Here are my teams, and here’s why:
Buffalo Bills – I grew up only an hour and a half from Buffalo. They were the hometown team, and damn near everyone I knew, down to my elementary school bus driver, Craig, was a Bills fan. Most importantly, my parents have always been huge fans. I was cheering for them all four Super Bowls that they lost during the Jim Kelly years. I’ve still never forgiven the Giants, Redskins, or Cowboys (especially the Cowboys), regardless of how shitty the Bills played. They’re in my blood, and I’ll always cheer for them, no matter how lost the cause may seem or be.
Pittsburgh Steelers – I know that it’s weird to say “Bills” and “Steelers” affectionately in the same sentence, but when I was a kid, we had dirt roads all around our house where we loved to ride our bikes. Somewhere along the line (more for the aesthetic, I guess, than for practicality, because we did the really dumb stuff sans helmets) we decided to get safety conscious. The only helmets that we had lying around were football helmets: One Bills and one Steelers. God knows how the Steelers one got anywhere near our house because my dad has always passionately hated them, but I ended up claiming the Steelers one. At some point, I began cheering for them. At some later point, I actually began paying attention and noticed how friggin’ awesome their team was, and just genuinely and consistently enjoyed following them, much to my dad’s dismay.
Seattle Seahawks – In the fall of 2007, after working jobs that consistently had Jessi and I working Sundays, we decided that we really wanted to get into following some sport. We were on our way home from our 2007 West Coast tour, and football was on. Jessi hadn’t grown up in a football house, and didn’t really understand much about it, but wanted to learn. We went to a bar in Brush Prairie, Oregon, and watched a game. When we encountered rules I didn’t know, or calls neither one of us understood, we waited for the announcer to explain, and learned together. By the end of the game, we were both hooked. “Now, you gotta pick a team,” I told her. There were no California teams close enough that she liked, and we were fresh from our first trip to the Pacific Northwest together, which was birthplace of both her parents and current residence of her father and his side of the family. Seattle Seahawks it was. And has been ever since. Now that we’re living here, even more so. Both of us. (Sorry, Chuck.)
Cleveland Browns – My dad was always a big fan, and that rubbed off on me a bit. Now by brother’s family lives there, just minutes from the stadium. So I always keep an eye on the Browns score.
Minnesota Vikings – Our old bassist, Kafka, was a huge fan. He described their strategy as “organized chaos”. A lot of the rough months of the 2009 tour were made easier by cheering for the Vikings with him, and I’ll always have good feelings about them because of it.
Green Bay Packers – It was a really dead day at the bar where I was working, so I watched a whole special on the NFL network about the history of the Packers. After seeing something like that, it’s almost mandatory that you have to root for them.
Last week, only one of those teams won. Let the razzing begin. And since our teams are the Bills and Seahawks, we can take it.