There were 2 minutes left in Friday night’s preseason football game. My once-beloved Kansas City Chiefs were losing 4,000a to 0 and my wife casually uttered the most horrific thing I’ve heard, to date, in our marriage: “I think someday, maybe, I might end up having to root for the Patriots.”
A little bit of background here. We live in Boston, but are both transplants. I’m originally from Kansas City; she’s from St. Louis. Her primary allegiance is to hockey and the Blues, but we have both been able to root for the Bruins. The Celtics were also an easy adoption for us since neither home city has an NBA team (stupid Kings). The Red Sox are tolerated and generally well-wished in our household, but will never be our primary team.
Then, there’s the Patriots.
I abhor the Patriots. To quote Dr. Perry Cox from TV’s Scrubs: I “megaloathe” them. I hate their sense of entitlement. I hate their mumbling, hoodie-wearing coach. I hate their pretty boy quarterback. But, most of all, I hate their fans. There’s a fine line between Pats fans and, say, Sox fans or Bruins fans – since it’s mostly the same group of people – but, I don’t have the energy to try to make sense of that for you right here and now. You just have to trust me that there is a difference.
So, in her earnest attempt to reconnect to a sport she genuinely enjoys – and despite the unfortunate scenario of being a Rams fan in Massachusetts – my lovely wife audibly contemplated the unthinkable.
Now, she has given me the charge to wade through the remaining NFL teams to find her a suitable team to root for. This will start with a trial, one-season fandom. After which, she is free to continue or abandon as she deems fit. What follows is my initial reaction to each team. A final decision will be made prior to the beginning of the season.
Let’s get to it.
-Arizona Cardinals – I’m fairly certain that the fact that the Cardinals used to be in St. Louis goes a long way to disqualify them from her options. Though, I do know some old-school baseball Cardinals fans who still pull for the desert birds. So, I guess it’s an option. I wouldn’t put any money on it, though.
-Atlanta Falcons – Umm…no.
-Baltimore Ravens – If I could blanketly preclude any team with purple as one of their colors from this decision, I would. But, that doesn’t seem fair, so I’ll just blanketly preclude any team that plays in a shit-chasm like Baltimore.
-Buffalo Bills – The only scenario I could see in which the Bills were a good choice, is if it was still the early ’90′s and Kelly, Thomas, Smith, Bennett and crew were still roaming the field in Orchard Park. I honestly loved that team and considered myself a Bills fan for quite a while during and following that era. But, those players are all long gone now. And, I’m fairly certain that if I were to make a Scott Norwood joke, my wife would not get it. So, the Bills are probably not the team for her.
-Carolina Panthers - This team still exists? Interesting.
-Chicago Bears – I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for the bumbling Chicago teamsb. However, I realize it takes a special kind of masochist to really embrace them. My wife is not a masochist, but she IS from the Illinois side of St. Louis, so this might be a good match, but she’s never actually been to Chicago. So, it may be a while before she were to get on board with this one.
-Cincinnati Bengals – My sympathy for Tim Krumrie wore off decades ago. I know Bengals fans who continually scratch their heads over the team’s personnel decisions. Not terribly appealing.
-Cleveland Browns – Umm….no.
-Dallas Cowboys – The only team more detestable to me than the Patriots. Hate the city. Hate the owner. Hate everything there is to hate about the franchise…with the possible exception of Tony Dorsett. He was pretty cool. But that doesn’t affect the big picture. No wife of mine will EVER root for the Cowboys.
-Denver Broncos – Two words: “Divorce Court.” No self-respecting person chooses to be a Broncos fan. It’s imposed upon you early on in life. Sort of like dentist visits or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
-Detroit Lions – I don’t even think ACTUAL Lions fans root for the Lions anymore.
-Green Bay Packers – I hold no ill-will toward the Packers. The years – not to mention his own actions – have turned Brett Favre into a pariah, but he left Green Bay what seems like eons ago, so they can’t be blamed for that. I guess this could be an option…but I’d rather her not don a hunk of foam rubber cheese on a weekly basis.
-Houston Texans – If I haven’t been succinct enough throughout my time here at EJSIC about my hatred for all things Texas, I apologize. Outside of Austin and parts of San Antonio…there is really no need for any of it. That said, I was actually at the first ever draft party for the Texans at the Astrodome in 2002 when they selected David Carr. If memory serves me right, that’s the last time I’ve ever heard anything about the Texans. Oh..and did I mention that Houston is in Texas?
-Indianapolis Colts – The only shred of respect I have for Patriots fans is regarding their collective disdain for the Colts. However, I do find Peyton Manning to be a likable dude. HOWEVER, he and Eli were in this terrible, terrible thing. So, I’m back on the side of the Pats fans. <showers>
-Jacksonville Jaguars – I would probably say something about this team here if I had any concept of what they were about or what they were like. I know they are in Florida. And they have a stupid cat noise that plays all the time at home games. Or is that the Panthers? Either way, I…I’m sorry…I got so bored typing about this team that I forgot where I was going with it.
-Kansas City Chiefs – I would love nothing more. But, it is impossible to be a Chiefs fan where we live. The local media thinks that Kansas City is somewhere in Wisconsin….and that Wisconsin is somewhere in Illinois. And, I’m fairly certain the national media believes the franchise to be buried somewhere in Lamar Hunt’s casket. It wouldn’t be fair to her.
-Miami Dolphins – Another Florida team, right? I’ve been to their stadium. It’s alright. I’m not generally impressed with south Florida sports fans. While, I do tend to think highly of my wife. I’m not sure this is going to work out, Miami.
-Minnesota Vikings – Basically, I look at the Vikings as a combination of the Packers and the Ravens. I don’t really have any negative feelings toward them…but they wear purple. I’m torn. I need to think about this.
-New England Patriots – I believe this has been covered.
-New Orleans Saints – I could get behind this, I guess. I sure as hell wanted them to beat the Colts a couple of years ago. So, that was nice that they did. Still, there’s an awful lot of voodoo that goes on down there in New Orleans. I’m not sure I’m quite comfortable letting that into our house.
-New York Giants – I feel that I should hate the Giants. But, I don’t. Not that I like them or anything. I just…look…don’t make me link to that Oreo commercial again.
-New York Jets – I fear this is a strong candidate. They are the anti-Patriots. They have a fat and outspoken – not to mention entertaining – coach and Brett Favre is no longer on the roster. They make sense regionally and divisionally. And, worst of all, I have no argument to stop it.
-Oakland Raiders – Forget, just for a moment, that the Raiders have drunken, violent hooligans for fans. Or that they are a long-time, bitter rival of the team I grew up watching. Or that they are owned by a megalomaniacal tyrant who refuses to die and destroys careers. Take all of that away…and the they still play in godforsaken Oakland. Pass.
-Philadelphia Eagles – I’ve only known her for a little over 6 years, but I’m pretty sure that my wife has never thrown a battery at someone. So, I’m guessing she’s not qualified to be an Eagles fanc.
-Pittsburgh Steelers – Yeah…my wife doesn’t really care for rapistsd.
-San Diego Chargers – She loves San Diego. But, the Chargers are conference rivals to the Chiefs. So, they cannot even be considered. Besides, Phillip Rivers? DO SOMETHING!
-San Francisco 49ers – A distinct possibility. We both like San Francisco. The 49ers of late have been completely inoffensive to anyone except those who appreciate quality football. But, when she mentioned SF as an option, she couldn’t think of the name of the team…and then just randomly spouted “Oakland?” So, it’s probably not meant to be.
-Seattle Seahawks – Similar to San Francisco, the Seahawks have a good case. We both love Seattle. She’s actually been to a game at Safeco Field, which is right next to whatever the name of the stadium where the Seahawks play. Despite the 3,000 mile distance, they might be a strong candidate.
-St. Louis Rams – N/Ae
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers – YAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH!! No.
-Tennessee Titans - Remember that Bills confession from earlier? Remember the Music City Miracle? I hold grudges. And marriage is about nothing if not adopting your spouse’s grudges. Or so I’m told.
-Washington Redskins – Native American mascots are completely offensivef. Besides that, they play in the NFC East. And, I’ll be damned if I ever say anything nice about an NFC East team.
Stay tuned for any new developments in this very, very important story.
a – Estimate. I wasn’t really paying attention.
b – But not the White Sox…those dirty, dirty sons of whores.
c – Or any Philly sports team, for that matter.
d – Alleged rapistsg.
e – To be fair to the Rams, she has said she will still root for them in addition to whichever team I choose.
f – Yeah, I know.
g – Riiiiight.