BONUS SURVEY SAYS: Why is Your Super Bowl Team Your Super Bowl Team?

February 3, 2011 ( - People root for Super Bowl teams for a variety of reasons - and sometimes no reason at all.  

This week I asked readers to share their PRIMARY motivation – and gave them what I thought was a pretty good list of reasons.   

And you know what?  It wasn’t big enough.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.

For those who were inclined to opt for a choice on my list, a clear plurality (46.8%) said simply that their team in the Super Bowl WAS their team. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the second-most popular response (though only half as popular) was the 21.5% who said that the other team had beaten their team (so, kind of an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic).

Next-most popular – a VERY close #3, in fact – was the 19% who said that their Super Bowl team was the team that “someone I care about cares about.”  A very nice sentiment indeed (and so close to Valentine’s Day!).

After that – well, after that, things dropped off sharply.  About 6.3% said that their team beat their “real” team, while 2.5% were going with the team that was their pool pick, and the rest split between “I like their jerseys”, “I don’t like the other guys’ jerseys”, and “they’re not favored to win.”  No one chose as a reason that the team was favored to win.

Now as for those who chose the “other” option….


Some opted for geographic proximity:

I lived in Wisconsin as a child so they're my pick.  I had rooted for the Jets so I can't root for the Steelers.

Family roots in Pittsburgh and surrounding coal country!

They are the closest team to where I live.

Husband grew up in WI so he's a huge fan and so is everyone in his family ( we live in CT now).  So it gives me something to root for.

The Packers have been fun to watch this year, I like Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews (USC alum), I

lived in Wisconsin for 3 years in my teens and I have lived in LA for close to 40 years and we do not have a team.

My father was born in PA, so I'll be rooting for the Steelers!

I am a cheesehead!  Born in the great state of Wisconsin. 


Some weren’t rooting for EITHER team:

I'm not rooting for either. My team, the Indianapolis Colts, is not playing, so I could care less.

I don't care who wins, I just want to see a good game!

Normally I would watch the game, even though I have relatively no interest in the Jets or Packers.  My daughter is a senior, and she has a choir-based trip to Disneyland which I have chosen to help chaperone.  So, in fact, I will completely miss the Superbowl this year. (editor’s note; talk about “relatively no interest”: the Jets aren’t in this game) 


 Some weren’t rooting FOR anybody:

Rooting for anyone who'll beat the Steelers

I will absolutely be rooting against the Packers

I cheer for any team that plays the Steelers.

I just don't like the other team.

I don't like the Steelers - period...

As a Vikings fan, I just can't bring myself to root for the Packers!

I rarely back the Steelers against anyone.  It's a holdover from the 70's Cowboys and Steelers battles...which the Steelers seemed to always win.

I don't like the other guys 

As a diehard Browns fan, I will root for ANYONE other than the Steelers!

I root for ANY team that's playing AGAINST the Steelers. 


For some the choice was “personal”:

Aaron Rodgers is one of the classiest guys in the league and deserves a SB title. When you look at what he's had to deal with in his career from a draft day disappointment, to Brett Farve's classless nonsense, to his concussions and teammates injuries all's amazing he brought them this far. He's still young and a SB win will let people know just how good he is, and just how much more he can do with his career.

I don't like Ben Roethlisberger. I think I'd enjoy watching him having to face the cameras after a humiliating loss.

Can't root for a team (Steelers) that think a rapist (Rothlesberger) is ok.

I used to be a Steelers fan but currently find no joy in winning with their current quarterback. I am very disappointed in the Rooney family for keeping him.

I am very aware that there are many scumbag football players but Roethlisberger is among the worst.

I just cannot stand Pittsburgh or their QB.  Let's just say that he doesn't deserve to win the Super Bowl this season........

Neither team is MY team but I'd like to see Rodgers do well.


And some weren’t rooting at all:

Don't care

I really don't care.....

I only tune into the "game" when the commercials come on.

Can your root for someone when you’re napping!


Some were “monetarily motivated”:

I hate football, so I just root for the scores at the end of each quarter to match my squares picks!

I am rooting that my Super Bowl pool square pays off regardless of who wins.  (Not that I would win anything.)

I root for the team that is closest to landing on my square by the end of the quarter



And some – well, some were rooting for who they were rooting for – “just because”:

I like Green Bay, and the whole Lambeau field mystique - ever since Bart Starr.  No good reason - we live a long way from Wisconsin, even though you could not tell by looking this week!

I just like the tradition and history of the Packers, even though I live in Kentucky!

The Packers are the REAL America's team!

Since the Saints didn't "Two Dat", I'll be rooting for the NFC representative Packers. 

While some had some truly unique reasons:

The storm has so far knocked-out the cable. Only "snow" on the tv and internet. Given past experience with the cable company we'll be out awhile. Must be a sign cuz now we'll probably have to pack into grandma's to steal a glance at the game on old-time tv. Old-time snow & ice seems to characterize the Packers and since stealing is a crime, go Packers.

They are the better of the two options.

They are in the same conference and division as my team.

The underdog.  Whoever that is.  Most likely will not watch.  Are there any good Hockey games on?

I don't like Ben Roethlisberger and cheeseheads are cool!

My team did not make it to the Super Bowl and was not beat by any of these teams.

Not the Steelers - because I'm a Browns Town guy.  Not the Packers, because, well, their owned by the city and isn't that SOCIALISM??????

Packer model of community ownership is something we all should admire.

It's all about the cheerleaders!

I root for teams that don't win all the time

They were the team my brothers hated when I was growing they became my favorite team..just because

Though not my favorite team now, I loved them back in the day of Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swan.

I root for the AFC team (and this year they happened to beat MY team, the Jets).

We have 5  employees in Wisconsin who promise to send a shipment of Cheese Curds to the main office if the Pack wins.

I always root for the team with the best name.

I root for the underdog; it's more fun that way.

They are the most entertaining/exciting/compelling left. Or, in years where I dislike both teams, I'll root for the team I hate the least. This year I'm leaning Green Bay, but I expect the Steelers to edge them out.

The Packers were my mother's favorite team, and she got uniforms with helmets & shoulder pads for me and my brothers when we were little (and yes, I am one of her daughters!)

I like to root for the underdog...

I like the Steelers because I was a fan of the old 70s team when I was a kid. For some reason, I kind of dug the helmet design.

I'm a Browns fan but I live in as long as the Steelers aren't playing the Browns, then the Steelers are my team

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “My favorite boss of all time was a Steelers fan.  Since he is a fan, I am a fan.  I don't get out much....” 

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!