom shall we cast our lot as the NFL’s second season nears? With my wife’s G-Men similarly out of the mix and no strong ties to any of the remaining candidates, where should I lend my rooting interest? Frankly, I was at a loss, so I decided to break it down in order to determine the answer. From who we’d least like to see move on, to our most fervent rooting interests (I guess)…and away we go go…
12. New England Patriots: This is about the easiest selection of the group. It’s a division rival.
Naturally hated by Jets fans. Plus, they’ve been there plenty before. And, oh yea, they’ve got Belichick, Brady, Gronkowski and a whole bunch more unlikable non-losers. They’ve had their time. America has moved on. So have I. No, thank you.
11. Atlanta Falcons: Try as I a may, this team just does nothing for me. I don’t believe in them, and I don’t particularly like them. It’s not that I dislike them either. They’re just kinda…well, there. And, if you want to throw out clearly biased unsubstantiated opinion, I don’t even think the Atlanta Falcons “faithful” would appreciate a Super Bowl winner as much as some of these other football-hungrier towns. Oh snap, did I just call out Atlanta as a so-so sports town? Yes, I did. Matty Ice is so cool…that, well, he’s doesn’t come off particularly warm. Neither are these birds. It wouldn’t hurt anyone to see them fly away when the going gets tough again.
10. Houston Texans: I’m still getting used to the whole non-Oilers thing. No, really. There’s something about this franchise that just feels too artificial to me still. I don’t root against them, but there’s no real storyline that’s grabbing me here either. Andre Johnson is an under-appreciated star, as is Schaub to a degree. Foster is a testament to perseverance. Kubiak’s managed to survive and build something. But is anyone clamoring for the Texans to dance their way to Nawlins?
9. Cincinnati Bengals: See #10, Houston Texans. Although, I love me some Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
8. San Francisco 49ers: This Harbaugh brother is starting to rub me the wrong way. Not sure why, I’m just not rooting for him. Aside from watching Patrick Willis killing mofos (and his impressive running mate Mr. Bowman), I don’t derive much pleasure in watching this team. Hence, I will not be saddened should they be vanquished early.
7. Green Bay Packers: Blame it on a discount-double-check overdose. I’ve had enough Pack. Love the Lambeau loyalists and a fan of Aaron Rodgers. I’m just done. Plus, don’t you need to have some semblance of a running game to make a run these days? Isn’t this always the problem with these guys?
6. Baltimore Ravens: I can’t decide if I really like the Ravens or truly despise them. I think it might have used to be the latter and has shifted towards the former? Somehow Lewis and Suggs and Reed are becoming less detestable with age?
For serious, though, the whole RayRay swan song is an intriguing subplot. Plus, I like this Harbaugh. And Ray Rice rules. And I’m rooting for Torrey Smith. So, aside from Joe Flacco, I’m perfectly fine with the Ravens making a run. It would be interesting to watch.
5. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are among the teams I’ll be pulling for this Wild Card weekend, although I don’t see them sticking around. There is only one reason I care and will cheer for them above some others (including Green Bay). AD. Peterson’s season has been a sight to behold. This team’s offense stinks without him. He has carried them in every sense. It’s just incredibly entertaining to watch that kind of superstar performance. To see any playoff wins, means “all day” is continuing to do it. We’re down with that. Nine yards. Nine.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Call me nutty, but I’m into all this Seattle stuff! I find myself not even minding Pete Carroll! WTF is going on here! I’ll tell you. Young, fun, fast and aggressive defense. A quarterback who patiently waited in his living room with cameras on his face on draft day with an “I’ll-show-you” look on his face who is now doing just that with great efficiency and veteran-like smarts. A running game courtesy of Beast Mode. BEAST MODE!! It’s a shame they’re not playing at home, because that place has also been rocking. The ingredients are there, and this is a fun team to get behind.
3. Washington Redskins: I’ll admit the third strain of RG-itis has infected me too. Plus, my sister and brother-in-law are now in D.C., and they relay that the town is, in fact, in a tizzy. It’s not just the media hype. It’s good. Washington was sad during football season with the Skins so perpetually stinky and seemingly hopeless of late. Griffin is now king of D.C. And boy is he fun to watch. Also love Alfred Morris and his humbleness and production. I’ve still got fond memories of Santana Moss in green-and-white and feel like he’s mellowed and matured with age too. The fight back from 3-6 is a cool story to boot. I could get on the RGIII train and be a happy passenger.
2. Denver Broncos: Similarly, what’s not to like about this Broncos team and season? A renewed defense led by an immensely likable Von Miller. A running game that got a jolt from a former high-hopes guys in Knowshon Moreno who hadn’t even been active for a good part of the season before stepping in and stepping up. What am I forgetting? Ahhh, yes. The famous cut-that-meat quarterback who we weren’t entirely certain would be able to get any zip on a pass or keep his head straight after a year-long absence with a neck injury. He seems OK. Peyton has just taken a Broncos team that played Tebow-ball in 2011-12 and reinvented them in only a season, making John Fox and John Elway both look pretty good in the process. Not to mention guys like Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. You bet I wouldn’t mind seeing the Lombardi trophy a Mile High in Denver with the elder Manning doing the hoisting.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Really, is there any excuse for an “unaffiliated” fan not to have the Colts on top of their list? From 2-14 to a whole lotta Luck and a healthy dose of about as good an inspirational story as you can get compliments of Chuckstrong. Nuff said. Go Colts.
More dancing, please.