Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: HOW TO ROOT IN THE PLAYOFFS: CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

HOW TO ROOT IN THE PLAYOFFS: CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

by wwtb?, Pacifist Viking

When I don't know who to root for in the NFL playoffs, I look to the suffering of the fanbases, and hope those who have suffered can be assuaged. I've already tabbed the San Diego as the most long-suffering sports city in the playoffs. But let's look closer.

San Diego v. New England

The San Diego Chargers have existed since 1960. They had early success, playing in five of the first six AFL championship games and winning the AFL in 1963 (and those AFL titles should still be recognized and respected). But before this season, they had won a grand total of seven playoff games. Seven. They're now up to nine, so that's good.

Put this in perspective. So far, from 2001 to 2007, the New England Patriots have won 13 playoff games. That includes three Super Bowls.

There's only one thing, just one thing, that could make you root for the Patriots this weekend: Prick Rivers. There's not a less likable quarterback in the league than this guy. When Prick Rivers walks down the sidewalk, he probably trash-talks it. Just picture him pulling leftover pizza out of the refrigerator: "Hey pizza, you suck! I'm going to eat you HARD, because I'M BETTER THAN YOU! GOT THAT, PIZZA! I'm Philip freaking Rivers. I'm better than everybody. And you suck. SUCKER!" If Billy freaking Volek gets into the game, it will become 1,010% easier to root for the Chargers (1,010% is also the rate of assurance a woman on Maury has that this guy is the father. They're 1,010% sure. Always).

When you're watching on Sunday, just ask yourself one question. Do I want to root for Boston sports fans, who have seen five championships this decade, to see their team in another Super Bowl, or do I want to see some fans who haven't seen a championship in 44 years get some pleasure?

New York v. Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers last won a Super Bowl in the 1996 season, and the New York Giants last won a Super Bowl in the 1990 season. For fans of teams like the Vikings, Bills, Browns, Eagles, etc., that sure doesn't seem like a long time to wait between championships. For Packer and Giant fans, it probably seems a bit longer. But any long championship drought is easier to stomach if you at least have championship history to remember. These two franchises have won a combined 18 championships, including five Super Bowls in seven appearances.

Really, you're just going to have to pick which team you could stomach in the Super Bowl less. Some of you may be rooting for Brett Favre to go out a champion. Some of you may hate Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers because you're provincial and small-minded (I kid, I kid, of course. I hate the Packers too). Some of you may be rooting for the Giants to get to the Super Bowl in their first post-Tiki season. Some of you may not want yet another Manning to lap up all sorts of attention and screen time.

This is a pick 'em. I don't think either Giant fans or Packer fans really know long-term sports fan depression, so root for whomever you want. I'll root for the Giants.

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