This post was originally published on January 22nd. It’s been updated to only include the participants of Super Bowl 50. If you’d like to read about Arizona or New England bandwagon technique, proceed to Page 2.
If you’re reading this as a Chicago Bears fan, I have some really shitty news.
They missed the playoffs again.
I also have some very good news: There are two fully functional NFL teams left deserving of your cheerful faith, and neither of them are the Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys.
And you get to choose whichever one you want as your favorite NFL team for the next two weeks. But there is one little catch to this opportunity of a lifetime.
Nobody likes a bandwagon fan and even fewer people like a bandwagon fan without a cause.
Fortunately for you, I’m a certified expert in ‘Bandwagoning.’ When people jump on a certain bandwagon, there’s an 86 percent chance that I am the one driving it.
No seriously, I’m a casual fan of at least 12 college football teams. One could say I have a legitimate problem (my friends do), but I view it as a true blessing.
And now I’m bestowing this gift upon you, the football fans who need a team to get behind for the Super Bowl.
Here’s how it works: We’ll go through each of the remaining NFL teams; and I’ll explain how you can intelligently converse about your new favorite NFL team with friends, associates, relatives and the random guy that sits in front of 7-Eleven. That way, you won’t have the devastating label of “bandwagon fan” unfairly hurled upon you.
But all I can do is enlighten in the art of Bandwagoning. You yourself must decide which bandwagon to hop on for the rest of the NFL Playoffs.
So after reading the testaments below, pick a team and then proceed to carry your new fandom in a calm, confident manner. Act like you’ve been there before.
And make sure to eat plenty of queso on Super Bowl Sunday.
This one’s got a built-in Chicago clause, as Panthers head coach “Riverboat” Ron Rivera was on the 1985 Bears team that dominated Super Bowl XX and coached the defense on the last Bears team to appear in a Super Bowl (2006). Fan favorite Charles Tillman is also on the Panthers’ injured reserve, and he deserves a ring solely for being on the Bears that long.
Plus, Carolina’s leading receiver is former Bears tight end and 7th Floor Crew member, Greg Olsen. Which opens the door to express your deep respect for Cam Newton locking up the NFL MVP with a corps of college wideouts.
Other than that, Luke Keuchly is probably the best middle linebacker since Ray Lewis and Josh Norman has gone from Coastal Carolina to one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks in just four seasons. The Panthers also made the decision to move on from that psycho Greg Hardy, and proceeded to go 15-1 this season without him.
If all else fails, you can gush about the Panthers’ super-sweet uniforms and how you’ve always been a fan of expansion franchises.
Here’s the obvious: Hall of Famer Peyton Manning can finally win his second Super Bowl ring during the season he got benched for a guy named Brock Osweiler.
Here’s the less obvious: Hall of Famer John Elway (Broncos GM) and Gary Kubiak (Broncos head coach) have a pretty remarkable, somewhat odd football relationship ever since they were both drafted by Denver – 196 picks apart – in 1983.
Kubiak served the vital role of John Elway’s backup for eight seasons and by 1995, he was back with Denver as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Which technically he means he was Elway’s boss for three seasons.
Now, the two pals are trying to win Denver’s first Super Bowl since Elway retired, with him as Kubiak’s boss. Like I said, remarkable but odd.
I’m not sure why I don’t like the Broncos uniforms that much, but maybe you do. Or maybe you’re down with a team from Colorado winning a title because they’re down with weed.
Last resorts: 1) It’s pretty cool that Denver is built on defense and running the ball, and 2) Emmanuel Sanders likes to wear cowboy hats.
PS: The Broncos forgot to regulate their online ‘Fan Ring of Fame’ generator a couple of months ago, which gave us a few slightly inappropriate ideas.