Fans of NFL teams are everywhere, and especially in the fall, they start to show their true colors… no pun intended. As Fantasy Football and football Sundays got into full swing this season, I had to ask myself the question – how did these fans choose which NFL team to root for?
This season, my sister-in-law and I decided that we were going to join the ranks of these fans and choose our favorite NFL teams. We know enough about football to watch and understand the games, but it’s no fun when you don’t have a team to root for. We did our research and made our choice – I became a Colts fan, and she became a Patriots fan.
Whether you’re a girlfriend who’s sick of just sitting on the couch on game day, or a long-time football fan who’s never really picked a specific team, here is a list of things to consider when choosing your favorite NFL team. Turns out, there’s more to it than team colors.
1. Location. You could choose your team based on geographical loyalty. Do you live nearby an NFL team? Choosing a close-by team would also aid your ability to attend games from time to time. Maybe there’s a city you’ve visited and particularly love, and you’d like to support their team.
2. Relationships. What NFL teams do your friends root for? Your significant other? Were you born into a family that would lay down their lives for a particular NFL team? You could join up with your loved ones and root for the same NFL team, or perhaps you would rather have a friendly rivalry or an NFL team all your own.
3. Reputation. Read the news and ask around about the reputations of the NFL teams. Do the players get in trouble off the field or are they generally good citizens? Are they egotistical or humble? What are their coaches like? As an NFL fan, you will probably either receive praise or criticism when your team finds its way into the limelight. You might also want to choose an NFL team that seems to emulate your personal values or personality, or a team whose history has character or aspects to which you can relate.
4. Style. Consider the NFL teams’ playing styles. Are they aggressive? Good team players? Do they seem to rack up the penalties? Do they prefer to run or throw the ball? You might want to choose an NFL team that corresponds with your preferred style of play, or consider what the mood of a typical game would be.
5. Record. It’s important to know how your NFL team has been performing. Are they traditional underdogs? Superstars? Have they been to any Super Bowls? Have they risen in the ranks over time or dropped down in quality lately? There is certainly a different sort of loyalty that you must have to teams that are not performing well. On the other hand, if you choose a team that consistently performs well, people might assume you chose the team only for that reason and give you a hard time.
6. Players. Who are the NFL teams’ star players? What is the personal reputation of those players? Do they endorse particular products or causes you either support or don’t support? Is there high turnover on the team? Maybe there is an NFL player who shares your religious, political, or social values. Choosing a team based on your affinity for a particular player is not a bad way to start. In fact, you might develop loyalty to a player instead of a team and root for that player’s team if he changes during his career.
7. Fans. When you choose an NFL team to root for, you essentially join a league of fellow fans. What is the nature of the fans? Are they generally laid-back or hardcore? Do they have the reputation of being obnoxious or well liked? Are there certain rivalries between teams you should be aware of when interacting with other fans? When you claim an NFL team, being a fan will become part of your identity, so it might be nice to have the typical nature of your team’s fan base jive with your own personality.
Of course, it might take some time to choose your team as you take these factors into consideration. You might need to do a lot of research and watch a lot of games, or you might click with a team right away. However you choose, having an NFL team to root for is sure to make football season a lot more fun and enjoyable!