Even though it’s the biggest sporting event of the year, because my favorite team is not in the game, sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the spectacle as much as I could be. That’s why I generally try to find reasons to root for a particular team and stick with it. Being a Browns fan, it’s really easy any time the Steelers or Ravens are in the big game. Other times, Super Bowl XLIV for example, it is not nearly as easy to decide. I was rooting for the Saints over the Colts in that game, but I didn't really despise either team. I think that was the reason the game wasn’t nearly as exciting compared to the other Super Bowl games from the past four years.
Here are a few, fairly arbitrary reasons to get attached to the New York Giants, with the hope that it might just make the big game more engaging:
As we are all well aware, the New York Giants just slipped into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Since then, they have had to win three road playoff games in a row. They handled the Atlanta Falcons in the first round and surprised a lot of us following it up by crushing the 15-1 Green Bay Packers as well. Then, finally, they defeated the San Francisco 49ers in an overtime thriller. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots had to beat the Tebow led Broncos and just barely beat Baltimore after Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying field goal.
Despite all that, the Giants still enter this game as 3-point underdogs. I think this is something that Browns fans can relate too. I don’t think the Browns have a lot of things in common with the Giants, but constantly being considered an underdog might just be one of them. Personally, unless I have an invested interest otherwise, I always root for the underdog. I love underdog stories. I hope that this game is among them.
I won’t bore you with the same 2007 comparisons and rematch storylines that just about everyone else is making. I just wanted to mention, one of my all-time favorite underdog sports moments was during Super Bowl XLII and the final minutes that turned 18-0 to 18-1.
-Fantasy Football Attachments
This might be really weak for some, but when you enjoy playing fantasy football as much as I do, you can really start to develop a liking for your fantasy players. This happens for me every single season. When they’re on your fantasy team, you have a reason to watch their games and hope they play well. You become a fan. From the two teams playing in the Super Bowl, this year it was Victor Cruz. In a fantasy season that had really inconsistent WR play, Cruz was a bright spot. He was among the players on my team that truly led me to the championship season I had in my money league. He also entered the league undrafted and didn’t record a single catch during his rookie season. Then he started this season fourth on the depth chart and didn’t really get a chance to showcase his talents until some injuries to other Giants receivers moved him up. That’s when he exploded for a Giants franchise record 1536 receiving yards and topped it off with nine touchdowns.
Do you have any Fantasy Football “bromances” with players in the Super Bowl of your own?
-They didn’t videotape opposing teams’ defensive signals
This one is pretty simple. Between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, the Giants are the team that didn’t participate in one of the most infamous controversies in NFL history, a controversy that resulted in some of the most severe penalties ever imposed on an NFL team and head coach (Bill Bellichick). It is more popularly known as “Spygate.” To put it simply, the Patriots cheated, they were caught, and they were punished. Do you remember who didn’t videotape opposing teams’ defensive signals to gain an unfair advantage? That’s right, the New York Giants.
I understand this isn't exactly riveting stuff, but it's Super Bowl week and the Browns aren't in it. The least we can do is root against a cheater, right?