2014-15 NFL Playoffs - Who to Root For (If you're a Niners fan)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Curiously, the 49ers will not be appearing in the 2014-15 NFL playoffs. Fortunately, this will not cause a massive overreaction and we'll reload for next sea..pardon?

Regardless, a playoff-less year means two things for the conscientious 49er fan (1) catching up on DDT pro wrestling and (2) rooting defensively during the playoffs.  Here should be your approach.

12. Seattle
You're not rooting for the Seahawks.  A year ago, you could, in fact, I did and not only because I felt super confident in its profitability, but because I'm of the mind that having your division rival win the title can be a good thing.  You benefit from whatever level of post Super Bowl hangover that exists ('member that Wilson wasn't black enough about a month and a half ago?  Good times.) they (and not you) become the team taking everyone's best punch and I sort of like feeling the pain of seeing your rival raise the trophy.

But not two years straight.  Not when your organization is a tire fire.  Nope.

I'm likely to pick them to win the NFC again and then to lose the Super Bowl in the most wrenching way possible.  This is what I'd like to see.

11. Denver
This may make your Super Bowl experience challenging.

How you come down on the following indicates a lot about you - some will say you root against the Steelers and Cowboys as what you're protecting is against franchises having more SB wins than the Niners.  I care less about that than do I about Joe Montana; there are very few discussions that go like this "hey, Dallas has 5 Super Bowl wins, one more and they're an all time better franchise than the Niners" but plenty that say "who is the best quarterback ever - well, Manning's SB record has to be held against him."

It's a 20 year battle, being in Joe Montana Legacy Protection, I'm not giving it up yet.  I root for Peyton Manning to lose every time the lights get bright.

10. New England
See Denver, see Tom Brady.

9. Dallas
The Cowboys have won 5 Super Bowls (and they're the Cowboys; my mother's first piece of advice to me was "don't vote Republican, don't put catsup on your hot dog, don't root for the Cowboys")  The Venn diagram crossover among those 3 categories is enormous.

8. Green Bay
See Denver, see Aaron Rodgers. And cheeseheads.

7. Pittsburgh
The Steelers have won 6 Super Bowls; we're very far away from 7 and I'm just sick to death of hearing about those 70s teams.

I recognize that the vast likelihood is that the SB will be played between two of those six teams.

6. Baltimore
A Ravens Super Bowl would mean clips of our SB loss from two years ago and probably a round of Harbaugh stories I'd rather just not wrestle with. Possible bonus - more Ray Rice talk!

5. Carolina
The Panthers are under .500; a team with a worse record than the Niners winning will then be part of the post mortem for the season and aiming for .500 records to just make the tournament is bad strategy, even if it works.

4. Arizona
Similar to my Seattle thought last year, there are benefits to a division rival winning the title (will the Arizona Cardinals win back to back Super Bowls?  This is what I'm saying)

3. Detroit
-The Lions have never played in a Super Bowl, they have no implications toward the Niners at all; you're stuck watching "this means the city is revitalized" pieces unaccompanied by "regressive tax policy and decimation of unions killed American cities" pieces.

2. Indianapolis
-I like Andrew Luck.

1. Cincinnati
Two weeks of "hey, lets talk about the Bengals two previous Super Bowls" highlights.

Forever Giants:1933 World Champion New York Giants(Year 51)

1932 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1933 World Champions (d. Senators in 5) 96-66
C Gil Mancuso  1.55
1B Bill Terry 3.45 
2B Hughie Critz 4.2
SS Blondy Ryan 1.9
3B Johnny Vergez 3.35
LF Jo Jo Moore .95
CF Kiddo Davis .1
RF Mel Ott 4.75                        
OF Lefty O Doul 2.2 
OF Homer Peel -.45
1B Sam Leslie 1.4
2B Bernie James .05
SS Travis Jackson .2 
SP Carl Hubbell 10.1 MVPQ 
SP Hal Schumacher 6.45 
SP Freddie Fitzsimmons 1.95 
SP Roy Parmalee 1.35
RP Hi Bell 2.15
RP Dolf Luque 1.4

-Hubbell, O'Doul, Schumacher, Terry - all NL reps in the first ever All Star Game.  Hubbell threw 20 scoreless innings in the World Series win over the Senators, their first in 11 years (and last for 21).

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