Pick a Side, It’s Game Time

Author: Alecia Pirulis


Now that my beloved home team, the Atlanta Falcons, is out of the mad dash to the Super Bowl, I have to choose a new favorite team to root for before our big annual Super Bowl party on February 6. As a female football (sort of) fan, my method of choosing a team to cheer on puzzles my husband, amuses my sons, and annoys my brothers. So, men look away. I’m getting ready to adopt my new favorite linebackers.

I have to start with the Chicago Bears. Since I just returned from a memorable trip to this gorgeous city filled with friendly people, the Bears are at the top of my list. The Bears have only won a Super Bowl game once, in 1986. They are due for another win. Besides, I like bears. This is the only mascot I can really get behind. Packers and steelers? I’m not even sure what those are supposed to be. As for jets, what kind of a mascot is that?

Speaking of the New York Jets, I’ve been apologizing to my husband for making fun of his team for weeks now. As a Staten Island native, my husband is very excited about his team getting so close to Super Bowl Sunday. Perhaps I should be supportive and cheer on my husband’s team … but it is so much more fun when we cheer for opposing sides – the shouting and the taunting make it all worthwhile, after all. On the other hand, the Jets won their only Super Bowl in 1968. They are way past due for another win, and New Yorkers know how to party–which would be fun to watch on TV.

I like the Green Bay Packers because they have a big “G” on their helmets that resembles the University of Georgia “G.” My great-grandmother used to live in Wisconsin, and I visited once when I was a young girl. But, I don’t think it was enough to make me a cheesehead – after all, they took out my home team. Besides, the Green Bay Packers have already won three Super Bowls, the last in 1996.

Another team that has won their fair share of Super Bowls – six times, the last in 2008 – are the Pittsburgh Steelers, my younger son’s favorite team. He wears his Pittsburgh Steelers jersey on their game days. I don’t know why; we’ve never been to Pittsburgh. Their uniforms aren’t attractive, and they don’t have a cuddly mascot. But he wants the Steelers to win. Again. I’d root for the Steelers just because my little guy wants them to win, but my brother-in-law is from Pittsburgh, so he can help my son cheer on the Steelers. Besides, they’ve won six (6!) times. They have won more times than any other team in NFL history. Yeah, you’re a great team. We get it. But I like rooting for the underdogs.

All in all, I think it will depend on who the last two teams standing are. If the Jets make it, my husband, his brother, and my other brother-in-law (a Long Island native) have them covered, so I’ll take whatever team they oppose so I can throw chips at them when their team scores. If the match-up involves the Chicago Bears, I’m rooting for them. If it comes down to Green Bay and the Steelers … Green Bay beat the Falcons, but they do have that “G” on their helmets. The Steelers are up for lucky number seven, and my son likes them. It’s a tough call.

For those of us who won’t have a home team playing in the Super Bowl, let’s choose a side and enjoy it, anyway. And it doesn’t matter how you decide — the food and beer stays the same. Go, (whatever) team!