The NFL. The Superbowl. The big game is fast approaching and the two titans of the regular season have beaten all those placed before them in the playoffs. On the 7th of February it will be Indiannapolis Colts vs New Orleans Saints.
In recent years its been relatively easy picking an underdog team to support as a neutral. However, this one is different. New Orleans are the division rival of my beloved Atlanta Falcons. Very easy decision I hear you say?
Well no actually.
The Saints are actually a very likeable team. Their fans are one of the loudest and most accomodating, their colours are sharp and stylish and their style of play entertaining. Not to mention, the way the city dealt with Hurricane Katrina is admirable and heart warming. Real dilemma you see.
Well I have come to the conclusion, I will be supporting the Colts. For me it comes down to several things:
- Underdogs - I love an underdog, and going into this as rookies I see the Saints as the underdog BUT people are starting to say the opposite and I truly think the Saints are becoming the favourites. The tide seems to be turning too early before the game and I think come game day, people will be thinking the fresh looking Saints will have the edge because...
- 2007 Giants complex - its something I think happens when a team ends up garnering ALL the neutrals support for whatever reason. In 2007, everyone wanted to see the Patriots perfect season dream fail, apart from the Patriots themselves of course. In Superbowl 42 everyone who wasnt a Pat wanted the Giants to win and its happening again for the Saints. I dont like it and its feeding the underdog aspect mentioned above.
- Manning v Brady - I want it to be about performance NOT rings. I want Manning to get his second and hopefully a third and make the debate about performance and genuine QB play, not carrying a team. Sure they are both amazing QB's, but he's won more rings is not a valid argument and I want it to be wiped away for good.
- Saints Fans - not all of them. But some of them have gotten VERY smug, VERY quickly. Fans who were previously well mannered and good for a conversation now chant WHO DAT everywhere. To a degree, I understand the excitement of reaching your first Superbowl, but some fans were down right unclassy after their win against the Vikings. Not to mention i'll hear the 'we won a superbowl' taunt everyday until the Falcons do it (which could be a LONG time) which leads me to my final point....
- Bandwagonners - this may seem weird but the Colts won in 06 and they already have a large fanship. Id be disappointed to see another team get flooded with the cr@ppy bandwagon fans that just insult other teams and add to the problems in the point above. We need real, passionate fans that know the lows as well as the highs!
Lets hear your thoughts and who you're supporting come game day.