So, the first half of my search for an NFL team to cheer for yielded little fruit. I skipped over entire NFL divisions and didn't find a team. In part 2, I promise to try harder to find a team, so get ready for lots of reading. I cannot, however, promise to leave no stone unturned. What? There are just some divisions that don't interest me as much as others, OK? I narrowed the list down to some perfectly acceptable candidates.
Green Bay Packers: Okay. Well, this used to be my go-to football team, for obvious Brett Favre-related reasons. I've spent the last two years not quite knowing what to do with myself: stick with the team or follow the quarterback? It feels odd abandoning either one. My second reason to love the Packers was the cheesehead hats, but recent problems with lactose have taken the fun out of that too. Still, I can't quite shake them. Aaron Rodgers is a good QB, and I'm so frightened/impressed by Clay Matthews and his largeness that I feel like I have to cheer for him so he won't eat me. Great names include Atari Bigby and Dimitri Nance.
|o hi there|
VERDICT: Contender. Please don't eat me, Clay Matthews.
Dallas Cowboys: In some ways, the Cowboys would seem like a winner. I love cowboys, and I already have an Australian rugby team called the Cowboys. (Incidentally, go Cowboys!) I know how big of a deal football is in Texas, and as a Habs fan in Montreal, I can relate. The Cowboys wear silver pants. To work. And they're still threatening despite being men in silver pants. Dez Bryant is one of this season's rookies to watch. They've got a few great names, like Tashard Choice, Kevin Ogletree, and Alan Ball (he's a screenwriter AND a cornerback? Wow). But the downside is that I'm just not feeling them. This isn't a banner year for the Cowboys, and I can tell from the games I've watched. Plus, now that Tony Romo (who looks more like a VJ than a QB) is injured, they're probably not going to get much better. Is it worth cheering for a team that I know won't win much, just to hang on until their next season of glory?
VERDICT: Sorry, Cowboys (and Texans), I'll keep my Texas football teams fictional. Go Dillon Panthers!
Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning is the kind of athlete that people will tell their kids about someday. Plus, he was pretty funny when he hosted Saturday Night Live (which yes, is a pretty big selling point for me).
|I hope, for your sake, that you've seen this sketch|
As mentioned earlier, I have experience cheering for them because I thought they'd win the last Super Bowl. And I can't remember why I like Adam Vinatieri but I do. Great names on the team include Jarraud Powers and Keyunta Dawson. They're not really the most entertaining team in the NFL name-wise.
VERDICT: Probably not my team, but I like them nonetheless. I felt bad cheering against them after I predicted an Eagles win in week 9.
New England Patriots: The Pats are one of those go-to teams that are so popular you can tell people you like them and don't have to get into a lengthy explanation of it. Just think of how many Patriots fans you know, and then of how many Jaguars fans you know. Yeah. The most logical explanation for this is Tom Brady. Who, by the way, was very funny on SNL five years ago.
|I hope, for your sake, that you've seen this whole episode|
However, this year, Tom Brady needs a damn haircut. His hair indicates poor decision-making this year and I don't want that from my quarterback. Go ahead and judge. The Pats do have some guys with pretty cool names, I'll give them that. None cooler than BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Law Firm.
VERDICT: They'd be lower on the list if (hockey team aside) I didn't like Boston so much.
Minnesota Vikings: Brett Favre plays for this team. And I like Brett Favre, in case that wasn't obvious. (Please, no jokes.) Minnesota is the American state that's most like Canada, so I like it. I'd have no problem wearing a Vikes jersey because I like purple. (The last time I said "I like purple," it didn't even need to be said. My purple sweater, coat, nails, and purse said it for me.) Great names include Jamarca Sanford and Visanthe Shiancoe. The only disadvantage is that as far as I can tell, the closest thing to a real Viking the NFL has is Clay "please don't eat me" Matthews, who does not play for this team.
New York Giants: If I like Peyton Manning, I've got to spread the love to his little brother, right? The seasons since 2004 are referred to as "The Eli Manning Era", or at least they are on Wikipedia, so in case you need it spelled out for you, we can expect good things from him. I once saw the building where Eli Manning lives (or used to) in Hoboken, home of hipsters and Frank Sinatra. The New Meadowlands Stadium, which they share with the Jets, is actually quite close to where my aunt and uncle live in New Jersey. Okay, the name doesn't sound as cool as "Arrowhead Stadium" or "The Louisiana Superdome" but still. I could totally go to a home game, provided that tickets are easier to get than Habs tickets. Plus, from what I've seen, Eli has good chemistry with a wide receiver named Mario Manningham. Manning and Manningham? You can't make this stuff up.
VERDICT: The Giants look pretty good on paper, I guess. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I've found someone else...
New York Jets: They're my frontrunner right now. Do the Jets have everything? It sort of looks like they do. They're having a great season and leading their division. Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof is a fan. Their original name was "The Titans Of New York", which is a great team name. (I know, I know, but Tennessee doesn't have an "of" in their name.) I enjoy watching their games (although I am really mad about Week 8, where they were shut out coming off a bye week, which might as well have been two weeks of no Jets).
Oh, and have I talked about Mark Sanchez yet? What's not to love about a talented Spanishy quarterback? ("Spanishy," by the way, is a word because I said so.) He isn't the absolute best quarterback in the league (he's ranked somewhere around #16, behind both Manning brothers), but he's pretty solid. If I'm not mistaken, his 336 passing yards last week were second only to Brett Favre's 446. I can handle having a QB who comes in second to Favre. Oh, and did I mention he's been on SNL?
Yeah. He didn't host or anything, he just showed up for like ten seconds to pose as Tina Fey's fake husband. He has the Tina Fey seal of approval! The only other team that might have that is her hometown Philadelphia Eagles. The fact that they've got some really catchy names is just a bonus at this point: former favourites Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson have very stiff competition in D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
Let me say that again: D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Best name in the NFL, yes?
VERDICT: Jets, I think I like you. But it's OK if I see other teams, right? The Canadiens don't seem to mind too much.
Did I leave out your favourite team or maybe something important about them? I'm still accepting NFL team feedback. I might as well, if you just finished this mammoth post, so send me your pros, cons, suggestions, and reasons why I should have mentioned the St. Louis Rams.