In this series of articles, I am going to attempt to help new fans of American football select their team of choice in the NFL as they begin following the fast growing sport. The teams have been split into four categories for your benefit.
Bandwagon teams – These are teams that the bandwagon fans are quick to jump on; teams that will likely have a lot of success in the coming years. Bandwagon teams do not have to have a rich history, but they do need to be able to win now. These teams will mostly have very talented rosters, and without a doubt they will have a talented starting quarterback. You’ll be interested in picking one of these teams if you don’t like watching your team lose. (Here’s the piece on Bandwagon fans and teams)
Almost bandwagon teams – The name speaks for itself. These are teams that always have a chance to be successful, but who have not managed it consistently enough in recent years to merit a bandwagon following. Some will have great quarterbacks and poor teams, while others might have the rest of the team but not the quarterback. Whatever the case is, they show a lot of promise…
Optimistis – These teams don’t look like they are capable of winning a Super Bowl any time soon, but in the uncertain climate of the NFL you never know. At least a few of these teams will likely make the playoffs in the next couple of years.
Tragedists – This is the basement of the NFL. These teams show little quality and little hope, and only fans interested in adopting the most desperate and tragic of franchises should look to find their new team here.
We all have our own special reasons for choosing a sports team. For anyone living outside America, geography doesn’t really come into it. We look, instead, at popularity of the team, style of play, colours, logos, mascots, individual players or anything else that peaks your attention. I myself landed on my NFL team (the New England Patriots) purely by accident. They were playing in the first game of American football that I ever watched on TV, and knowing nothing I selected them as my team simply because they had “England” in their name. It can often be that simple.
Not knowing what each of you will look at in deciding your team, I have tried to provide as much detail as possible. Today, we will be looking at the teams in the almost bandwagon category…
Colours: Blue and White
Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium
Home City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Super Bowl wins: 2 (4 appearances)
Records over last 5 years: 48 wins, 32 losses, four playoff appearances
Best Players: Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis
Bio: Formerly the Baltimore Colts, the team relocated to Indianapolis in 1984. The team is perhaps the luckiest in the NFL, having landed perhaps the two most coveted quarterbacks coming out of college in the last two decades. In 1998, with the first pick of the Draft, the Colts selected Peyton Manning to be their franchise leader. The now future hall-of-famer led his team to 11 winning seasons and a Super Bowl ring in thirteen years, forging the Colts into one of the powerhouses of the NFL.
In 2011, Peyton Manning was side-lined with a neck injury for the entire season. Without their star player, the team had an NFL worst 2-14 record and Manning left for Denver. This gave them a hole at quarterback and the first pick in the 2012 draft. They used the pick to take Andrew Luck, a quarterback said to be the best to come out of college since Manning himself. Under Luck, the Colts have returned to winning ways, reaching the playoffs in his first two seasons. The future is bright for the Colts as long as Luck is behind the wheel.