Browns

A Browns Fans Rooting Guide to Super Bowl 51

While the Browns season ended somewhere around late August, the NFL has reached its grand finale with Super Bowl 51. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will do battle on Sunday in a contest of NFL supremacy. With Cleveland sadly watching from their couches (again) we at Waiting for Next Year will (again) examine the options (again) and determine whom the discerning Clevelander should support in the title game (again).

The Underdog

Everyone loves rooting for the little guy. Whether it’s David, Luke Skywalker, or Kay Felder there is something special about seeing the overlooked or undervalued team spring an unexpected victory. So if you’re looking for the Big Bad, cast your eyes northeast. Per CBS Sports, New England is a three point favorite over Atlanta. The Patriots were a juggernaut all season, even without Tom Brady for the month of September. The Pats finished 14-2, and won their playoff games by eighteen and nineteen points respectively. Furthermore, Five Thirty Eight gives them a 61% chance to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Falcons, however, are not here by accident. Atlanta won the NFC South with an 11-5 record, and defeated both Seattle (by sixteen) and Green Bay (by twenty-three). So if you like to roll with the little guy, it’ll be the Falcons.
Atlanta – 1, New England – 0.

Longest Active Drought

While Cleveland no longer feels burdened with a half century championship drought (shout out to the WORLD CHAMPION Cleveland Cavaliers), the city no doubt sympathizes with cities and clubs that have long waited in vain for the chance to host a parade. In this category it’s no contest. New England has appeared in six Super Bowls this century, winning four of them. Their most recent triumph came two short years ago against the Seattle Seahawks. Atlanta on the other hand is hurting for some sports glory. The Falcons have never won the Super Bowl in franchise history. They appeared opposite the Denver Broncos in 1998, and put up some fight before falling 34-19. Georgians have been waiting for next year since.
Atlanta – 2, New England – 0.

Buckeyes

When in doubt, it’s always safe to root for the Buckeyes. Surprisingly there is a lack of Ohio based talent on both sides of the field this Sunday. The only participant who played college ball in the Buckeye State is fifth year Patriot Nate Ebner. The Dublin native primarily made his mark on special teams, but did lead the NFL with 19 special teams tackles. He played every game in 2016 and even earned 2nd team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press. So if you are completely hell bent on rooting for as many Ohioans as possible, then the Patriots are your team. Atlanta – 2, New England – 1.

Logos

Aesthetics should not be taken lightly. The logos and style of a team can do a lot to attract or repel a casual fan. The Falcons’ logo has remained largely unchanged since the team’s founding in 1966. A red and black bird reaching a talon forward with wings splayed down. Squint and it even sort of looks like the letter “F.”

Falcons

The Patriots’ current logo has become synonymous with the team’s success. A decapitated head with a flowing mane/three corner hat face. It’s nice, but nothing to write home about.

Pats New

Their old Boston Patriots logo on the other hand is a thing of beauty. Can’t you just picture it? Washington in the shotgun. Hamilton in the slot. Here comes Arnold on the blitz! Poetry. The visuals favor the Pats.

Pats Old

Atlanta – 2, New England – 2.

Schadenfreude

Browns fans have long memories which leaves them with harsh feelings against the teams that did them wrong. Surprisingly the Browns have a winning record against the Falcons, leading the all-time series 11-3. I’m as surprised as you. Cleveland has won three of four against the Birds since returning in 1999, claiming the most recent matchup 26-24 in 2014. The Patriots, on the other hand, have been much more even against Cleveland. The Browns lead the series 12-11, but of late it has been almost all Pats. The Browns are only 2-7 against Belicheck’s Boys since 1999, and have dropped two straight. So if you’re looking to stick it to the school bully, pull for the Falcons.

By a final score of 3-2 we can say without reservation that the Atlanta Falcons are the team most worthy of your support during Super Bowl 51. And I know that the Braves bested the Indians in the 1995 World Series, and rooting for any team from Atlanta may seem unappetizing. But we need to put those feelings aside and consider the greater reality that Patriots fans are really annoying, and football is more fun when they are disappointed. If nothing else, don’t forget that Tom Brady went to Michigan.

  • RGB

    I’ve heard the Patriots current logo referred to as Flying Elvis.

    I much prefer the Falcons old unis…

    https://shotclockblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/atlanta-falcons-alternate-helmet.jpg

  • JM85

    I’m rooting for a good game because the playoffs were awful.

  • NankirPhelge

    I’m going with the ex-Browns factor, with Alex Mack being the swing vote in favor of Atlanta.

    I’m rooting for the Falcons with Mack, Taylor Gabriel, and Shanahan over the Pats with Sheard, Dion Lewis, the immortal Barkevious Mingo, and, of course, Coach Mumbles.

  • Hopwin

    I am rooting for Ray Farmer to start texting the lulz to Kyle Shanahan on the sidelines.

  • JNeids

    Ex-Browns
    Rooting for: Gabriel, Sheard, Lewis, Mingo = +1 ATL, +3 NE
    Rooting against: Mack, Shanahan, and Mumbles = -2 ATL, -1 NE
    Final tally: ATL = -1, NE = +2
    Go Patri…I just can’t say finish that.
    (Yes I have sour grapes towards Alex Mack)

  • NankirPhelge

    Has there ever been a logo change that was an improvement? Ever? Anywhere? Any logo?

  • mgbode

    Pats current logo is way better
    Bucs wine&gold is so much better than the creamcicles
    Jags full body monstrosity was a needed change
    et cetera

  • mgbode

    I took five years of Latin, so…

  • Eric G

    5?!?! What does one do w/ 5 years of Latin under their belt, other than correct spelling errors?

  • RGB

    I loved the creamcicles.
    Vinny Testeverde didn’t…

  • NankirPhelge

    Ah, Ray Farmer. Pound for pound, the biggest single disaster to befall the Browns since ’99.

    Here are two others in the conversation.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c308ef07ef93911cc8bc69cc02bf1a4b6ae7527e51bad82996db6697c4dbe75c.jpg

  • Eric G

    I have a hard time deciding if I want to root for Belichick because he should have been the Browns coach, and this should be the Browns legacy. Or if I want to root against them for all of those reasons.

  • NankirPhelge

    Ooooo, sorry, mg, but strike one, strike two, strike three. Go ass some pine.

  • Hopwin

    Weeden cup check?

  • JM85

    If New England wins then Pittsburgh would only be 1 ahead of them and Dallas for most titles. So there is that factor if anyone wants to see Pittsburgh get passed or be tied.

  • RGB
  • NankirPhelge

    Latin scholars are fabulous fun at parties, even more than lawyers.

  • jjalovec

    our orange is oranger, dammit!

  • mgbode

    Ummm…well, let’s see. I can translate Superbowl numbers w/o thinking. Then there’s, well, uh…

  • mgbode

    You would think so but no one ever invites me to any.

  • mgbode

    et tu JM85? NFL championships mean nothing to you?

  • mgbode

    we have quite different tastes. those old TB unis are among the worst ever.

  • mgbode

    how would he know? they all looked the same color-wise.

  • NankirPhelge

    Philistine.

  • JM85

    I pulled an ESPN. Just left out mentioning how the Browns never went to a title game every year, yet they won multiple NFL championships

  • mgbode

    I just wanted to add-on to my Latin uses. That’s two on this thread alone! So useful.

  • Natedawg86

    Redder our orange is redder than it was

  • RGB

    The Lions need to ditch all the black trim and new blue (they say it’s the same, but it’s not), and go back to the Barry Sanders-era unis…

    http://www.profootballhof.com/assets/1/25/DimTeamHeroes/Detroit-Lions-2-1.jpg?45778

  • mgbode

    Akron has 1
    Canton has 2
    Cleveland Bulldogs won 1
    Cleveland Rams won 1
    Cleveland Browns won 4

    So, 9 NFL championships for NEO

  • pnikhilrao

    “With Cleveland sadly watching from their couches (again)”
    But, doesn’t it feel good that it’s been a YEAR since there was a Finals (series or game, with due respect to hockey fans everywhere) where we *are* on the couch???

  • jpftribe
  • JM85

    So we’re not here to talk about Cleveland never winning and the Cavs absolutely trading Love?

  • mgbode

    I mean, we can each be here for whatever reason we wish

  • Dorismlott

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  • Hopwin

    Go ass some pine is my new favorite phrase.

  • Saggy

    i prefer to call them, “vintage.”

  • Saggy

    I’m so rooting against Mingo that he accounts for -10.

  • Saggy
  • Saggy

    To be fair, the Akron Pros were no Youngstown Patricians or Elyria Athletics.

    Also, 80% of the league was NEO in 1920. So, those odds….

  • Saggy

    Toccatus!

    (maybe?)

  • mgbode

    The NFL owes its very roots to NEO.

    It is just very strange to me that every other league counts championsihps back to the beginning, but the NFL only counts Superbowls. If they would decide to start in 1933 (when the league expanded much closer to what it is considered now), then that would be fine too.

  • Charliesgonzales

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  • scripty
  • scripty

    Nothing against ATL, I am decidedly pro-NE today. Brady & Bill. That’s about it.

  • scripty

    Evidently Mr. Mgbode’s an educated man. Now I really hate him.

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view5/20140206/4971806/doc-holliday-cup-spin-tombstone-o.gif

  • mgbode

    to root for Mingo is to root for Joe Banner (in case anyone tries to dissuade you)

  • mgbode

    as all should

  • Peggydgonzalez

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  • Chris

    Agreed! The NHL still counts Stanley Cups back when there were only 6 teams in the entire league… come on!

  • http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mby0uuATEu1rwkx4n.gif

    Flying Elvis is awful, the Creamsicles were the only good thing about the Bucs ever, and the Jags unis, while not great before, are nearly Bengals-level bad now.