Art by Peau Porotesano
As I mentioned in part one about the AFC teams, this is a comprehensive guide to being a fan of each NFL team so that Angelinos can actually enjoy the NFL season. Let’s dive right into the NFC.
Pro: They certainly have the prestige and history. Five rings ain’t nothing to sneeze at. And they’re currently pretty strong, despite having their two stars injured.
Con: Very similar situation as the Patriots: If you admit to being a Cowboys fan, especially if you’re not from Dallas, prepare for lots of hate.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Pro: These guys are wildly inconsistent, but when they’re good, they’re scary good. And they’ve had just enough success that you can brag, but not too much that other people will resent you. A perfect balance.
Con: Being a Giants fan is too safe of a choice. You can pick something more exciting.
Pro: Whether they’re good or bad, the Eagles are always entertaining with their tendency to have crazy players and coaches.
Con: However, they’re usually just entertaining for other teams. They have a history of not exactly delivering on fan expectations.
Pro: Um. Yeah, there really isn’t anything good to say. The history is decent, I guess.
Con: Your owner, Dan Snyder, has driven this team into the ground. Your team name is incredibly racist. And to top it all off, your team has been awful for years, and will be until Snyder leaves.
Pro: They have just enough solid history to not be a joke (that 1985 team is legendary), but not too much dominance to be a threat. Bears fans also got their own famous SNL sketch. Daaaaaaa Bears.
Con: Well, your QB Jay Cutler has no idea what he’s doing. And have fun never winning the division with Aaron Rodgers hanging around.
Pro: I mean, mildly associating yourself with Detroit makes you cooler, so there’s that. WR Calvin Johnson is a legend, although he’s fading.
Con: Only the Browns have a more pathetic history. And at least they never went 0-16.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Pro: You want a foolproof choice? The Packers are your best bet. They have not been outright terrible since Bush Sr. was in office. They’ve won the division four years in a row, and will probably make it five this year. QB Aaron Rodgers is already an all-time great.
Con: It’s a boring and safe choice. Half of America already roots for the Packers. C’mon, be a little bit more individualistic! Take some risks!
Pro: Minnesota teams always are fun, scrappy underdogs, and the Vikes are no exception. The fun part about rooting for these guys is that they have an up-and-coming QB in Teddy Bridgewater, who should provide plenty of wins for years to come.
Con: No rings. And you’re in the same division as the absolutely terrifying Packers.
Pro: Your team’s nickname is the Dirty Birds, which is unbelievable. And you’re at a cool 6-2 right now, so who cares if you have no history? QB Matt Ryan and the best WR in the game, Roddy White, will take care of your current needs.
Con: Insert Michael Vick dogfighting joke here.
Pro: QB Cam Newton is absolutely tearing apart enemy defenses at the moment, and LB Luke Kuechly is a tackling machine. This team is surprising a lot of people right now, so hop on the bandwagon before it gets overloaded!
Con: No relevant history to brag about. And sure, they’re undefeated, but they haven’t played anyone too tough. How do you think they’ll fare against an elite team in the playoffs?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Pro: QB Drew Brees may be older, but he’s still a stud. And you get to yell Who Dat and dance around during games. That’s fun!
Con: The Saints are definitely on the decline. It isn’t 2010 anymore.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Con: Let’s see. Your rookie QB, Jameis Winston, is not looking too great. Your team has had one fluke championship year of brilliance, but nobody even remembers it. And most egregiously, they got rid of those hilariously awful Creamsicle jerseys from the ‘70s and ‘80s, which were the only memorable thing about them. For shame, Tampa.
Pro: You want my honest opinion? This is the Cards’ year. You heard it here, folks: The Cards are winning Super Bowl 50. If you want instant gratification, as well as getting to celebrate a team’s first championship, here you go.
Con: Your history pre-Larry Fitzgerald is so nonexistent that your most famous player was a fictional character in a Tom Cruise movie.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
Pro: You will always get to reminisce about the Kurt Warner/Marshall Faulk days. And there’s a really good chance they might move back to LA! Why not pick a potential future hometown team?
Con: Oh yeah, because the Rams are perpetually stuck in 5-11 seasons until the end of time. A good defensive line can only get you so far.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Pro: History, history, history. Joe Montana. Steve Young. Jerry Rice. The Catch. Five rings. You certainly have a lot to brag about, historically.
Cons: But right now? You’re in a disaster zone. Half your team left, along with former coach Jim Harbaugh. Your QB Colin Kaepernick is being exposed as the overrated phony he always was. This is the anti-Cardinals pick, folks: All history, no current good news.
Pros: You get to root for some of the NFL’s most iconic current characters: Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor, Pete Carroll, etc. Oh, and you get to create earthquakes with your crowd noise (true story, look up the Beastquake of 2011) and eat Skittles nonstop.
Cons: Take it from an actual, non-bandwagon Seahawks fan: People will hate you. For whatever reason, the Hawks rub people the wrong way. Maybe it’s the over-aggressive defense and its tendency to pick fights; maybe it’s the whole 12th Man thing. But you will be judged, especially because you’re not from the Northwest. Also, they’re not looking so hot right now, so you might be a bit late to the Seahawk train.
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