Help me pick a new favorite football team

I grew up in the Detroit area, so I always felt obligated to cheer for the Lions. You know, home team and all. But they are a perennial disappointment. In fact, growing up I remember most of my friends were fans of other teams. The Steelers, Green Bay, Raiders, and Cowboys were all more popular than the Lions.

I know they will never win a championship in my lifetime, it’s time to give up on them. So, with a week and change before the regular season starts, tell me which team should be my new favorite. I do have a few biases though:

  • I don’t like any of the NFC North teams besides Detroit, or the Bucs, who used to be in the old NFC Central before realignment. Some old rivalry stuff going on there.

  • Although I live in Florida, I don’t like any of the teams from this state. I tried to get behind Jacksonville back when they got their expansion team, but it didn’t stick.

  • Also, no Patriots. I don’t want to just jump on the bandwagon of a team that’s fashionable to be a fan of.

  • Finally, no sucky teams. Give me one with at least a realistic shot at the playoffs. Otherwise I’d just stick with Detroit.

So, who is my new favorite team? Make your case!

Is this the kind of football which involves kicking the ball? :wink:

There’s only one team worth rooting for- the Steelers. If I need to convince you of that there’s no point. Trying to prove that the Steelers are great is like trying to prove that Gandhi was great. It’s just that self-evident.

Gah! I’ll see your Steeler’s and raise you Da’Bears or Da’Vikings…

I was going to suggest my team, the legendary DALLAS COWBOYS!

Then I read this…

As a die hard Washington Redskins fan, I have to take this opportunity that there is nothing like a Steelers fan. They are amazing. The devotion is remarkable. I live in Austin Texas, which is Cowboy country. In order to see the 'skins, I have to go to a bar to watch the game on satellite. Everywhere I’ve gone to see a game in this town, there is always 1 or 2 skins fans. And about 50 Steelers fans. Every bar I’ve been to. Some bars decide which games to show based on who shows up first. I once got to a bar 2 hours before the game started, and Steelers fans had already claimed one of the TVs.

When I lived in Denver, it was the same thing. When I lived in Washington, I always saw Steelers hats and shirts. Kind of understandable, geography-wise. But Denver? Austin? And these guys go nuts over the Steelers. I’ve never seen such camaraderie. I’m truly envious.

As if all this wasn’t enough, each and every one is friendly. When the Skins played the Steelers last year, all the Steelers fans were nice to the 4 Skins fans. Friendly banter, etc.

So, as much as it pains me, if you want to make friends, have fun with strangers, and root for a team with a reputation for players with decent reputations and stable ownership you gotta go with the Steelers.

The Eagles. We’re good but there isn’t much that’s fashionable about being an Eagles fan, unless beer guts start making the cover of GQ. Our uniforms are pretty sharp or at least don’t look as bad as the Bungles new threads.

Its a very workmanlike team, with a lot of undrafted free agents who have worked their way into the lineup. ‘Cheesesteak’ Andy Reid generally keeps his players in line and out of trouble. (No mere mortal can control T.O. unfortunately.)

And don’t bring up the Santa Claus booing/snowball thing. That was in 1968 and two stadiums ago.

This season all undecided fans will be assigned to the New Orleans Saints.

Don’t you realize that if you jump off the Lions’ bandwagon, it will suddenly go forth in high gear? Stick with the Lions. And since they never play on Mondays (except for one lousy exhibition) you don’t have to worry about staying up too late watching them.

The Broncos. They keep making the playoffs, even if they keep getting their butts handed to them. Plus, their last Superbowl win was several years ago, so it’s not like they’re a bandwagon team. Plus, they’re the team that has been mentioned the most on the Simpsons. “Lisa the Greek”, “Cape Feare”, “You Only Move Twice”, and “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday”

Being a Steeler fan, I would put a word in…

…but you have two teams in your username. How about them?

Oh, the Steelers, eh? You mean the team that HASN’T won three of the last four superbowls? Yeah, must be a great team you got there… :wink:

I’m a Falcons fan. I’m not going to suggest you become one yourself, because I wouldn’t wish that on $%^&*@! Jerry Bruckheimer. (I didn’t choose my team; it chose me.)

However, I can offer some practical advice. I don’t live in my team’s home city, and as a result I hardly ever get to see them play (though it’s been better since we got Michael Vick, of course). Check out upcoming TV schedules; call your local Fox, CBS, and ABC affiliates and ask them how they choose what games to air; look at ESPN’s schedule for the upcoming season. Find out what team has the MOST appearances that you’ll be able to watch. (Personally, I’d say Monday night games count double, because the most magical three words in the English lanugage are “Monday Night Football.”)

That’s how you should choose. Pick a team that you’ll actually get to see. This may mean your nearest local team. It may mean a team with a star who’s a hometown boy (we get Colts games a lot in Memphis, because of Peyton Manning’s local connections).

That’s my advice, because trying to keep up with games live via sucks.

It is time to grow. It is time to become a fan of one of the oldest teams in pro football, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards have been my favorite team since I was a young boy. Back in the 70’s I used to write to every pro football team asking them to send me information on their team. The St. Louis Cardinals were the most generous. Living in Ohio, I caught a decent number of Cards games. Here is one of many sites which details the history of the Cards from Chicago to St. Louis to Phoenix. The Cards are much improved this year and have a new stadium opening next year. They’re going to be a factor.

The Washington Redskins are ALWAYS in need of good fans.
Besides, when they score, you can sing the fight song!

Or, you can dress as one of the Hog-ettes! EVERY-ONE loves the Hog-ettes!

Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel are back together! What a coaching combination!

He’s actually right about this, but it’s not the only team one could make this argument for.

Like the NHL’s “original six” franchises, the NFL has tentpole franchises that define the league, and stand for nothing but greatness. Pride in the organization, multiple championships, high representation in Canton, and franchise continuity (ownership, never relocated, jerseys never change), and never playing in a pussy-ass dome. These are the “old guard”, and all deserve the utmost respect.

The Old Guard:
Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

One cannot help but respect these franchises, though the Bears have certainly had a bad run of luck these past couple decades. I would reccomend any one of these franchises to hitch your wagon to. If you dislike the thought of being a bandwagon-jumper, the Giants have been crappy recently but are looking to make some advances in the next couple seasons.

Opposite of the Old Guard are the Young Upstarts, which are the newer franchises that have popped up recently. Many of them are quite good.

The Young Upstarts:
Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

These teams are fun to root for, but really it would have been best to start with them the year they were formed. It is remarkable that most them have already made it to the Superbowl.

My personal, most hated group is the bandwagon teams. These are the teams that lured in a bunch of fans during a run of success in the unbalanced pre-parity era.

The Bandwagons Teams:
Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers

Unfortunately, there are quite a few Scrub Franchises, which can’t seem to develop a winning mindset no matter what they do. You have already experienced this, and I imagine you don’t want more of the same, so avoid this group.

Scrub Franchises
Arizona Cardinals, Cinncinnatti Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks

I would recommend any of the Old Guard franchises; you simply can’t go wrong with a rich team history and a proven winner. Consider that the Cleveland Browns have never made it to the Superbowl despite 35 years of opportunity, or that the Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1947. These are not the kind of teams to hitch your wagon to. Look for an up-and-comer with some sort of promise, ideally who has already won a Superbowl at some point. Avoid greedy owners like the plague, as they poison the integrity of the franchise. (So the Cowboys and Redskins are right out.) I’d say pick a team from the following list:

Baltimore Ravens
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants
New York Jets
Oakland Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers

If you like any of the owners/coaches/players on one of them, go with that. If you don’t know anyone, go with your favorite color.

It was mentioned that you should find out what games you’ll get to see. Other than the Florida teams, you’ll get to see the same games as the rest of the country. Nationally televised games are chosen based on the previous season’s performance, so you’ll likely get some Steelers, Broncos, and Jets games. Of course, the media is falling all over themselves praising Michael Vick, so we all get 5 Falcons games this year. I’d advise you target a team that starts a QB, though, as opposed to a glorified running back.

I didn’t mention several teams. My reasons were as follows:

Buffalo Bills
Too heartbreaking; fans as pessimistic as Jets fans, but never won it all. (And likely never will.)

Miami Dolphins
Can’t sell out home playoff games, which is an abomination.

New England Patriots
Would have been a perfect choice in 2001, but it’s too late now.

Indianapolis Colts
Focus on offense to the detriment of defense, which is pathetic and sad. Also, that “leave town under cover of darkness” thing sucked balls.

Philadelphia Eagles
Same as Patriots, but also simply cannot with it all. Not a good combination.

Minnesota Vikings
Pussies play in a dome in a cold-weather climate. That’s pathetic.

Entire NFC West
This whole division is a fucking joke.

Tampa Bay Bucs
Actually not a bad choice; probably your best bet, in fact, but you already said you weren’t down with the Florida teams.

We did have a courtroom in our last stadium. How freakin’ cool is that?!


Oh yeah? The Steelers are so great they got their insignia from US Steel, and to confirm their greatness they only have it on one side because you can tell who they are even without the insignia!

All joking aside, the helmet has quite a history. Did you know that the three “stars” in the insignia are actually hypocycloids? With a history like that, why would want to root for a team that wears helmetswith cheesy painted-on horns or a red stylized C that looks remarkably like Green Bay’s G? That’s what I thought.

Of course, you didn’t really need to know all of that to come to the right decision. As I said before, the greatness of the Steelers is self-evident. All you have to do is open your eyes and the rest of the schlub teams simply disappear from view.

So, what is ol’ Shamus doing with his Sundays now? Does he actually get to see the game? It’s not like he could watch them before, he was far too busy.