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How to Pick a New Favorite Team When You Know Nothing About Football

Posted September 13, 2010

3 comments posted. Read them now.

It's that time of year that I select a new favorite NFL team. Please don't get started about how you don't like football because it's too violent. Of course it's too violent it's the Pulp Fiction of sports. Don't tell me you feel bad about highly compensated athletes racking up concussions until you're ready to talk about how many of our recent war vets have suffered from traumatic brain injuries. Less than a hundred years ago it was considered entertainment in certain parts of the this country to attend lynchings and I've already seen all the reruns from American Gladiator.

Football is a part of American life, and a lot like organized religion: no matter how ridiculous it is, it isn't going anywhere and you might as well root for someone.

It should be clear that I'm not a huge football fan, but I enjoy watching it, and not just because I'm waiting for another Joe Theismann moment. When I watch baseball, soccer or basketball I get really tense: because I have no idea what's going on, a great zen calm overwhelms me when I watch football: it's my shortcut to meditation.

I'm lying. I do want another Joe Theismann moment, but this time I want them to tear out his leg bone, barbeque it and eat it right there on the fucking field.

For a long time I was a fan of the underdog of all underdogs, the New Orleans Aints, especially after Katrina. But now they've won a Superbowl which I totally forgot to watch and there's no way I can support the defending Super Bowl Champion.

When I was in elementary school I was a Jets fan. They had slightly more regular playoff attempts than my sorry Mets, but I lost interest when they stopped playing at Shea Stadium. Now Jets fans are as boorish as early Neanderthals, except without the cave drawings and good table manners, plus they are this year's reality show darling. That's right: there's a reality show about sports, which is more or less a reality show about a reality show. Snake, insert tail in mouth and swallow.

At the same time I'll knock out the Dolphins. This is part of my eternal vendetta for their AFC conference win over the Jets in the '82-'83 season.

First for the easy eliminations: knock out the teams with racially insensitive names: good bye Redskins and Chiefs. You may call this political correctness, but I live in Portland Oregon, where we mispronounce Columbus Day as "Indigenous Peoples Day." I would happily support the Oklahoma Tear Trailers if that were an option.

While we're at it I'm tossing teams of any city where I've lived: out go the Giants, the Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. There's no reason to play favorites.

Since I'm prone to love the underdog, we also have to cut those teams with Storied History, those that are dripping with Superbowl rings: adios the Steelers, the 49ers,the Cowboys and Green Bay, though the Packers get special mention for being named after a abattoir.

It is now time for mass extinction: I will not root for any team named after an animal. Why? Isn't there a connection between Michael Vick dog fighting and a set of weekly contests between Lions, Bengals and Bears? Will the Seahawks tear the wings off the Ravens? And in this world of animal planet war do the Cardinals have a fighting chance?

This has become a zoological bloodbath. Goodbye Bills, Rams, Seahawks, Ravens, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Broncos, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Falcons, Panthers and Cardinals. Sorry to the Lions Detroit deserves a chance for my allegiance. Better luck next year.

It just occurred to me that the Cardinals could actually refer not to a bird but to the Pope's elderly henchmen in red dresses. That changes it all together. Cardinals stay.

We've eliminated all but seven teams! I'm about ready to buy some face paint but I have to make some final cuts. There's a special, elite group of losers which has never been to a Superbowl. These are my true underdogs: Jaguars, the Houston Texans, the Lions and the Browns. Animal teams have already been culled, so that leaves Cleveland and Houston.

I will not be a fan for any team making a reference to Texas. You can thank the Bush Presidency for that. Sorry Houston.

There we have it: my NFL team of choice, the only team in the league named after an underwear stain: the Cleveland Browns! Who are now undefeated at 1-0!!! Go, uh, you guys! Take it all the way!



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