This was the original reason I logged onto WordPress, but it just degenerated into a football/soccer entry. Ok, first thing’s first, about three months away from another NFL International Series game at Wembley and I still don’t have a scooby of who to support, the Denver Broncos or the San Francisco 49ers. I have good reason to support both, not at the same time, merely I have a friend that supports the 49ers, his name is Alex, so his parents have good taste, does their son if he supports the 49ers? The Broncos, little does anyone know, were the first team I stayed up to watch on NFL on five, I liked and followed the NFL long before that night, but all of the time before that night were through highlights and books.
I remember when I was 6 or 7, my mum bought me an NFL handbook and it had basic packages and all the teams and the divisions and a brief history in it, I loved that book, and again I shall be honest, the team that grabbed my attention was the New York Giants, so you could say at a young age, before I really learnt the ins and outs of the NFL, the Giants were my team, I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to that until now, so when my friend Chris talks about the Giants, it does take me back. I think it was Lawrence Taylor that made me love the Giants, they do say it was he who revolutionised the NFL defense… that takes some doing, and I’m English, England loves a gritty defence.
Now here comes the science, I like a number of teams, I think that’s what makes me a bit unique, or should I say open-minded where some people are reluctant to have it or see it. I know I have two favourite teams in the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots, and it’s not just in the NFL, I rarely support only one team at any sport, I just see the broad picture, it’s a sport, it really is a sport, who made up these archaic rules that you can only support one team and one team alone? I support Manchester United, but I also follow my “local teams” Brentford and Hampton & Richmond. If they get relegated or promoted, I’m happy, I’m sad, I follow transfers, I follow matches, if that makes me any more or less of a fan, than so be it, but I really couldn’t care. So with the New England Patriots, maybe it’s the New ENGLAND, or Tom Brady being THE Quarterback (oh, Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning is in the running as well, but those two, a different league to everyone else, think Manchester United and Chelsea).
I’m digressing a bit, my point is, every team I follow, there is A reason, and if I find myself the neutral spectator of two teams, I find a player or some connection to like them for 80, 90 minutes, 2, 3, 4 hours, any more than 4 hours and that’s cricket and I’m ok, I’m not sitting down for 4+ hours watching cricket… A draw? After 4+ hours, a draw?!?!? But with the Broncos vs. 49ers I couldn’t be any more apathetic even if I tried, I know, to try and be any MORE apathetic, not possible, right? There’s not stand out player, there’s no favourite, connection, no admiration, nothing… like a soldier with no pain receptors. I’ve jokingly said whoever wins the coin toss to choose the direction they’re playing in, will be the team I root for, it’s THAT bad.
A couple of people have recently asked me to help them choose a team to support, as much as I said it could something as simple as the Super Bowl you watch, or to have family relations currently living in whatever city has an NFL franchise, if not, could be a player that went to a college you admire or is in town or city, and with that player being drafted to an NFL team, you choose that NFL team, there are many ways to like an NFL team. I like the Green Bay Packers because they have always been quite a balanced team, running game, passing game, defense, special teams, on their day, they can dominate a game. Originally it was seeing Brett Favre in ‘There’s Something About Mary’, ‘That 70’s Show’ being based in Wisconsin, and, this is going to sound stupid but the nickname for fans… Cheeseheads, I like Cheese, it’s quite quirky, I’m quirky, it was just meant to be. I think the chief reason for admiring the Green Bay Packers is the feel of history, they won Super Bowl I & Super Bowl II, they had a legend in Brett Favre for as long as they did, and all all that, you get a feel of family, like once you’re drafted to the Packers or traded, you could possibly be there for the rest of your career, like it really is a family.
A friend asked me to help him choose, he played the Madden 11 demo as the New York Jets, can’t get a team more hit n miss, but at the moment and especially last season they had the defence, the running game, and if need be, the passing game, Sanchez being a great rookie QB. I told my friend, “Support them until you become 100% sure, just know, they’re almost the England of the NFL at the moment. The defence is tough and rugged, they can grind out wins, it may not be glamourous, but it’s hard earned, with passion and heart”. It was the best I could put it.
With this in mind, two years ago my best friend found himself in the same situation, so I suggested the New Orleans Saints, “the Arsenal of the NFL, great attack, star players quick and nibble, lots of flash, but the defense had question marks, but on it’s day, it’s good”… They went on to win the Super Bowl.
That’s the NFL, no team is top dog forever, can’t be a glory hunter for glory doesn’t last longer than 5 years. You may have your down year(s), but does your team have it to build again? It’s probably the reason I love the NFL so much, it really is unpredictable.