An AOL Sports headline right now is "An All-Missouri Super Bowl?" I'm embarassed to report several seconds of confusion, until I realized that the St. Louis Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs are each located in the state of Missouri. While I would have answered correctly if asked, "in what state is St. Louis/Kansas City where the Chiefs play?", I don't think I've ever realized that Missouri had even one NFL team.
Speaking of NFL teams, the 49ers are officially out of the playoff race. Yeah, it hurts, but it's time for me to move on as a football fan. It could go without saying that I will still root for the 49ers in their remaining games, but now that I'm not thinking about playoffs, my opinions towards many of the other games change. (When your team is on the wildcard bubble, there are a lot of teams you have to root against.)
So, my revised preferences, which reflect right now. Don't expect them to be the same next week, and certainly don't expect them to be the same next year:
Teams I generally have positive feelings toward:
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
The entire AFC South
Self-reflection observation: I expected that since the 49ers were out of the playoff picture, I'd find myself feeling positive about a few more NFC teams now. But I really can't bring myself to root for any of the NFC contenders at this point. I guess I like the Panthers. I'm neutral toward the Cowboys, which is better than most of the NFC.
Teams I generally have negative feelings toward:
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs
Teams I hate with a white-hot passion whose inner fires are slowly but surely broiling the soul within me:
St. Louis Rams
If I have to choose actual condenters, I'll take the Patriots to win the AFC. The NFC playoff race will be a matchups game -- which team do I hate more? I just want to see the Rams go down hard, again. (In shootouts, where Marc Bulger nevertheless continues to put up good numbers for my fantasy team.)