Switching Allegiances: My New Pro Football Team

After much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided to go public with my new pro football allegiance.  I know, I’m breaking an unspoken rule of fandom, but first let me explain.

My team has been the St. Louis Rams as long as I can remember, and I’ve followed them religiously since I was 10.  More specifically, I was a Los Angeles Rams fan, back in the days of Jim Everett, Flipper Anderson, Henry Ellard, John Robinson, Gaston Green, Roman Phifer, Kevin Greene, Todd Lyght, etc.

In junior high school, I would wear a Jim Everett t-shirt to school every week (it was my “Tuesday” shirt – did anyone else wear the same thing every week, btw? I’ve reverted to similar patterns as an adult after worrying about clothes when I was in high school), and I’d get teased religiously by the LA Raider fans and the SF 49ers fans who consistently outperformed the Rams.

The 49ers in particular owned us, and I still remember pulling my hair out when we got pummeled 30-3 in 1989, and Jim Everett’s confidence was shaken after the phantom sack.  Painful.

It was equally painful watching the Rams move to St. Louis.  I didn’t know what to think of it, and I felt a bit empty when rooting for them.  I still followed Pro Football, but more so with a rooted interest in my favorite players, like Barry Sanders and yes, Jim Everett.

And then 1999 came along, and a guy named Kurt Warner took the helm after Trent Green went down in the preseason.

And then the Rams inexplicably were 3-0 heading into an October contest with the 49ers, a team that had owned us for longer than I was alive.

And then we destroyed them.  Like, really destroyed them.  We beat them 42-20, and Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt were running wild on Ken Norton Jr, Bryant Young, and Tim McDonald.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was thrilled beyond belief.

Memories of 30-3 faded as the Rams rode their grocery man quarterback into Super Bowl glory.

I was a fan again, even though Georia Fronteire dissed LA by saying after the Super Bowl that it was the best move to get out of LA.  Ouch.

But still, I had a team.

I rooted hard for them when they played the Pats a couple of years later, and the loss ruined me for a few weeks.

I still rooted for the Rams religiously following the loss to the Pats in 2002, but then they gave up on Warner a few years later, and then I felt a bit empty again, especially because I thought it was a premature exit of the man who had lifted the franchise to prominence.  Warner, of course, would go on to storied success with Arizona after a two year stint in NY.

I’ve still been rooting for the Rams, but I’m certainly not as passionate as I once was for the team.  Without ties to LA and without Warner and the greatest show on turf, my fandom has waned, although I still look up draft picks and analyze the roster every year.

It certainly hasn’t helped that the team has been horrible in recent years.

So lately, I’ve been rooting for players that I like, mostly guys who came from Cal, like Aaron Rodgers (Packers) and Jahvid Best (Lions).  I root for these teams more than I root for the Rams, I realize, and that led me to confront the difficult truth that I am no longer a Rams fan, and that St. Louis has never been my city.

So as you can see, I’ve decided to choose a new team, one which makes sense considering my affections toward my hometown city (LA), and my new city (NYC).

I obviously can’t root for any LA teams because there are none.  And I realize that even if expansion were to birth a new team, I no longer have ties to LA like I once did.

This is a HUGE decision, then, because this clearly affects the interests of any future kids God might bless us with, as well as the offspring that might come in future generations down the line.

With this, I would like to declare my new allegiance.

The NY Jets.

J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

Why the Jets over the Giants?

This is a tough question to answer, considering the Giants gave me perhaps the most thrilling SB moment I’ve ever experienced (watching them beat the Pats who were trying to become the greatest team of all time).

But ultimately, here’s what it came down to:

1)  The Jets play the Pats twice/year, every year as they play in the same division.  I despise the Pats like no other, and this gives me an easy opportunity to get hyped about the Jets, especially as they battle the Pats directly for playoff positioning and bragging rights.

2)  Rich Villodas is a crazy Jets fan. The guy has seriously rubbed off on me, and I find myself rooting for the Jets just so that Rich will be in a good mood.

3) At my first NLF Memorial Day picnic in 2002, Mike Favilla wore a Vinny Testaverde Jets jersey (#16) and caught the game winning touchdown pass from me in a hotly contested game we played at Jones Beach State Park.

4)  The Jets, kind of like the Mets, take on more of an “underdog” role in the city. Sure, Buddy Ryan is brash and the players are cocky, but the Jets don’t have the same championship history as the Giants, and they have a more miserable/forlorn fanbase (see Rich Villodas).

I’ve usually sided with the less popular/successful teams in LA (Rams, Clippers, and Angels), so it makes sense to go with the “underdog” of NY.

You might say, “Drew, it’s really convenient that you’re rooting for them now their Super Bowl favorites”, and while I’d agree with that assessment, any Jets fan will tell you to stop jinxing them by saying they’re favorites.

Now that, ladies in gentlemen, is why I’m a Jets fan.

*Mike Park has also declared his allegiance informally, but I’d love for him to make a public announcement if he has indeed made the decision.  He’s the one to first broach the subject with me.

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10 responses to “Switching Allegiances: My New Pro Football Team

  1. I am a big time Mets fan. Does this mean you root for the Mets too? If so, how did you come to cheer for them? What a rough few years we’ve had…

  2. Hey Alban! Nope, not a Mets fan… all my other teams are in LA, and my college football team is my alma mater, Cal. I do root for the Mets more than the Yankees, though.

  3. Well, at least I now have one motivating factor to move me, slightly, slightly, slightly toward the Jets. I love an underdog. I do not dig teams that dominate. That said, I wish my Denver Broncos would dominate — or, you know, at least quit saying every single year, “This is a building year.” Build it already!

  4. Im overwhelmed with joy. This is the best blogpost I’ve read in at least 5 months. I’m proud of you, bro! But, it’s important that our head coach is called Rex, not Buddy

  5. Press conference to be announced…
    But I will say here publicly, I am a Jets fan!
    My reasons also have to do with what we are now officially calling the Villodas effect, the brashness of the team, great defense, and a fun, if not tortured, fanbase.
    What really won me over was Revis and the defense last year, but I love the personality on the team. There’s always something to talk about with the Jets – who’s in, who’s out, who should be playing better. They add spice to my sports life. AND IN ALL THINGS, spicy is good.

  6. OMG – you don’t know how many times I laughed while reading your post! This was great!! Especially the parts about Rich and his mood. LOL!! I’m not really a football fan yet, but I feel my heart changing towards the sport. And once I make the difficult decision that will lead “me to confront the difficult truth that I am” a football fan, I will probably root for the Jets. I’ve already been this season, unbeknownst to me! I like that they seem to be rough around the edges and have troubled pasts. It can potentially be a great story of redemption. And I didn’t even know they are SB faves this year! Alright!

  7. I used to like you as a Pastor, but I have to reconsider now since you root for the Jets!

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  10. I’m pretty happy I came across your blog. I decided today I too am switching teams. My story is very, very different. I’m from Dallas, Texas and never watched football growing up. Sure as a very young child I had Cowboys sweatshirts and jackets, but not by choice. I always wanted to learn about the sport and watch it, but being a guy in Texas and asking football rules from another dude was unheard of. So for years I’d watch a QTR. of Cowboys games cluelessly. But I never rooted for them. Then in the 90’s it seemed too bandwagon-ish to begin liking them because of their success all of a sudden.

    But deep down I wanted to know football before being a “team” fan. I moved to the Bay Area when I was 27 in the Summer of 2000.I knew when I got here I was going to root for the home team, but would it be Raiders or Niners?

    After living in Oakland and seeing first hand how ignorant Raider fans are,I knew it would not be them. But then I felt this arbitrary allegiance to Dallas by not being a Niner fan for some reason, even though I had never watched any Dallas Cowboys game in their entirety or even their SB’s in the 90’s. However, in the Bay Area I watched every Niner game every week and became fond of Jeff Garcias grit and then when Tim Rattay took over I really loved how he just kept coming back leaving it all on the field.

    My first game ever was a MNF at Candlestick -Steelers VS. Niners. I was so excited! I’m at one of the NFL’s most honored stadiums in one of the greatest cities in the world! I bought a Niners T-shirt and beanie. Then some co-workers razzed me alot about rivalries and explaining myself was tiring so I began repping Dallas, but not really rooting for them, because of this fan rule that you have to be a fan of the team where you’re from. Yet every Sunday I watch niner games. The ridicule I’ll hear now is that I’m a band wagoner cause of the niner success this season and last. But not really. Anyway, more to the point, Northern California is my home now, has been for 12 years, and it feels good to root for the home team you really like and be part of the camaraderie.

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