Rooting guide for non-playoff fans

ByDAVID FLEMING via <a href="" title="SportCenter" class="espn_sc_byline">SPORTSCENTER </a>
January 02, 2014, 1:52 PM

&#151; -- In the euphoria of the new year and the race toward another Lombardi Trophy, we often forget that for 20 unlucky teams and a whopping 63 percent of fans the season is, um, over -- a flaw the NFL really needs to look into.

We keep watching, though, because these are typically some of the best games of the season. (Well, that, and we are fatally addicted to the violent entertainment of football.) But for the rest of us in places such as Detroit, Cleveland and Oakland, the question remains: Without a rooting interest or fantasy stats to worry about, who do we paint our faces for now?

That confusing question leads to some odd, abstruse leaps of logic -- not to mention bizarre bedfellows -- as NFL fans across the league decide in the next few days where to temporarily switch their loyalties. Lombardi by proxy, is what folks in Cleveland call it, I think.

There are many theories as to how this should go. Some are based on loyalty to divisional opponents. Some are based on teams still playing that your team beat during the regular season. Some are based on team colors or favorite players or mascots or just rooting against the favorite team of the biggest doofus in your office.

The choice is not always that easy. So, to help you pick your surrogate NFL playoff team, the Flem File has come up with a team-by-team Losers Rooting Guide to the NFL Playoffs.



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