Who to Root for in the Super Bowl

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.

My Proposal

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.



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60 Responses to Who to Root for in the Super Bowl

  1. Ltlstar says:

    SO funny!!! My husband has been a Lions fan inspite of being a Chicagoite and this year, he was testing waters by trying to root for the Bears and yesterday he threw the towel and said “I’m just not able to… even for the sake of liking our daughter’s Bears dress”.

  2. educlaytion says:

    Full disclosure: I’m a Steelers fan. BUT, when my team isn’t in the big game, I root for good humans. I am a big Drew Brees fan so enjoyed rocking his jersey last year during the run that helped New Orleans so much. My aunt is a Conference rooter like you mentioned. This year, the choice is easy: Pittsburgh.

  3. Donald W. says:

    I’m rooting for both teams…! I wanna see a fantastic, full of action GAME. Just show us what we came to see.

    I definately don’t wanna see a blow-out game…Over early at the beginning of 4th qauarter stuff..

    I wanna see down to the wire…4 sec. remaining…tied 36-36….Full of suspense thriller.

  4. Brett says:

    Hey another Browns fan. (: Great system on picking the team to win. It be great to see a 7th championship for the Steelers, but I’m going with the Packers. The underdog always has to come up and surprise everyone, like the Saints had a while back.

  5. Colleen says:

    Being a Bostonian, I just root against any New York team. That means I root for any team that beats a New York team. Go Steelers! Big Ben is going to be a loser whether he wins or loses.

  6. i agree with all your points, and im rooting for the packers mainly because even though it is a slight one, there is still a bit of an ‘eff you favre’ factor.

  7. CrystalSpins says:

    I pick the Packers because they are closest to my region geographically. And because my best friend hates them. Yeah, I’m kind of a brat. 😉


  8. Carol says:

    I like the system. Honestly, though, we’re Steelers fans at our house and Pirates. We’ll stand by our losing teams too. I’m a little concerned though that our daughter who’s 10 thinks that the Steelers just win the Super Bowl every few years.

    Colleen – I have to agree. Big Ben is not definitely not one of the reasons I cheer for the Steelers.

  9. chrisvicente says:

    I always pick the underdog team if my team doesn’t make it to he big game. Betting against the odds is always more exciting

  10. qachad says:

    Technically, the Packers have won 12 NFL Championships… 3 Super Bowls, and 9 NFL Championships in the pre-Super Bowl era. Despite being in the NFL since 1933, the Steelers have only had relatively recent success. Upon moving to the AFC after the merger of the AFL and NFL, they have won 6 Super Bowls. As this proud Packer fan will point out – if you’re cheering for the team with less championships, you have to root for the Steelers.

  11. Surely words to live by.

  12. Alex says:

    Love it!

    I’ve been a Colts fan since I was little and thought the team was made up of actual colts. I hold a grudge when anyone beats them, which got a little complicated this year since my boyfriend is an anything-New-York fan… I had to hide my happiness with the outcome last night.

    Without my Colts, I tend to choose my Super Bowl team based on whichever colors look better as frosting… Green and yellow topped Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies it is!

  13. enjoibeing says:

    im going with the steelers! maybe cause im from chicago and dont like green bay


  14. Oh, darn! And I always went for the pretty uniforms….

  15. mindslam says:

    Pretty cool little system there…have never heard of or thought it out like that. Although, I am a Cowboys fan…I’m 41 years old & have been a fan since I was 5! I kinda like both teams in this game…so I don’t care who wins…just want to watch a good game!

  16. Lindsay says:

    I was born and raised a Steelers fan and a Steelers fan I will remain! Your post made me smile. 🙂

  17. I too am a Browns fan and no matter what, I won’t cheer for the Steelers. What makes this difficult is that I really like the city of Pittsburgh and have in-laws living there. On top of that, I really like Pittsburgh’s coach and their style of play. Still, I can’t bring myself to cheering for the Steelers.

    My system is to cheer for the team with the most former Ohio State Buckeyes on their roster. This makes it easy as Green Bay has three to Pittsburgh’s two (counting DC Dick LeBeau).

  18. I8yourmom says:

    I’m from San Diego, and don’t care about any other team. 100% agreed on the “2nd favorite” b.s… I got a buddy who was born in Austin TX, lived there for about 3 weeks before moving to Southern CA and somehow the Cowboys are his 2nd favorite team. Face it pal, if you need a backup plan because the Chargers always find a way to blow it, maybe you should just move back to TX. Having lived here for 99.9% of your life it may be difficult to pick up the accent. Great points man!

  19. Catherine says:

    haha, I love this! I am soooo not into sports and I definitely needed some sort of process to figure out who to root for. Thanks for solving all my troubles 🙂

  20. Dan Allen says:

    Being A New England fan, my criteria is the team’s relation to my team. The Steelers are in the same division as us, and Big Ben would get ring number 3 to match Brady so I’m rooting for Green Bay!


  21. Joe Storm says:

    I root for a good game lol Everytime the Pittsburgh Steeler’s go to the SB I do tend to go for them because my favorite team is Philly Eagles and they both are in the same state lol But I just want the game to be fun and competitive.

    But, anyway, I can’t wait to see the commercials!!!

  22. mmgoodsongs says:

    Well……I am a very disappointed Jets fan. I am amongst a very large pool of Steeler fans so it is hard for me to root for them. If my team is out I always root for the underdog unless of course they have a quarter back I can’t stand. I agree with you about the Lakers, Yankees. Go Packers!

  23. Great post, but I will disagree with never rooting for division rivals. As a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, I despise the Packers and the Bears during the regular season (Lions I haven’t worried much about because they’ve sucked so bad). But when it comes playoff time, if the Vikes are not there, I’ll root for the NFC North all day long, the “black and blue division”. A strong division is good for all four teams in it! If the NFC North is not represented I’m still an NFC guy. So, on Super Bowl Sunday…. GO PACK!

  24. fdpancho says:

    Well as an NFC fan(West Div.) I will be rooting for the Packers. After watching the AFC title game the Steelers seem to have the officials not making calls against them that should have be made. I know what its sounds like, but their calls can’t favor one team just because they play agressive; they have to follow the rules like any one else.

  25. Not sure I agree with the 2nd Favorite idea being BS – but then, I have “3 Favorites”, only because in my family – you can’t choose between Mannings. It’s just not done. So I carry a Colts purse with Giants earrings in my ears, and being nostalgic (and the fact that we’re from Mississippi/Louisiana) means we still cheer for Archie’s Saints.

    The worst part is that my husband is a Falcons fan – so usually we have some team to cheer for, and this year – nothing. I think I’ll go with Alex’s theory and figure out which team has better colors for desserts!

  26. natalie says:

    Go Pack Go!!!!!!!!!!1

  27. Breland Kent says:

    Steelers all the way baby! 🙂

  28. shenanitim says:

    “[T]here is shame in a Lions fan pretending to be a Packers fan in order to feast on the sloppy seconds of glory.” This is why I’ve never understood sports fandom. Half the athletes on your favorite team (any favorite team) don’t usually live, full-time, in “their” town. Their win gives you nothing but the vicarious thrill of forgetting how pathetic your life seems.

    This is not to bag sports. Competition, as conflict, is essential to everything. Just appreciate the game and the distraction it brings.

  29. I’ve been a Steelers fan since the Greg Lloyd & Kevin Greene days… But, I generally always root for the AFC team in the big game… Unless the Ravens make in which case I just root for a close game.

  30. Green is my favorite color.

  31. Hannah says:

    I hope for the Green Bay Packers to win against the Pittsburgh Steelers! If the Steelers win, it will be two Super Bowls for them in two years, so I think the Packers deserve a chance to win!

  32. Lakia Gordon says:

    Steelers ALL THE WAY!!! Yeeeeeeah!!! (I’m from PA, near Pittsburgh)

  33. I totally agree with you. Some kid on my facebook posted something to the effect of “i love the colts and the steelers have always been my second favorite team, I recently decided to be a steelers fan now”. Can we say bandwagon fan? Ugghh, so annoying.

    As for me, I will be cheering for the Steelers. I have been a fan since I was five and will continue to be one until I die. 🙂

  34. cathincolor says:

    I have to disagree with your theory of “vote for whose closet to you geographically”. I am from Minnesota, and there is no way I’d cheer for the Packers. They are and always will be our rivalries. Go Steelers!

  35. jillfeyka says:

    Clever lol – My Giants (or Bucs) did not make it this year, so I’m going with the next closest to my original home-team: The Steelers. I have to say that it always is a big awkward and a tad less-exciting when your favorite team doesn’t make the grade, but fear not: I shall raise my head high and make the traditional Super Bowl festivities feast and cheer on the Steelers. Funniest part is that I will probably enjoy the commercials more. One can also hope for a fantastic half-time show. Who knows? Maybe Kate Gosselin and Octomom will be featured as back-up dancers for The Jonas Brothers …?

  36. Lindsay says:

    This comment FTW. 🙂 Awesome.

  37. The Messiah says:

    Great post. My system has abandoned all loyalty to cities, teams, and uniforms. I root for the team that has more players that went to the same university I did. Go, go Aaron Rogers! The opening line had Green Bay as a favorite? I don’t see that at all. I expected the Steelers to be the favorite by almost a field goal. I would have money on Pittsburgh if I were a “betting man.”

  38. Amory says:

    The 2nd favorite team thing as pathetic is kinda harsh. There are exceptions to this to. I’ve been a 49ers fan forever, but I went to a football camp in middle school hosted by the Packers. Reggie White gave us all a speech and when me and my friends were tossing a ball around, Robert Brooks walked up and asked if he could play with us. Ever since then, I’ve had a soft spot for the Packers.

    Other than that, I particularly enjoyed the exception about the hatable QBs. So true, I can’t root for the Steelers or Eagles while they are under center.

  39. Amory says:

    I also get very attached to certain players, usually the underdog players, so when one of them is around, I’m rooting for that team. Like Arian Foster and Fred Jackson, or when a late round draft receiver does better than a high pick (Heyward-Bay/Murphy; Benn/Williams) stuff like that.

  40. noone says:

    Loved it. Thanks for the smiles.
    By the way – Steeler Pride all the way – They are my FIRST and only FAVORITE team. 🙂

  41. WiGiapu says:

    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, so Go STEELERS!!!!

  42. i dont watch the superbowl. i only like to see the commercials.. :]

  43. Oscar Lara says:

    Great Post! I’m a huge football fan and my team didn’t even come close to getting in to the play offs. I’m not really rooting for either team but I’ll be excited to watch the game.


  44. dearliv says:

    My plan? Root for the yellow team.

  45. mclj2011 says:

    Both teams are very good and this games looks to be a classic in the making. I hope it lives up to the hype. Go Steelers!

  46. jboring says:

    I always think about if the mascots of those two teams got in a fight, whoever would win is who I root for. I don’t mean if two guys in dumb costumes with abnormally large heads got in a fight, I mean the actual mascots.
    Last year it was easier, saints have all sorts of God super powers they can bust out… they could totally take down some rouge baby horse. This year though it’s weirder because I’m not totally sure what the personified meaning of “steeler” or “packer” is. Right now I’m thinking of guy who worked in a steel factory got in a fight with a giant block of cheese. At first glance it seems like a no brainer because the guy could eat the cheese, but then he’d be constipated for a week so really neither of them win. Subsequently, my system has left me at a loss.

  47. Steelers in honor of my dad!

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  49. sittingpugs says:

    My team (the Falcons) didn’t make it past the Packers. I think I’m going to watch most of the game and not be devastated if they win….and be thrilled if the Steelers lose.

    I needed a good laugh at the start of the morning. I’ve shamelessly plugged your post on my blog!

  50. Brian says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but as far as who has the most “championships” – that would be the Packers.

    I think you mean the most “Super Bowl championships”.

    Nonetheless, I like your system (I am a Cowboys fan – by geographical proximity, though you’re right on for rooting against the Yankees!)

  51. Great read. I agree with a lot of what your saying, but I still don’t like when people root for another team outside their own. Rooting for a conference is always good, but I hate when someone roots for a team other then their own. In my eyes you can “prefer” someone to win, but you cannot root for someone. This is coming from a Lions fan who’s watched disappointing season after disappointing season

  52. tomontuesday says:

    There is always another option…who cares???

  53. Excellent system, and funny, too. Born Steelers fan, here. I too root against jerky quarterbacks, and I think Big Ben’s a classic dipshit, but I’m most impressed with the TEAM for stepping around the giant puddle of crap he laid out, going 3-1 without him and protecting his mislocated brain long enough to reach the Super Bowl.

    Let’s remember — Seven Packers were accused of sexual assault less than a week after Ben’s escapade.

  54. kayrheann says:

    that is a really smart system but i am rooting for the steelers as thy have always been my favorite team.

  55. Pingback: Who to Root for in the Super Bowl » Wordpress-actu

  56. jammer5 says:

    I read sittingpug’s shameless plug of your post, so I decided, What the heck; might be better than the game. And I was correct.

    I shamelessly root for the Chargers, come hell or losing to the dreaded Raiders, regardless of what city they play in. When LT was let go, I watched the Jets out of the corner of my good eye, to see if he could regain his glory days, and was somewhat pleasantly surprised when he sorta did.

    As for every other team in pro football, I watch them strictly for the bloodshed, hoping they’ll be completely decimated by the time my Chargers play them so they’ll at least have a chance of winning. Since my prayers have not been answered, I’m blaming God.

  57. Pingback: Shamelessness | I Trust Ron Freeman

  58. DesertDweller says:

    @qachad – dude whats in your bratwurst???!

    “Despite being in the NFL since 1933, the Steelers have only had relatively recent success.”

    They won 4 Superbowls in 6 years in the late 70’s. By your explanation you make it sound like they’ve only been successful in the 21st century. Do your homework on the other team as well next time.

  59. touristjapan says:


    As for every other team in pro football, I watch them strictly for the bloodshed, hoping they’ll be completely decimated by the time my Chargers play them so they’ll at least have a chance of winning. Since my prayers have not been answered, I’m blaming God.

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