Why do you root for the team you root for?

Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s had two players who share a birthday with me.

When watching/following sports, what motivates your rooting interest? Perhaps your college alma mater has a team you support, which is understandable. What else factors in? Is it part geography?

The National Football League playoffs start today, and this is the order of my rooting interest this postseason. This is totally different from my prediction for the Super Bowl (New Orleans over Baltimore.)

My affection for the New York Giants (NFC) started in the 1960s. They were the team that showed up on my CBS affiliate most often, and I can still name some of them by heart (Sam Huff, Y.A. Tittle, Jim Katcavage, Dick Lynch, Andy Robustelli, Dick Modzelewski). Moreover, they used to play a preseason game at Cornell in Ithaca, not that far from Binghamton, NY; my father and I went there for a few years in a row.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC) of the 1970s had two players who share a birthday with me, Lynn Swann and Franco Harris. Decades later, that fact and the blue-collar notion of Steelers appeals to me.

The Detroit Lions (NFC) has been very terrible for so long but ended a lengthy playoff drought this year.

I’ve been to New Orleans (NFC) and liked it, feel bad about Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and was happy the Saints won the Super Bowl a couple of years ago.

I developed an affection for San Francisco (NFC) back in the day that Willie Mays played baseball there. Somehow, that’s gotten transferred to the 49ers.

The Green Bay Packers (NFC) are also blue-collar, and small-town to boot. And have Green in the name. But they won last year.

Houston Texans (AFC) are an expansion team (2002) in its first playoff game. Gotta love that, even if they are from Texas.

I know almost nothing about the Atlanta Falcons (NFC).

The Cincinnati Bengals (AFC) had been a thug team, with a number of players ending up in the courts. The particular players are probably gone, but my negative feeling remains.

The historically best defensive player on the Baltimore Ravens (AFC) is a felon and is STILL on the team.

I must admit that I’ve experienced a personal Tim Tebow backlash, the new Denver Broncos (AFC) quarterback whose unorthodox play led to a personal 7-1 record this season before dropping the last three games.

Irrational dislike of the New England Patriots (AFC).

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