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I spent a few minutes simply staring at the TV after the Patriots defeated the Chargers. It wasn't just that I thought the Chargers would win; it was that they were my bandwagon team. And according to the rules, I cannot jump to a new one. I am done.
So what do you do when your bandwagon team's season is over, but the season isn't? Let's review.
1. Learn your lesson. Vow you will not jump on that team's bandwagon for three years. That is, unless the offending coach leaves. Call it the Schottenheimer Rule.
2. Call a true fan to offer condolences. Make sure you mention at least three plays that lead to the loss. Also mention one player that you feel bad for. Finally, vilify the victorious team. At this point, count on your friend being in the "anger stage" of the seven stages of grief. Never say "I know how you feel." Especially if your team won the Super Bowl last year.
3. You can still be a hater. Certainly, you may not cheer for any other team, but you may cheer against a team. Additionally, if your favorite team has a sordid history with the perspective team you are considering hating, you are encouraged to hate said team. Good: The Steelers lost to the Patriots twice in the AFC Championship. I've heard enough about Belichick. I hope the Patriots get crushed. Bad: I guess since the Packers didn't make the playoffs, we might as well see an NFC North team do well. Saints suck!
4. Jump conferences. You aren't beholden to hating within your conference. With the Chargers out, I am not allowed to jump on the Saints' bandwagon, but I am totally free to hate the Bears.
5. Let it go. All this hatred helps you forget that not only did your favorite team let you down, but the team whose bandwagon you jumped on betrayed you as well.
Early Super Bowl Outlook
Let's look at the possible matchups.
Indianapolis/New Orleans. Mellencamp vs. The Neville Brothers. More Nevilles, and more muscular too. Saints win.
Indianapolis/Chicago. The Border War. Mellencamp vs. Kanye West. West turns truck ditty into a real song. Bears win.
New England/Chicago. Rematch of Super Bowl XX. Brady better than Eason/Grogan; Grossman worse than McMahon. Pats win.
New England/New Orleans. Haves vs. have-nots. Saints sickened by Patriots' ownership of the means of production. Saints win.
New England at Indianapolis
On one hand, Indy fans rejoice because they play at home. On the other hand, they frown because they play the Patriots.
As for the dedicated football fan, we're left to ponder whom we hate more: the overexposed folksiness of Peyton Manning or the overexposed brilliance of the Patriots.
Choose a team to root against, then pray for an NFC upset in the Super Bowl.
Pick: Indianapolis minus 3/Over 48
Last Week: 0-4
Regular Season: 45-52-3
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