The Broncos may not be playing in the Super Bowl this year, but that doesn't mean Denver fans can't still have fun on the big day.
Thankfully for all of us, the matchup is top-notch. The Patriots and Rams are back at it, seventeen years after that fateful post-season that kicked off the legend of Tom Brady. While the Rams are hoping to avenge that 2002 Super Bowl loss, the Patriots are planning to continue their dominance as the best franchise in NFL history.
Given how bad the Broncos were this season, we get that you're probably focusing on the uber-talented Nuggets. But with Super Bowl Sunday approaching, here's a list of pros and cons to help you choose a team to root for in the Super Bowl. We'll start with the Patriots, then get into the Rams.
The Patriots are the greatest team in NFL history. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time, aka the G.O.A.T. Bill Belichick is the greatest coach, and Robert Kraft is the best owner. With all this greatness inside one organization, it only makes sense for the Patriots to win another championship to complete a full hand of rings.
2. Storybook ending
Tom Brady winning a final game against the team he beat in his first Super Bowl appearance and then retiring would be the ultimate storybook ending...even though the 41-year-old quarterback defying Father Time shows no signs of letting up and already said he would be playing next season.
1. Tom Brady
Brady is the most likable and hate-able athlete. He's got it all: four championship rings, three MVP awards and a supermodel wife. For Patriots fans, that just adds to his luster. For the vast majority of NFL fans that don't support and even actively despise the Patriots, Brady is nothing more than an arrogant scoundrel.
Speaking of scoundrels, many still accuse the Patriots of cheating, basing their allegations on Spygate and Deflategate. And just the other day, an employee of a Pittsburgh television channel snuck in a clever description of Brady, as seen in the video above. The employee was promptly fired, but it must've been worth it.
3. Classless fans
Boston/New England sports fans are the worst. They're smug, obnoxious and have experienced far too much winning in their lives. A Patriots loss ensures that New England sports fans will shut up...at least for a few months, until the Celtics win an NBA championship.
4. Broncos rival
Broncos fans ought to take a stand against one of the team's biggest rivals. The Broncos and Patriots have been duking it out since 1960. After Brady took over as quarterback in New England and started to dominate the AFC, the Broncos didn't win a Super Bowl for more than ten years. They finally broke through in January 2016, when the team knocked the Pats out of the playoffs.
On to the Rams...
1. Mile High connection
Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns the Nuggets, among other Denver-based teams. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips served as the Broncos defensive coordinator during the Super Bowl-winning 2015-’16 season. And running back C.J. Anderson and cornerback Aqib Talib both played on that same championship team.
2. Not the Patriots
The Rams are not the Patriots. That instantly upgrades the team's appeal.
This season, Rams head coach Sean McVay has been lobbying his players to go by his slogan "The standard is the standard," even though it's clear that no one understands what he's talking about. But props to McVay for getting all of his players to buy into a saying that makes zero sense.
1. No real fans
The Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016 after a twenty-year-plus stint in St. Louis, and it's just not the same. St. Louis may not have the bright lights of L.A., but at least the fans there were die-hard. Now, fair-weather L.A. fans are hopping on the Rams bandwagon, which they'll be quick to abandon after the team has a losing season.
2. Increased Sean McVay propaganda
McVay is being widely hailed as a genius. This is great for McVay, because he is a truly special head coach. But now sports fans have to hear nonstop rumors about McVay protégés as coaching candidates. There's an ongoing joke that anyone who has ever had a beer with McVay or shaken his hand is a viable head-coaching candidate. Smh...
3. The NFC Championship Game robbery
New Orleans Saints season ticket holders are suing the NFL, and for good reason. The team was robbed by a missed call on a blatant pass interference in the NFC championship game. Yes, it's never about just one play. But if they had gotten that call, the Saints would be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. That's a tough pill to swallow.
And now, our recommendation:
Journalists are supposed to be balanced — hence our list of pros and cons for both teams. But, no, there are not very fine people on both sides.
All Broncos fans should wholeheartedly be rooting for a Patriots loss and a Rams victory. Even if you don't love the Rams, please, just don't root for the Patriots. We can't sit through another off-season of endless praise for Tom Brady.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.