Every year teams gather for the biggest game in world sports. It’s called football, not footie ball.
Most of the time neither team is your favorite, and that’s the problem.
Due to birth place, geography, or ongoing nightmare, you might be a fan of a bad team.
Of course you can change teams.
If you do that you risk losing respect from the die-hards, the hard core fans, and everyone you’ve ever told about your team.
This year’s Super Bowl gave west coast fans a team to cheer and a fresh face to watch, even if he is an arm kisser. The San Francisco 49ers got it done in the NFC, which means Seahawk, Raider, and Charger fans had a team from their time zone.
It’s a good fit for Pac-12 fans, too.
If you can’t pick a favorite team on merit or time zone, pick one with the most guys from your favorite college team.
The 49ers have LaMichael James returning kicks and giving Frank Gore a rest, so that’s Oregon. But the Ravens have Ed Dickson, Haloti Ngata, and Dennis Dixon.
By numbers alone, Oregon Duck fans lean toward Baltimore, but the theater of Ray Lewis preaching his odd gospel made it too hard.
Picking either Ravens or 49ers is sneaky if you’re true blue to another team. But if you must cheat, do it right.
Follow the rules and you won’t get caught.
1. Don’t do it. Cheating on your team is a stain that won’t wash off. Do Cubs fans suddenly turn White Sox fans? No. They amp up the animosity. If you’re not that strong, continue.
2. Keep your routine. Wear your team colors. Buy a new hat. Spend time looking at draft possibilities for your team. Show enthusiasm for any changes. That’ll deflect suspicion.
3. Expand your fan schedule. Find a new bar that sponsors your #1 team. Sign up for a newsletter and forward it to your sports fan friends. Let them know you are ever faithful.
4. New email account for receiving news on your cheater team. You don’t want lines crossing on the internet. There’s not a fan base checking on you, but there might be. Losing a game is one thing. Losing a team is worse.
5. Two phones. You’ll want to text and call your cheater team, but you don’t want to dirty your reputation as a fan of your real team by using the same phone you talk to them with. After the game, throw it away.
6. Time online. It takes longer to make a cheater team relationship something you can believe in, but remember, it’s only one game. It’s the Super Bowl, and not your fault your team’s not in it, but you still have sports fan needs. Be realistic in your expectations.
7. Check laundry. You may leave scraps of news stories about your cheater team, or line up sheets for the starters you think deserve playing time. Clear all pockets of any evidence. For safety’s sake, stop wearing clothes the color of your temporary team. If someone says, “That shirt’s the same color as 49er red” and you blush, you’re in trouble.
8. Use cash. You plan on a one game romp, but your cheater team has needs too. If you get fired up enough, you might buy a t-shirt, socks, or underwear with that team’s logo. Those articles of clothing won’t show, but you’ll know. You don’t want credit card receipts showing up later to haunt you.
9. Keep up with your real team. Sure, they might be horrible year after year and you’ve never said a word. They might have an eccentric owner who builds a state of the art stadium, then stinks it up. They might have a celebrity quarterback who dates Hollywood starlets. If one of their offensive linemen and one of their former coaches goes into the NFL Hall of Fame this year, you want to be there for them. You need to be there for them.
10. Be a real fan to your real team. Again, wear the colors. Talk them up. Find the positives and get creative. You love their throw-back jerseys. They’ve been great once and will be again. Tell those close to you that you’re a one team fan and you’ll never change. Choke down the bitterness of believing a team run by a money guy is more interested in money than winning.
Finally, the game. At first the Ravens were on schedule to make Super Bowl 47 a run-away. Then Beyoncé blew out the lights. When they came back on the 49ers made it a game. Not a winning game, but a winning effort that came up short. In the end, the team with the most Ducks won, and LaMichael’s fumble defined his time in the super spotlight.
Picking a team that has no business ruining your fanhood is bad, but when they lose it’s even worse. Not picking a team leaves you in a fail state. You start watching for injuries, concussions, and possible point shaving calls by the referees. You see them whether they happen or not. You turn into a bad sports fan.
The biggest complaint from Super Sunday was the non-call on pass interference in the end zone toward the end. Was it a bad call? Not when you consider the Pittsburgh touchdown against Seattle that didn’t cross the line.
It’s one thing to cheat on your team, but worse when the refs cheat the entire football world, right Seahawk?