We’re switching things up a bit for BUY OR SELL this week…
With the Ravens missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2007, we Ravens fans find ourselves in some unfamiliar territory. The holidays are over, the purple and black are out of it, and now there’s several inches of snow on the ground outside – the misery of “just winter” has set in earlier than usual in Charm City.
However, there’s a silver lining – we get to watch the NFL Playoffs pretty much stress-free! The (completely undeserving) Steelers didn’t squeak into the postseason (thanks, Ryan Succop and incompetent refs!), so I for one am stoked to not have to worry about them lucking into another Super Bowl. And with no Tim Tebow around, there is no way they could lose as hilariously in the playoffs as they did in their last trip.
Full disclosure: I stole the idea for this post from a Steelers fan – Ian of The Steelers ‘n at. While part of me just wants to print his list backwards – hey, just root for whoever will make Steelers fans maddest! – I’ll actually put some thought into it. Still, I think it might end up darn near a backwards version of Ian’s list.
So, who to root for this postseason? While it’s going to be nice to watch without getting TOO worked up, these games are still much more fun if you have a rooting interest. Let’s run down my personal list of Power Rankings for Ravens fans to root for this postseason!
Note: Fellow Ravens fan (and friend) Phil Gentile did another one of these over at Purple Reign. Check it out here.
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ROOT FOR THESE TEAMS
12. New England
The Ravens’ second biggest rival behind Pittsburgh, New England also just came into our house and embarrassed us. Patriots fans are insufferable, and it’s nice to still be able to pull out the “You haven’t won anything since Spygate” card on them. Another Super Bowl for Tom and Bill would end that.
Also, the Red Sox JUST won the World Series. These people have had something like 18 Championship parades in the last 12 months (or something like that…whatever).
The Patriots should lose in the most excruciating fashion possible.
This is a nod to the old-timers. I know many Ravens fans will still put “The Irsays” at the very bottom of their list – I get that, I just don’t personally agree. Even a few years ago, it was easy to root against Indy, not only because of the Irsays, but because Peyton Manning had owned Baltimore for so long while he wore that horseshoe on his helmet.
Andrew Luck has no such resume against Baltimore. Throw in that Chuck Pagano is their head coach, and you could almost pull for them…if only it wasn’t for their owner’s last name.
The Bungles winning the Super Bowl…woof. What a weird thought. Heck, this franchise hasn’t won a PLAYOFF GAME since 1991. While some may suggest that rooting for a (non-Pittsburgh) division rival makes sense, I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking. Sure, Marvin Lewis was once a Ravens coach, but that was a long time ago.
I’m not a fan of the thought of Bungles fans coming to M&T Bank Stadium with a more recent Super Bowl to brag about than the Ravens have. Also, Andy Dalton is horrible.
Keep on Bunglin’, Bungles.
NOT IDEAL, BUT IT WOULDN’T BE THE END OF THE WORLD
Case for: Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback we’ve ever seen (or likely ever will see). It’s ridiculous that his little brother has more Super Bowl rings than he does; Manning winning another Lombardi Trophy after Indy (and Irsay) kicked him to the curb would be delicious.
Case against: Broncos fans will feel that some cosmic wrong has been righted after the Ravens defeated them in last year’s AFC Divisional Round if they win it all this year – that’ll be annoying; If Peyton makes it to the Super Bowl, and it’s -15 degrees in New York that day and he plays horribly and the Broncos lose, the NFL will get exactly what they deserve for putting the game in New York City.
Survey says: I’ll never get to congratulate Peyton Manning in person. I will very likely have to hear crap from Broncos fans in person. Sorry, Bronies.
Case for: The team themselves are much easier to root for these days – no T.O., Chip Kelly’s offense is a blast to watch, Shady McCoy is electrifying, Mike Vick is relegated to the bench.
Case against: Another fan base Ravens fans have to deal with regularly are Eagles fans. If you’re anything like me, “FLY EALGES FLY” lit up your Facebook timeline quite a few times this season. There are still a bunch of Philly fans from (FROM, not currently living in) Baltimore who I’d prefer to continue to feel bad about not rooting for the home team.
Survey says: On the other hand, a lot of said Eagles fans are my FRIENDS, and I’d be happy for them to finally get to experience a Super Bowl win like we Ravens fans have twice already. You probably know a lot of Iggles fans too – if you like them, root for Philly. If you’d rather see them suffer, root against Chip’s Birds.
7. San Francisco
Case for: Harbaughs winning the Super Bowl in back-to-back years would drive everybody whose team isn’t coached by a Harbaugh crazy; Anquan Boldin would get two straight rings; Steelers fans would be upset because they wouldn’t be the only ones with “DURRRRRR SIX” Lombardis.
Case against: Jim Harbaugh; Again, fans would feel some sort of cosmic wrong was righted after being beaten by the Ravens.
Survey says: Depends just how much you hate Jim Harbaugh, or want to see Anquan Boldin get the last laugh, or enjoy sad Steelers fans. Steelers fans really don’t want San Francisco to win – go ahead and pull for them.
HEY, DO US A SOLID
These squads winning early round games would eliminate a couple of the teams at the bottom of this list early on. If either of them can win two games, they would once again also save us from the Brady/Manning AFC Championship Game that NFL talking heads have considered a foregone conclusion for over a year now, AND get Indy, Cincy, and/or New England out of the picture. I’ll be rooting for Philip Rivers vs. Alex Smith in the AFC Championship.
6. San Diego
5. Kansas City
NFC SQUADS WE DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH
As Ravens fans, we only have to deal with these teams and/or their fans every four years. They each have their own particular merits, which are discussed below. However, as a Ravens fan, any of these four deserve your rooting interest.
4. New Orleans
3. Green Bay
New Orleans and Green Bay have both won Super Bowls lately, defeating Ravens nemeses in the process. The Saints beat the Colts in 2010, and the Packers beat the Steelers the following year. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay will always hold a special place in my heart, as I was a Cheesehead for a day while I watched Super Bowl XLV in person, surrounded by sad Steelers fans. They get a slight nod over N’Awlins.
Neither of these teams has ever won the big one. Carolina fell victim to Adam Vinatieri and the Patriots in their only Super Bowl appearance, while Seattle was hosed by the referees against Pittsburgh the one time they made it. It would be great to see fans of either squad experience a Super Bowl win. They both run the ball and play defense, things we appreciate in Baltimore.
Seattle gets the slight upper hand because, as a bonus, Redskins fans hate them!
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