Much to the dismay of many football fans, the Seahawks became the first team with a losing record to win their division and be awarded a home playoff game.
Sports fans generally pull for the underdog and root against the defending champions, unless of course it is their team looking to repeat.
In 1980, Americans celebrated together as our hockey team won the Olympic gold. This great moment in sports history was dubbed “The Miracle on Ice” because no one believed that the Russians could be defeated.
In 1983, even the most casual March Madness fan cheered for Jim Valvano’s NC State Wolfpack as they shocked the college basketball world by beating Hakeem Olajuwon’s heavily-favored Houston Cougars.
In this year’s Rose Bowl, college football fans across the nation were pulling for TCU to beat Wisconsin to show that small schools can in fact stand toe-to-toe with the “big boys.”
The list goes on and on in real life, and even in the movies. Is there a sports fan alive who wasn’t moved to the brink of tears when Rudy actually fulfilled his dream of suiting up and stepping onto the field for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame?
As a nation, we love our underdogs. We adopt them as our own as long as they are not playing against our favorite team. We want our favorite teams to string together as many championships as possible, but otherwise loathe the idea of dynasties.
And yet, somehow, the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints are the sentimental favorites this weekend as they travel across the country to play the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks.
The outrage of a team with a losing record not only making the playoffs but also getting to host the game has football fans in a frenzy.
Many emotional fans want the NFL to institute a rule which prevents losing teams from making the playoffs, while most rational fans are just hopeful that the NFL will consider seeding playoff teams in the future based on their regular-season record.
Is it fair that the Saints will have to travel across the country and possibly play in bad weather because they were not fortunate enough to be in a division as weak as the NFC West? Absolutely not!
But it is the system that currently exists, so the only recourse for disgruntled fans is to root as hard as possibly for the Super Bowl champion Saints to knock off the Seattle Seahawks, the perceived interlopers of the NFL playoffs.
It is hard to believe that the day has finally arrived where sports fans are uniting together to encourage the coach to keep Rudy on the bench and stop him from fulfilling his dreams.
But the day is actually here, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t one of those fans.