So with the Broncos long gone from the Super Bowl picture and no
Raiders to root against, that trivial question once again arises:
who to cheer for, the New England Patriots or the Carolina
The question is not easy to answer, especially since I feel
nothing for either team. So I decided to dissect the issue and come
up with a debate from a Bronco/CSU fan perspective.
First of all, the Patriots roster carries four former University
of Colorado players, including tackle Tom Ashworth and tight ends
Christian Fauria and Daniel Graham. If you were to take a look at
the Panthers players, you would notice that not one is a Colorado
That is one BIG point for Carolina because the last thing I want
to do is see four Buffaloes waving big shinny rings around.
Especially after Henri Childs of the Kansas City Chiefs, who was
the farthest-going Ram in the playoffs, fell victim to Payton
Manning and company.
Secondly, if you were to examine the Panthers’ roster more
closely, you would find four ex-Mountain West Conference players
including starting wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith, a former Utah
Ute, is proving that the MWC can produce quality players, as he has
1,110 yards receiving on the season.
New England’s roster consists of not one Aztec, Cougar, Cowboy,
Falcon, Lobo, Ram, Rebel or Ute. Another point for Carolina.
Turning attention to the Bronco fan’s point of view, the
question becomes even more complicated. Patriot head coach Bill
Belichick was the assistant special teams coach for Denver in 1978.
John Fox, head coach of Carolina, was the defensive coordinator for
the Raiders during the 1994-95 season. That hurts the Panthers
quite a bit.
Although Fox did attend San Diego State University and took over
the head coaching job there in 1978, it does not compensate for
taking part in the Raider organization. Still, the Panthers remain
Additionally, it is expected to cheer for a fellow AFC team;
that would give the advantage to New England. Then again, how could
anyone forget the painful Monday Night Football experience when the
Patriots beat the Broncos 30-26.
I was at that game and thought victory was inevitable after the
Broncos took a 26-23 lead after getting a safety with 2:15
remaining in the game. Then I realized that the Patriots
deliberately allowed the safety in order to have better field
position and then won the game on Tom Brady’s 18-yard touchdown
That game sucked and I cannot forgive Brady or the rest of his
teammates. The Panthers are looking more and more appealing to root
From an ordinary football fan perspective, one has to admire the
14-game winning streak New England is riding. It even reminds me of
the 13-game winning streak the Broncos had in 1998. It was so much
easier back then – I could just paint my face orange and blue and
forget doing in-depth debates.
One for the Patriots.
On the other hand, Carolina is the 7-point underdog, and it is
only natural to cheer for the underdog.
So that concludes the debate as a Broncos and Rams fan: Carolina
wins it. Go Panthers!