Still haven’t decided which team to pull for this Sunday? Hmmmm…maybe I can help? Today over on FOX Sports, I challenged a Cardinals fan and a Steelers fan to make their case. Here’s a little taste of each column:
Adam: I’m flip-flopping on this one. Call me Adrian Wilson, because I’m all over the place. As my father’s son, I detest Bill Bidwill down to his rotten core. I think he embodies everything that’s wrong with pro sports. For that reason alone I want the Cardinals to lose. As a Chiefs fan, I know what it’s like to suffer a long Super Bowl drought. For that reason alone I want the Cardinals to win.
The guy who screwed St. Louis or the deprived football fans of the desert? Tough call. tough call.
Raising Arizona lead blogger Scott Allen: I tell you, my friend, what I’ve been telling everyone else — why not root for the Cardinals? You’ve accurately detailed just how bad the Cardinals have been; not only in Phoenix, but also in St. Louis and going back to the Chicago days as well. The Cardinals have been one of the long-time laughingstocks of the NFL. On the other hand, people are always on the lookout for an underdog, a real underdog. The Cardinals fit that mold.
Adam: More than anything, it’s the arrogance of Steelers fans that rubs me the wrong way. Before Herm Edwards turned the Chiefs into a national punchline (6-26 in the last two years), the Chiefs had the best attendance in the league over the past 20 years. What’s more impressive?: A.) Loyally supporting arguably the most-decorated franchise in NFL history; or B.) Loyally supporting a franchise that hasn’t won a Super Bowl — or even been to one — in 40 years. I’ll take B every time.
I mean, what is it with the braggadocio of Steelers fans? Are you the ones playing the games? No. Chiefs fans hang our hats on being the most loyal fans in the NFL. All the home sellouts. The Sea of Red. Arrowhead being the loudest stadium in the league. We are directly responsible for all of that. Conversely, Steelers fans rub their winning ways in your face like they were the ones who reeled in the Immaculate Reception. Steeler Nation possesses a certain fan arrogance that is a definite turn-off to the other fan bases around the league.
Nice Pick, Cowher lead blogger Chris Viola:
If rooting for the underdog is your thing, go with it. My only argument to you is by supporting the Bill Bidwills of the world, you’re telling them it’s OK to be a laughingstock franchise for decades upon decades as long as you give them one good year. To me, that sets the bar mighty low. I guess if you lived in pitiful cities like Cleveland or Detroit, one successful year would be enough. But it shouldn’t be. You should demand not one year of winning but many. You should demand what Steeler Nation accepts as a given; a consistent commitment to winning. I appreciate being loyal to your home town team, but supporting an abusive franchise which refuses, either through stupidity or arrogance, to produce a winner is the height of insanity. The Chiefs haven’t won a championship in 40 years. The Eagles have never won one. The Bills are synonymous with losers. Why support that?
More teams need to follow the lead of the Steelers instead of wallowing in mediocrity or patterning themselves after, say, the Cowboys, whose increasingly circus-like atmosphere fostered by an obnoxious owner more interested in publicity than actually winning has created a situation where even their die-hard fans are embarrassed by the team. One of the great lies of NFL fandom is “You can’t win every year.” The Steelers have made the playoffs 13 of the last 17 years. They have turned over their roster time and again and continuously fielded competitive teams without any of the controversy or negative publicity many other teams (*cough* Patriots *cough*) seem to attract.
For the rest, head on over to FOX Sports. I didn’t see many sites targeting the unrepresented fans, so I wanted to have the hometown fans present their case for their team. I think the pair of columns make fun reads, but I’ll let you guys be the judge of that.