Rooting guide for non-playoff fans

Miami: After such a messed-up season, I'm not sure how much more football Dolphins fans can bear, especially after getting blown out in back-to-back games by AFC East rivals by a combined 39-7 record with the playoffs hanging in the balance. You guys seem to like bullies, and SEATTLE's defense (ranked No. 1 in yards and points allowed) is as nasty as they come.

New York Jets: You guys are 100 percent ABBB: Anybody But Belichick and Brady. So you want the highest seed possible to get through to the divisional round: CINCINNATI. In fact, don't be surprised if before the game this Sunday Rex Ryan announces to the Bengals that he will, in fact, be fired if they don't beat the Chargers.

Oakland: You're a grown man with a wife, two kids, a mortgage, a labradoodle and a Toyota Corolla. And every Sunday you paint your face black and silver and glue fake spikes onto your Raiders Darth Vader costume and sit in the Black Hole to watch one embarrassing defeat after another. The only thing that could make this season any more humiliating is if the pretty-boy 49ers from across the bay end up winning it all. So get on the GREEN BAY bandwagon, but leave the spikes and face paint at home.

Pittsburgh: After their worst start in 45 years, the Steelers were one blown call away from making the playoffs. I made fun of you guys at your lowest point, and for that I'm (a little bit) sorry. But I have to say, of all the incredible accomplishments of this franchise in the past decade, when it comes to heart, guts and resilience, 2013 has to rank right up there near the top. Of course, referees in San Diego didn't catch an illegal formation on the Chiefs' potential game-winning field goal, so the Chargers, and not the Steelers, were allowed to advance to the postseason. That makes SAN DIEGO your team. It stings, I know, but you can stake claim to whatever the Chargers accomplish in the postseason because, for once, when Steelers fans cry "that shoulda binz us!" they're actually speaking the truth.

Tennessee: Your team is DENVER based on your state's ties to Peyton Manning, the former Volunteer.


Arizona: Ten wins wasn't enough to get you into the playoffs, which means the Cardinals Curse is still very much alive and kicking. But you've got the next best thing. You crushed the Colts by 29 points just five weeks ago. So get behind your head coach's former team in INDIANAPOLIS because if they go all the way that means your Cards were actually the best team in the league. That, or you've been out in the sun too long again.

Atlanta: Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez left KANSAS CITY, and even came back to the Falcons for another year to take a shot at a Super Bowl ring. How'd that work out? The least you can do is root for the Chiefs to win it all and hope they let him ride in the victory parade or something.

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