Why it's more fulfilling to root for a bad team.
Surely I'm joking, right?
It's more logical to root for a good team than a crappy one...
Everyone knows that they're more fun to watch and nothing feels better than living vicariously through a team as they win the championship.
I mean, yeah, obviously.
Where's the fun?
Sure, on the surface, winning all of the time is great.
Your quarterback is Tom Brady?
I guess you've forgotten what being a fan of a terrible team is like, haven't you?
I bet you head into every week with the utmost confidence that your Pats will dominate the other team.
Sure. That's fun.
I mean... It's shallow and kindof tedious, but consistently fulfilling and occasionally even exciting.
Let me tell you why it's more fun to root for a bad team.
I'm a Raiders fan.
Okay, okay, okay, before you scroll over to that little red X in the corner, let me explain.
Over the last three years, the Raiders have won a grand total of 11 games.
11 out of 48... Not very impressive.
In fact, it's downright depressing.
The Patriots won 12 games... Last year.
Yeah, pretty sad.
But again, when you're expecting to win every game, I doubt it's all that exciting when you win anything other than the Super Bowl.
I'll take that one step further.
If you live vicariously through your team, flying with the highs and drowning with the lows, when you do inevitably lose, it has to be pretty devastating.
Going 17-0 only to lose in the Super Bowl to a team you've already beaten? Ouch.
Losing to a bitter division rival in the playoffs that you swept in the regular season? Painful.
How about having the greatest offense of all time, only to lose by 35 points...
Now imagine all that... Backwards.
As a fan of a bad team, I go into every game with relatively low expectations. I try to think of ways to justify picking my team, but most weeks, I don't go in with an optimistic approach.
We're playing New England? Yeah... I don't see that pass rush getting to Brady in time.
We're playing Seattle? I don't see my rookie QB doing much against that secondary.
We're playing Denver? Let me try and find a date for the night.
We lost to the Jets, Rams, and Browns this year.
But honestly, I didn't get to beat up about it.
I found positives in those games.
Derek Carr played well.
Flashes of brilliance from Khalil Mack.
Wow, DJ Hayden has bounced back from injury really well.
It sucks, and I get flack for wearing my silver and black in public.
But let me tell you something.
When the Raiders win...
It's the best feeling in the world.
When we beat Kansas City (my dad's favorite team) this year on Thursday Night Football, I didn't sleep that night, I was just too excited.
And when we beat our geographical rivals, the 49ers? It was just as tasty, knowing how much talent they had and where they were positioned heading into the season.
Wins just feel better when you don't have as many.
Think about it this way.
Imagine your favorite food.
Imagine you get to eat it every day.
Exciting, right? But you know that eventually, you'll get sick of it/take it for granted/or just get bored.
Now imagine you only get to eat it three times a year.
A depressing thought, to be sure, but imagine how freaking good it would taste when you finally got to eat it.
Now I want Sushi.
Now, obviously, this is very thin logic, and comes off as a sad attempt at justifying rooting for such a bad team...
But let me get to the meat of the article.
There's one thing you don't enjoy as much when you root for a good team.
I'm kidding again.
A Raiders fan? Having hope?
Let me explain.
This off-season, the Raiders have the #4 overall pick, 60 million dollars of capspace, and a talented young team.
What do my Raiders need this off-season?
Wide receivers, tight ends, defensive linemen, an inside linebacker, and maybe a corner or two.
Those are far from rare positions.
So this off-season, while all you Patriot, Bronco, and Seahawks fans desperately scramble to re-sign your free agents and replace the ones you lose, my Raiders get to attempt to fill the spots they don't have.
It's alot like playing Madden!
Hypothetically, it's not impossible.
In last year's draft alone, the Raiders acquired a starting quarterback, left guard, nose tackle, and cornerback.
If, and I know this is a stretch, but if the Raiders were able to get any of those positions in free agency and repeat last year's brilliance... 8-8 isn't out of the question!
Could you imagine?! A .500 season!
Obviously this is a little satirical.
I'm just poking a little fun at myself for liking such a bad team.
But underneath all the false optimism and sarcasm, there is a legitimate point.
As easy as it is to jump on any ol' bandwagon and root for a team that barely ever loses, there's a different kind of fun to be had if you start at the bottom and watch a team go from punchline to knockout.