Unless you are a Steeler or Packer fan, your favorite football team did not make the Super Bowl. Yet you will still watch and probably pick a team to root for. Most of you will pick a team without any good reason. Some of you will suddenly announce that the Green Bay Packers have always been your second favorite team and that you’ll be rooting for them. There is nothing more pathetic than having a second favorite team. Fans with a second favorite team are fans who are continually disappointed by their real favorite team. To counteract that, they will routinely announce the Steelers or the Patriots or the Colts as their “second favorite team”. Nobody ever says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are their second favorite team. People who surprisingly announce one of the Super Bowl challengers as their second favorite team right before the game is played are the worst of all losers. They are losers who are scared to be labeled as losers. They are losers because they are scared we might label them as losers just because they root for a bad team. There is no shame in being a Detroit Lions fan, but there is shame in a Lions fan pretending to be a Packers fan in order to feast on the sloppy seconds of glory.
When your team doesn’t make the Super Bowl, have a system for designating which team you will root for in the big game. This system ensures that you won’t be accused of wagon-jumping or picking the team with the prettiest uniforms.
This system can be anything you like as long as it’s consistent. My dad used to always cheer for the AFC team, so you can pick a Conference to root for every year. You can pick the team that is geographically closest to you, so the football fan in Billings, MT cheers for Green Bay. My method with the Super Bowl and World Series has always been to cheer for the team that has gone the longest without a championship. The Packers last won in 1997 while the Steelers won in 2009. My decision is made for me. You might also pick the team that has won the fewest championships in their history. Also Packers.
There is certainly the wiggle room for exceptions in this process. These are those exceptions:
- If your system leaves you to cheer for the Cowboys in football, the Yankees in baseball, or the Lakers in basketball then you can, and should, abandon your system. Always root against the Cowboys, Yankees, and Lakers.
- Never cheer for the division rivals of your team. As a Browns fan I can’t cheer for the Steelers or the Ravens. I guess I can’t cheer for the Cincinnati Bengals either, but that doesn’t come up too often.
- If your system leads you to cheer for a quarterback you can’t stand, abandon it. This could be Michael Vick for killing dogs, Ben Roethlisberger for sexual assault, or Brett Favre for being Brett Favre. This exception only stands for quarterbacks, as every team has a wide receiver worth hating.
- If you have money riding on the game.
- If your significant other is a fan of one of the teams, then you are best off cheering for them.
- If your boss’s favorite team is in the Super Bowl, pretend to favor them while secretly wishing for them to be crushed.
You don’t want to be the big idiot yelling for a team that everyone knows you never cared about. So take it easy. Unless you are really a fan of one of the teams, then nothing in the Super Bowl should break your heart. And honestly, Steeler fans, they win every other year, it’s not a big deal if they lose one.