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I think there comes a point for many avid sports fans where you have the teams you love but also the teams you just hate.
Perhaps the team on the bad side of the spectrum is a fierce division rival like the Ravens are for the Steelers currently. Or it could be a historical rival where a true rivalry used to exist, but due to lack of opportunities to lock horns, the rivalry died down a bit. I am thinking Steelers versus the Cowboys or Raiders.
As the NFL dwindled down to the final four, and my Steelers and Dolphins had long since started thinking about the offseason, my mode switched from being a super fan to deciding who would I least like to see hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
My next statement may be somewhat contradictory, but New England is always the last team I want to see win anything. That team ruined more Sundays for me than anything I can think of. Especially in the playoffs.
After them, the next team would be San Francisco. Nothing personal there, really — I am over Super Bowl XIX — but I also really like the distinction of being in the only city with a six pack of Super Bowls.
Although I think Colin Kaepernick is exciting, and I would not mind seeing Randy Moss get a much-deserved ring — or Navarro Bowman for that matter — I don't really want any company on the sixth floor.
So, what is the alternative? Root for the Ravens? A team that has caused nearly as many miserable football experiences for me as the Patriots? I think it has to be that way.
I think that over the years I have grown up a little, and no matter who wins, it will have absolutely no bearing on my Monday morning. I still stand by my childish hatred of the Patriots, but the Ravens, although the bitterest of rivals, is the lesser of two evils here.
The way I see it, the Ravens capturing their second title just adds another log on the fire in what has become the consensus best rivalry in the NFL. And it gives the Steelers one more year to possibly knock on seven's door.
Change is inevitable, but sometimes clinging to history is comforting ... (I still cling to 1972, and I was not even born yet.)
So, I will yield on rooting against the Ravens for three hours this weekend, and may our greatest enemy help preserve our place in history.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-953-1897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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