January 8, 2014

Direct Kick: The search for a new favorite NFL team

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I am in the market for a new NFL team to root for. I have actually been searching for the past couple of years, ever since Indianapolis let Peyton Manning go. Not that I was that big of an Indy fan.

If truth be told I have been looking for a team to root for since Baltimore moved to Indianapolis back in the 1984. Once that happened I didn’t cheer for the Colts for many, many years. In fact I hated the team, no wait, the Irsay family for uprooting my Colts from Baltimore and depositing them in Indiana. Once that day happened I packed away my Bert Jones No. 7 Baltimore jersey and to this day I’m not sure what ever became of it.

Since that time my allegiances have changed more than Hugh Hefner switches girlfriends. For the longest time I was a New Orleans Saints fan through their darkest days. I was filled with joy once the one-time laughing stock of the league won the Super Bowl, but ever since that day, something changed. I still like the Saints, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to go steady with them.

Same with the Green Bay Packers. I backed the Pack through Brett Favre’s glory days, but still something keeps me from totally devoting myself to them. Maybe I’m afraid of commitment.

Cincinnati would be the obvious choice, since they are the closest franchise and they do sport my two favorite colors in black and orange. I won’t rule them out of the running, but I don’t see it happening.

One thing I can guarantee is that it won’t be Dallas. I have loathed the Cowboys for oh so many years, and that won’t change. And even though I like Peyton Manning I have never been a fan of the Denver Broncos. Still I want them to win it all this year more to rub it in Indy’s face for letting Manning go. But I have never liked the Broncos.

I kind of liked Oakland back in the 1970s. They, along with Baltimore, were my two choices to win the AFC every year. But for one reason or another they have lost their luster with me.

I could be a bandwagon fan and wait until after the Super Bowl and become a fan of whichever team wins it. But being a winner isn’t that high in my book, which is obvious since I rooted for the Saints. And geography has nothing to do with it. I can root for a team that’s 200 miles or 2,000 miles away.

I think I have narrowed it down to two teams: Minnesota and San Diego. I always liked Minnesota growing up; they were my favorite NFC franchise, along with Washington. San Diego has just recently entered the conversation.

Why Minnesota and San Diego? What can I say, I like the uniforms. Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, while the Chargers’ uniforms are crisp and colorful, especially when they wear the old powder blue jerseys.

And for me to like a team they have to look good. As the old saying goes, it isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how good you look.