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By: Nate Caminata
Do you remember that old western flick? The one where the corrupt, yet immaculate gun slinger faces a young, callow foe that isn't given much of a chance at all.
Perhaps it was 'Back To The Future III'. You know, 'Mad Dog Tanner'? Anyway.
With the exception of the occasional egotist, we always seem to pull for the underdog. It is a habit that we have all grown comfortably accustomed to.
On Super Bowl Sunday, this bias becomes alarmingly apparent. It even applies to those whose knowledge of the National Football League runs about as deep as Mike Tyson's voice. But it has also handed the New England Patriots a rather large fan base. Myself included.
While the objective NFL fan base is certainly captivated by the duel between defensive genius (Bill Belichick) and offensive mastermind (Mike Martz), which alone makes this contest between respective conference champions interesting, one can't help but be lured into the New England Patriots' den. Seriously, though, who can root against a ball club with the nickname 'Patriots'?
Besides, unless you're a St. Louis fan, pulling for the heavily favored Rams is unoriginal. And-it-isn't-any-fun.
Lately, I have become so entranced with the simple idea of being a temporary Patriots fan that I considered purchasing a replica Drew Bledsoe jersey to exhibit my support. But then I realized by doing so I could jinx the ball club, and jeopardize their chances of pulling off a win.
You may call this behavior 'eccentric.' I consider it committed. Even if it is for just three hours.
But it all comes well-deserved.
The 2001 New England Patriots, considering their rather interesting quarterback tale and physical style of play, have earned the right to gather our support. They may be a Cinderella team, which they claim not to be, and they might not. Only they would know. But the Patriots have rolled off 8 consecutive victories dating back to November, they harbor an attacking and talented defense, and barely lost to the Rams earlier in the season.
They don't enter the Sunday's match up by chance.
And, if that doesn't satisfy your underdog appetite, they start former Michigan quarterback -- and current media darling -- Tom Brady under center.
Yes, chances are, you are going to find yourself rooting for the New England Patriots on Sunday. It will make the game worthwhile if your favorite team isn't involved, and because of that, gives you a reason to scream incessantly at the television set. This also applies if you do, indeed, root for the St. Louis Rams instead.
But don't become too attached. Your subconscious wouldn't allow it, anyway. That's the way it's always been, underdog or otherwise. So make Super Bowl Sunday a worthwhile event. Pick a team and grab a bite to eat.
The team you select will be a distant memory soon after the credits start to roll.