The last time I checked, American football wasn't an Olympic sport and didn't have a national team.
Public Policy Polling's survey found that 22 percent of responders said the Packers are their favorite NFL team.
Wow. What an overwhelming number.
Slow news day, anyone?
In a debate that his been roaring since the Dallas Cowboys declared themselves "America's Team" in 1978, there are several teams who think they deserve the title of America's Team:
Some fans think that the Pittsburgh Steelers and their six Super Bowl titles deserve the title. Or the Green Bay Packers and the 112,000 shareholders who own the team. Or the New England Patriots, whose patriotic city history and rise to prominence in times of war captivated the country. Some say it should be the New Orleans Saints, whose team rallied around a broken city after a time of tragedy.
I believe that Mike Popvich's interview with Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney in Popovich's book, From Water Boy to Steelers President, puts it best when Rooney says "We're not America's team. We're Pittsburgh's team."
I mean, who wouldn't love the Packers? Right now, their team is everything your town team isn't: They are the defending Super Bowl champion, they have the leading candidate for NFL MVP in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, their explosive passing offense and high-scoring games are fun to watch, and they've won 19 of their last 20 games.
Not only is this a worthless poll, because there should only be one favorite team in the heart of fans: their hometown team.
The 154 of 700 people that PPP polled could all have been people who moved from Wisconsin. For accuracy, PPP should have interviewed an equal number of people from every state, which would be 14. That means that Wisconsin won 14 different states.
There are only 20 states that don't have an NFL team: Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, Alaska, and Hawaii. Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are all lumped into the “New England” area.
I could see Packer fans dominating a state like Iowa, or maybe even North or South Dakota. But there is no way that they should have dominated Oregon, Wyoming, or Alabama.
Nothing grinds my gears more than meeting a fair-weather fan. Seeing somebody walk down the street wearing a New York Yankees hat, a Kobe Bryant Jersey, a pair of Dallas Cowboys sweatpants and a Duke Blue Devils tramp stamp makes me want to drown a bag of kittens. Or those people who say things like, "The Boston Red Sox are my American League team, and the St. Louis Cardinals are my National League team."
You are required to like the team that plays in your area. That's it. Some people are lucky enough to be born in Wisconsin, and they are the only ones lucky enough to be a Packer fan. Sorry, people born in Buffalo, NY. It sucks to be you.
There are two clauses that nullifies you from this, however. The Family Clause and the No Team Clause.
Family Clause 1: I know somebody whose family lived in Michigan before he was born. They moved to Minnesota before he was born, and he was brought up a Tiger/Lion/Woverine/Red Win/Pistons fan. This is okay. The fact that he also cheers for the Duke Blue Devils? This is NOT okay. I know somebody who was born and raised in Owatonna, MN. His family is from Minnesota. He claims to be a "life-long" Packer fan. This is NOT okay.
Family Clause 2: I know somebody whose dad is from Minnesota and his mom is from Wisconsin In this instance, he is able to choose who he roots for: the Vikings or the Packers. He roots for the Packers. His brother roots for the Vikings. This is okay.
Family Clause 3: If somebody's family member plays for, or has played for, a franchise other than his home state, he is allowed to cheer for that franchise. Archie Manning is allowed to cheer for the Peyton's Indianapolis Colts and Eli's New York Giants. He is also allowed to cheer for the New Orleans Saints, whom he spent 11 of his 15 NFL seasons with. However, if the Saints play the Colts in a big game, like the Super Bowl, he has to cheer for his son. If the Colts play the Giants, he has to hope for a tie.
No Team Clause 1: If a fan doesn't have an in-state team, he may choose a team that is geographically ONE STATE away. If a neighboring state doesn't have a team, he may chose a team neighboring that state. An Iowa resident may be a fan of the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, or Kansas City Chiefs. A resident from Montana, which has no neighboring states with NFL teams, can cheer for the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, or Denver Broncos.
While fans are only allowed to like one team, they are allowed to hate multiple teams. As a Vikings fan, I am allowed to hate the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and everybody else better than the Purple...which is basically everybody in the league.
Does it surprise anyone that the Dallas Cowboys were voted the most hated, receiving 22 percent of the vote?
And that's the way it's supposed to be.
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