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My NFL fanhood is up for grabs… (part 1)

June 25, 2008

I’ve never been a huge NFL fan. The college game has always been far more entertaining, and I’ve been much more connected to the college game since that’s what I grew up on. I’ve never even been to a regular season NFL game before. But I do find the NFL entertaining to watch in the fall. The first team I really cheered for in the NFL was the Falcons because it seemed that they were filling their roster with VT and South Carolina players. Plus, they were led by one of my childhood heroes, Michael Vick. But…

Then came Bobby Petrino. Then came the dog-fighting allegations. Then came the proof. Then came Vick being put into jail. Then came the Falcons players wearing “Free Mike Vick” t-shirts. Then came the Falcons cleaning out almost any trace of Hokies from their roster. The real kick in the gut came this past January, when Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who had lectured for weeks about the importance of honoring contracts in light of the Petrino fiasco, stole defensive coordinator, Brian vanGorder, away from South Carolina just weeks after he had signed to coach for the Gamecocks and promised to stay with Carolina for a long, long time.

As these events took place, my fanhood for the Falcons was hurt considerably, and I chose to no longer be a Falcons fan. It was too much to keep rooting for a team with everything that was listed above take place. After a year of not really cheering for anyone (though I did cheer for the Redskins in the playoffs) I’m ready to get back into the game, but am starting with a clean slate. My NFL fanhood is up for grabs.

So I opened up to possibly making any team “my team.” But I needed to do this with care. This is a big decision – my sons could be cheering for this team because of me and I don’t want them rooting for a dead-end franchise! After talking to my buddy, Ross, about this for a while I was able to narrow down the teams. I used the following criteria:

1) I can’t just pick a front-runner. For example, picking the Patriots is out of the question.

2) Some sort of connection to the team – this would generally mean that they have Gamecocks or Hokies on their roster (or at least some SEC guys that I watched play in college).

3) Geographic location – they need to be close enough that I can watch them reguarly. A team out west would only be on tv in North Carolina once a year. I flirted with the idea of cheering for the Raiders for a while because of the amount of SEC players on their roster, but could I realistically cheer for a west coast team? The same goes with another team I considered – the Houston Texans. But they’re just too far away and have a UVA guy as their starting QB.

4) Not underestimating the “gut factor.” Sometimes there’s just weird reasons that you do or don’t like a team. For example, I considered the Vikings because they have former Gamecock WR Sidney Rice. However, there’s no way I could root for a team who wears purple. Out of the question.

With all that said, here’s the teams that I narrowed it down to:

Washington Redskins

Tennessee Titans

Atlanta Falcons (I know, I know – but part of me just wants to stay with them through these tough times.)

More to come…
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    June 27, 2008 2:30 am

    just no Brett Favre…it is a gut feeling…

  2. Randy permalink
    June 27, 2008 10:05 am

    What about the Panthers?

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