The Official 2016 Playoffs Bandwagon Guide
Hey there folks! I know this is a bit different than a normal comic but I do this post every year (normally on Uproxx) and I’ve decided to stick it here this time. The Playoffs are finally upon us and what a glorious time of year it is. If there is anything that can take our fragile minds off of how terrible the NFL, the world, and our lives are, it’s the majesty of playoff football. So if you are one of the sad fans who are stuck with no team in the playoffs, or your team actually is in the playoffs but you need a backup team in case your own breaks your heart, here is the handy bandwagon guide, so that YOU can still trash talk people anyway.
THE NO CHANCE FEEL GOOD STORIES
They are probably boned but very likeable
The Detroit Lions
Most unique reason to bandwagon: The heartwarming tale of a perennial snake-bitten franchise
Every year the most acceptable moral bandwagon is the team that no one can actually hate, the team that never wins, and has a small chance of actually winning it all. The Lions are simply too snake-bitten to hate. Even if you don’t pick the Lions as your official bandwagon team, you know you’ll still be okay with them winning it all, so really, we are all Lions bandwagoners.
The Miami Dolphins
Most unique reason to bandwagon: A different AFCE champion? Sign me up!
If the first choice in any playoff bandwagon is the perennial loser, then the second most bandwagon-able team each year is the upstart team that nobody ever expected to be there. The Dolphins fill that role this season, starting off 1-4, left for dead, then came surging back to secure a playoff spot even with a season ending injury to their starting QB. The Dolphins surprised everyone this year, and they deserve your love, even if their chances are small.
The Oakland Raiders
Most unique reason to Bandwagon: Give Oakland a Champion before they leave for Vegas
The Raiders were probably the most bandwagon-able team in the entire league before the Carr Crash. A team that spent over a decade wallowing in it’s own filth after a Super Bowl embarrassment finally found itself and became the most fun, like-able team in the league behind the back of ugly face rising star Derek Carr, Stud Amari Cooper, a now fun Micheal Crabtree, and Khalil Fucking Mack. But then Carr crashed and the Raiders fell from a contender to a first round exit candidate. This team has a bright future, but not in these playoffs. Still, if they won, that would own.
THE GUYS YOU’D BE HAPPY TO BRING HOME TO MOM
The acceptable, solid choices
The Atlanta Falcons
Most unique reason to bandwagon: Nobody is really taking them seriously despite how good they’ve been
The Falcons did their usual Falcons thing of starting off strong and then fading in the stretch. Wait…What? They didn’t? They ended up with the 2nd overall seed in the NFC? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? It feels like the Falcons finally defied our expectations and only faded from the public consciousness instead of actually fading. The team has no defense, but it hasn’t hurt them too much, because the offense is incredible. This team can score with anyone, and now that nobody is looking might just surprise. Plus, they’ve never won.
The Kansas City Chiefs
Most Unique Reason to Bandwagon: Do it for the Walrus
The Chiefs are like a big plate of warm mashed potatoes. They fill you up right, they satisfy, and you can’t help but wonder if something more exotic might have tasted better but you are still okay with your choice of dinner. The defense is incredibly fun to watch, the team has made special teams an enjoyable and important aspect of the game, and the offense is calculated and efficient if dull. The Chiefs have a problem of sitting on a lead once they get one and they really aren’t built to come from behind (Even with a couple comeback wins) but it’s a solid team and solid teams with playoff experience are always a solid choice. Plus the last time the Chiefs won a Super Bowl only dinosaurs were alive.
THE CHAOS RUN
For those who just want to see the world left in ruins as people struggle to understand how
The New York Giants
Most unique reason to Bandwagon: Unique powers of Patriot Slaying
The two teams listed here are listed as such because they are teams with terrible offenses and great defenses, which in my recent memory seems to be the recipe for playoff upsets. The Giants especially have history here, and if we somehow get another Giants/Patriots SB, no one is really going to be surprised because the ingredients are there, they just need to be mixed. Plus, if you hate the other teams in the NFC playoff, imagine how fun it would be to watch the Giants ruin dreams again en route to another Super Bowl nobody they defeated thinks they deserve as they cry salty tears when Eli holds up another Lombardi he wishes was a rocket pop.
The Houston Texans
Most unique reason to Bandwagon: TWO TIME CHAMP BROCK OSWEILER
The Texans offense is atrocious. Brock Osweiler is back in the driver seat and oh my god we have to watch the Raiders play the Texans this is an actual playoff game. But imagine how amazing it would be if a great defense once again carried Brock Osweiler, a man who was benched mid-season, to a Championship. We could have a man who started at QB win two straight super bowls on different teams who both scorned him. Brock would be legend. Some of you will find that an atrocity. Those of you like me will think that is probably the funniest thing that could possibly happen in this playoff.
THE TEAMS ONLY A FAN COULD LOVE
You have chosen the dark side and are officially proud to be an glory seeking asshole
The Pittsburgh Steelers
Most unique reason to Bandwagon: Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown is cool and good and deserving of your love. Nothing else about the Steelers is loveable. The towels are stupid. The STAIRWAY TO SEVEN crap is stupid. Big Ben is probably a rapist and no amount of rings will make him not probably a rapist. However, they are still probably the least evil choice of the remaining teams.
The Green Bay Packers
Most valid reason to bandwagon: Uh..They aren’t the Pats or Cowboys I guess?
The Packers are the Patriots of the NFC. They’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time being good in the past two decades and it’s gotten to the point where it’s just incredibly boring. They haven’t had the same level of success the Pats have had, but they’ve always been there. When Rodgers talked about running the table, we all knew it would happen, because life is cruel. The Packers have had their success, go away. There aren’t any Charles Woodsons (Players who deserve a ring but don’t have one) to root for on this team anyway. Maybe the corpse of Julius Peppers?
The Seattle Seahawks
Most unique reason to bandwagon: Watching some dumb team decide Tom Cable is worth a head coaching job afterward
The Hawks are probably the least likely team in the asshole category to actually win as the Seahawks window appears to be rapidly closing and they can’t play on the road for shit. Earl Thomas is dead, the offensive line is a tire fire of stunning proportions, and Russell is no longer the love-able little scamp he used to be and is now just kind of a weirdo. Every year the Seahawks don’t win brings us closer to the stability juncture of the 12’s no longer being incredibly annoying and just being regular fans with a gimmick again.
The New England Patriots
Most unique reason to bandwagon: Well, they aren’t the Cowboys
The Patriots have made a case for the best franchise in league history for the past 16 years. They need another championship in the same way that rich people need another boat. Go away, Patriots. Let someone else have a turn.
The Dallas Cowboys
Most unique reason to bandwagon: You hate America
On paper, with all team names hidden from view, the Cowboys are a like-able, root-able team. A team that built itself the right way with unsexy offensive line picks? A team with a long denied star (Romo) on his last legs, sitting behind one of the most incredible rookie QB runs in history? A coach everyone laughed at, now taking his team to the #1 seed? A stud rookie RB? A long time steady blue collar star TE? The Cowboys would be the most likeable team in history if it wasn’t for one fact:
They are the Cowboys
Fuck the Cowboys. If the Cowboys win the levels of smug fandom will outclass everything that has come before it in our lifetime. It will be inescapable thanks to social media and the internet. If we have a Patriots/Cowboys Super Bowl, I will root for the Patriots. I’d rather see the old money get another boat and keep being smug than the new money asshole who doesn’t know how to be rich rub it in everyone’s faces. Fuck the Cowboys forever and ever amen