I love the NFL.
I just don't love it as much when the San Diego Chargers are not playing in the postseason.
When the dust settled on Week 17 and the Chargers had failed to make it to the tournament for the 4th time in 5 years, I decided the only way I would keep interested would be to once again find a temporary team to root for. Some would say it's blasphemous to root for any team but your favorite- regardless of circumstance. But first off, let me reassure you that you won't see me putting any other team's bumper stickers on my cars, donning any other team jersey or wearing any face paint colors other than the blue and yellow.
Besides, I don't think they could find me a blood type match even if I wanted to. I have too many little lightning bolts running through my veins, so switching for the playoffs and staying with that team after, is virtually impossible.
No, choosing another team to root for in the NFL Playoffs is more like watching a horse race. I get to pick a team (horse) and if I lay the correct bet and win, I get to win some cash. If I incorrectly chose the wrong team, I can just say oh well. And I won't feel sad or bummed, as long as I didn't bet too much $$$.
Picking a postseason team has yielded some success and some close calls. In 2010, I chose to ride the coattails of the Green Bay Packers and they obliged with a Super Bowl Championship and $100 in my pocket. In 2011 I thought the New England Patriots would win it all, before they stumbled again to the N.Y Giants in the Super Bowl. In 2012 I chose the Atlanta Falcons, but the San Francisco 49ers shot my payday down in the NFC Championship. Last year, I didn't have to worry because the Chargers made the Playoffs, though I still lost money.
This leads to my horse in the race for this year.
And from the get-go, you had to know that the Denver Broncos were out of the question for obvious reasons. No way will I root for another AFC West team. I wasn't going to pick the Seattle Seahawks because I don't like repeat champions, especially cocky-self-centered would-be repeat champions. I also don't want to see New England win another championship so cross them off. And I for sure don't want Big Ben to win another ‘ship. How in the heck is Philip Rivers ever gonna catch him of the Steelers keep winning them?
I'm secretly rooting for the Chargers to sign WR Randall Cobb in free agency and a Super Bowl win would probably demand re-signing in Green Bay for a repeat as well. So I didn't choose the Packers. I wasn't going to choose Dallas because in my time as a Sports Anchor in Texas I had to pretend that I liked them... well, I'm not going to do that anymore. I was not gonna pick a team that the Chargers beat in the regular season and I for sure wasn't going to pick the team that also secured the final AFC Wildcard spot. So that eliminated Baltimore. I had no faith in Detroit, and Carolina I had less faith in. And I had even less confidence picking Arizona, that if that had been my only option, I just wouldn't pick.
That left me with Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
And it really came down to this. The Bengals and Chargers have had some recent battles lately including San Diego's Wildcard win last year. But they are also my sister's favorite team, so there's some sentimental value in place. In the case of the Colts, I'm really impressed with QB Andrew Luck. He seems like a nice guy who is quietly securing his place amongst the elite QB's. There's not much riding against them. Except the fact that it's basically the team that Chargers GM Tom Telesco help assemble. That kind of works in favor of Chargers fans because it could foretell of good things in San Diego.
So for this postseason, I chose to ride with the Indianapolis Colts. So far they have knocked out the Bengals, and on Sunday they quite possibly sent Peyton Manning into early retirement.
Maybe with some Luck the Colts can hoist the Lombardi trophy.... and maybe I can win some more $$$. But if not, oh well.