If you're a fan of the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks, you're probably pretty excited for the Super Bowl.
If you're a fan of the Steelers, Browns, Bengals, Jaguars (someone has to love them) or any of the other 26 teams in the NFL though, you may not be as enthused about the game. And if you're not really a football fan but only planning to watch the Super Bowl at a social event or maybe considering checking in on the game between commercials, you might not even know who's playing, much less care about who wins.
But if you're going to be watching, or at least be in the general proximity of people who are watching, I think it's more fun to have some interest in the game.
Below are five criteria you can use to select a team to support. You can base your decision on any one or take them all together collectively. It's completely subjective, so if you don't like my reasoning, go the other way.
Just don't use this to try to predict the winner. These categories aren't based on any factors that actually matter on the field.
* PROXIMITY: The easiest thing to do is back the team closest to where you live. Well, it's easy when both teams don't come from over a thousand miles away.
At 1,374.26 miles from Parkersburg (thanks, MapQuest.com), Denver isn't exactly in our backyard. But it's closer than Seatlle, which is 2,526.32 miles away.
DENVER 1, SEATTLE 0
* ALMA MATERS: Often teams in the big game have a few players from colleges that have a strong local following. That's not really the case this year.
Denver has no WVU or Marshall alumni on its roster and the same number of players with alma maters in Ohio (twp, from Cincinnati and Miami) as those who played college ball in North Dakota.
The Seahawks get the edge for having linebacker Bruce Irvin, a first-round draft pick last year out of WVU. And that's about it, other than Ohio University's Phil Bates on the practice squad.
SEATTLE 1, DENVER 1
* UNIFORMS: Tough call. I long considered the Broncos' uniforms to be among the ugliest in the NFL, going back to their orange-jersey-and-lighter-blue-helmet days of yore. The navy bluish scheme bothered me even more, but modern sports uniforms have evolved to where many can't be looked at directly. Now they've gone back to the predominant orange, which is softened a bit by the dark blue accents and helmets.
The Seahawks' uniforms aren't the most garish, but they were the most heavily redesigned when Nike took over NFL uniform production. They've got all kinds of extra details and flourishes that make me nostalgic about uniforms from days gone by... just not when the Steelers looked like bees.
The Broncos win for simplicity, and because their uniforms aren't quite as hideous as they used to be.
DENVER 2, SEATTLE 1
* STORYLINE: No underdog here. Both teams were the best in their conference and the regular season, so we're not talking David and Goliath.
Some people may be tired of Broncos' QB Peyton Manning and all the talk about him, but he comes across as a likable guy who is one of the best to ever play the game (whether he wins Sunday or not). He's also pretty funny in commercials and on "Saturday Night Live."
The Seahawks were favorites to get here all season, but they're still a young team. Quarterback Russell Wilson was passed over for flashier quarterbacks in last year's draft, all of whom would like to be in his shoes now. Plus, Denver has two Super Bowl titles while Seattle lost the only other time it ever made it to the big game.
Point to the Seahawks.
SEATTLE 2, DENVER 2
* MASCOTS: Team mascots are selected to reflect power, speed, ability and excellence. At least they should be. I don't know why there are so many teams called "Cardinals."
Anyway, the Broncos certainly fit this mold, as do, I think, the Seahawks, because that bird on their helmets looks pretty serious and aerodynamic. A quick search on Google confirms that a sea hawk is a real bird, more commonly known as an osprey.
OK, so the next logical direction to go is: which animal would actually win at football? Assuming both could carry the ball, the advantage has to go with the Broncos, 'cause how would an osprey tackle a horse? Then again, how would a horse tackle a flying bird of prey?
That leaves us with originality. Broncos are fine mascots, but there are more teams sporting that name than there are Seahawks. Advantage, Seattle.
SEATTLE 3, DENVER 2
Contact Evan Bevins at firstname.lastname@example.org