Despite the controversy of calls and rules and insanity of the NFC and AFC Championship games, the fact is that we are two weeks away from one of the biggest events in sports. The Super Bowl is upon us! That would usually excite me, but this year I have a tough decision to make. As native St. Louisan I have to deal with two teams that have plagued my football life. Which way should I go?
First of all, I love football. I grew up watching the greatest show on turf, Faulk, Warner, Holt, Proehl, Hakim and of course the great Isaac Bruce were a show that could capture the attention of the young fans as well as the older fans. They were a look into the future of the industry, icons to any kid from St. Louis that owned a football. They were stolen from me by a corrupt system that saw my city dragged through the mud so that an owner could move a team to a place that already features about 100 professional teams. A lot of today’s Rams roster doesn’t understand my heartache over a lost franchise. They are LA Rams, they have taken on the persona of their young coach and ran with it. Cocky, arrogant, flashy and talented. They really do remind of the team that caught my attention so many years ago. But I am bitter, and I am sad that as much as I want to hold on to that memory and tell myself this is my team, they are not. They are the Los Angeles Rams. While I can support the success of the players I feel that by supporting this team I would be supporting the corruption that is the NFL.
Now the Patriots. Most of St. Louis’s hatred before the Rams moved was squarely on the shoulders of the New England Patriots. The infamous taping of the run through in Super Bowl 36 has tainted a resume that should be historically great. Even worse it was against my beloved (at the time) St. Louis Rams. They were blatantly cheating, and no one seemed to really care. The NFL seemed more worried about deflated footballs then they did the image of a team clearly doing something illegal. The Patriots have established themselves as the Yankees of football, a cult following that is loved by primarily just their fanbase. Mutually hated by everyone.
My hate for both of these teams is equally mutual. When Super Bowl Sunday does come, I will be forced to pick a team because what is the point of watching a game if there is no really rooting interest. After much debate internally, I have decided that the greatness of Tom Brady will overshadow my view of the organization. I will cheer for him and him alone to succeed over a team that on paper should have the advantage at almost every position other than Quarterback. The Rams have become an organization that makes me sick to my stomach. Rooting for them is rooting for Stan Kroenke, no matter what your allegiance is.