Who to cheer for? That is the question

Jan. 16, 2014 @ 06:18 AM

Life is filled with tough questions like, “Why am I here,” and “What’s my purpose?”. But every year since I began watching football in 1995, except 2004 when the Panthers played in the big game. I’ve been faced with an equally burning question. “Who do I root for in the Super Bowl?” After the Panthers lost on Sunday, I must answer that question again.

Normally, when my favorite team's season ends, I boycott the rest of the playoffs. For example, when the Braves lost to the Dodgers, I wasn’t scrambling around trying to find a new team to root for. I just turned my attention to other things and I won’t even think about baseball until pitchers and catchers report in February.

Football is different. You have to have a team to cheer for at the Super Bowl party. I refuse to be the, “I’m only here to watch for the commercials” guy. I want to yell passionately at the TV. I want a reason to care who wins and who loses. I need a reason to eat enough chicken wings and other fried delicacies that it takes a 180 mile handcycle ride to burn off the calories.

Each of the four remaining teams have their merits and drawbacks to becoming my adopted team on Super Sunday, so I thought I’d list the pros and cons of each. Hopefully, this will also help readers choose a side for the big game.

Denver Broncos  

Pros: I have always liked Peyton Manning. Not only is he one of best quarterbacks in NFL history, he seems to be a class act on and off the field. Peyton also has great taste in pizza. I love Papa John’s. I would also love to see John Fox hoist the trophy. Let’s hope John Kasey doesn’t sneak on the field and send a kickoff out of bounds.

Cons: Traditionally, I have a hard time rooting for AFC teams due to conference loyalty. While there is not as much distinction as the American and National Leagues in baseball, I think the NFC offers a better style of play.

New England Patriots

Pros: I’ve gained a lot of respect for Pats owner Robert Kraft after reading about his friendship with Sam Berns. What a moving story. A Super Bowl win would be a fitting conclusion.

Cons: There are plenty, starting with Tom Brady. I saw him follow a referee up the tunnel using colorful metaphors every step of the way after a controversial call. What a poor display of sportsmanship. New England also has a superiority complex that rivals the New York Yankees and the Liberty Flames. That’s the reason I refer to all three as the Evil Empire.

San Francisco 49ers 

Pros: If they win, I can at least say the Panthers were beaten by the Super Bowl Champions.

Cons: I’ve never liked San Francisco since they were the Panthers big rival in the NFC West. And then there is Colin Kaepernick. I’ve always been told that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I will leave it at that.

Seattle Seahawks

Pros: I interviewed Russell Wilson back in 2009 when Gardner-Webb played NC State. He seemed like a great guy. Plus, I’ve always wanted to say that I got a chance to interview a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Cons: I hate their uniforms. What is it with the city of  Seattle and green? I understand the whole Emerald City connection, but that was also the capital city of Oz. You don’t see players outfitted in a Scarecrow or Cowardly Lion color scheme do you?

If you can’t already tell by my list, I hope the Broncos and Seahawks are in the Super Bowl. I would be happy if either side won. If it is the Pats and Niners, I would be the least upset if New England took home yet another trophy. Now the only thing I have to worry about is which party to go to.    

Like I said, life is full of tough questions.