Well, here we go again.
It’s another one of those Super Bowls.
You know, it’s one of those Super Bowls in which you don’t really care much about who is playing in the big game this Sunday. Heck, there’s an even-money chance you don’t even know who is playing in the game.
Here in Ohio, we’ve kind of gotten used to that. If anything, it’s become a way of life for neither the Bengals or the Browns to be in the Super Bowl. Or, in some cases, the playoffs. Or, in the case of the Browns this season, the win column. And until that changes in the year two-thousand-and-never, we are going to be force-fed Super Bowls featuring teams with whom we have no rooting interest.
But that won’t stop us from watching because we are American and it is football. If football is going to be played, we are going to watch it. Not only will you watch it, but you will probably pick a team and root for it, because again, we are Americans. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser — and we need to either be overjoyed or forlorn at the outcome.
Since most folks around here aren’t Patriots fans or Eagles fans, it’s probably easier to figure out who you hate less and root for the other team. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is probably to root against the Patriots, because they win all the time — and that gets boring — and because their coach is a troll in a hoodie.
But, in which is becoming an annual column for me during Super Bowl week, I’m going to try to take a little (very little) more scientific approach in choosing who I’m going to be cheering for this Sunday. Here’s the criteria I’ll be using:
More Ohio State players
Since I much prefer college football to professional football, when choosing which team I’ll be rooting for in the big game, I always first look at which team has more former Ohio State players. If the number of Ohio State players on each team is relatively close, I like to subtract the number of Michigan players and come up with a final total.
New England has one Ohio State player, Nate Ebner, on the injured reserve. Philadelphia has two former Buckeyes — Malcom Jenkins and Cameron Johnston — under contract.
So it’s fairly close. But Michigan grad Tom Brady is the quarterback and supreme ruler of the Patriots. So minus-1 million points. Advantage: Eagles
More obnoxious fanbase
I’ve always said the worst thing about organized sports is rarely the steroid scandals, the point shaving or the groin injuries — but rather, the fans. Nothing spoils a sporting event more than being around boorish fans rooting on their favorite team.
Patriots fans are East coast elites who think titles in professional sports are some sort of birthright. They always want to let you know how knowledgeable they are and how much they suffer with their beloved franchises. This makes them largely insufferable.
Eagles fans threw snowballs at Santa Claus and could, quite possibly, kill you during a game for rooting against the Eagles. But at least they aren’t pretentious. Advantage: Eagles
Food plays an important role in my life. Probably too important. That being said, I love food from all the different regions of the United States — and when I meet someone from a different part of the country for the first time, I try to stick to two topics of conversation: how good their high school football team is and what sort of food they prefer.
Philadelphia has philly cheesesteaks.
New England has lobsters.
This is a tough one. Advantage: Patriots
I realize this is a pretty arbitrary method of selecting who I’m going to cheer for in the Super Bowl, but since I truly don’t care much about either team one way or the other, it’s as good as anything else, I suppose.
The Patriots represent all that is right with America. They represent brave men and women willing to throw off the shackles of tyranny. They fought and bled so that this country may remain free (I mean the original patriots, of course. To the best of my knowledge, none of the New England Patriots are actually fighting for freedom).
The Eagles are represented by … well, a bird.
Well, what do you know about that? We have a tie. So who will I be rooting for this Sunday? Not the team with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Go Eagles.
David Fong appears on Thursdays in the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong