The Armchair Quarterback's Guide To The NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

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Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates on the field after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 to win the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Armchair Quarterback’s Take Of The Week

The Agony Of Defeat Is 100% Worth It

Last Sunday the team I fanatically follow, write about, and obsess over was not only bounced from the playoffs, but done so in agonizing fashion. See, as weekly readers of the Armchair Quarterback are well aware, I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan. As my team choked away a 28 point third quarter lead, I was utterly devastated. I fumed, I sulked, I said words I don’t normally say. It was as infuriating and depressing of a loss as I’ve ever experienced and this is coming from someone who hasn’t seen a playoff win in 20 years!

For a few brief moments I actually wondered to myself which was worse, the 2-14 laughing stock season of a year ago or this team that got my hopes up and then ripped my heart right out of my chest? Of course, as the immediate rage and despair began to subside I realized that this season had been 100 times more enjoyable than last year’s debacle. What’s more, I realized that the heartbreak was worth it.

Like many of you reading this, I’ve never seen my favorite team win a championship. If you have, count yourself fortunate, because it’s something many of us can’t take for granted. However, the fact that I’ve suffered through the heartache will just make winning that much sweeter when (and I must believe that it is “when” and not “if”) my team finally wins it all.

Think of it this way. Who enjoyed their team winning more, a Red Sox fan who had suffered through years of falling short when they finally won their first World Series or a Yankee fan who has probably seen five titles in the past 15 years? I’m not saying that Yankee fans haven’t been elated when their team won, but I imagine that there is just something incredibly gratifying about sticking with a team through the hard times (and by times I mean decades of losing) and finally getting to see them reach the top.

I would imagine fans of teams like the Lions and Bengals can relate. If you’ve been a lifelong season ticket holder for the Lions and sat through the 0-16 season for every brutal snap, can you imagine how much you would enjoy seeing them win a Super Bowl?

I’ll take the heartache and the mocking (I’ve already come to terms with the fact that some Chargers fan will probably mock me mercilessly in the comments for writing this) year after year over being “trendy team guy”. You know the guy I’m talking about. I was just a kid when I met my first one of these guys. This kid is giving me crap about liking the Chiefs and the Royals and when I ask him who his favorite teams were he replied “The Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys, Duke basketball, and Miami football”.

I am the least violent person you will ever meet and literally haven’t been in any sort of physical altercation since I was like 10 years old, but to this day I get an overwhelming urge to punch these types of fans.

I want to stop a second and talk directly to anyone reading this that might be “that guy”.

You are officially the worst type of sports fan in the history of the universe and every other true sports fan judges you, loathes you, and makes fun of you when you aren’t around. If you grew up in some place like Minnesota and have lived there your entire life, but your favorite sports teams are currently the Miami Heat, the St. Louis Cardinals, the New England Patriots, Kentucky Basketball, and Alabama Football………everyone hates you, at least when it comes to sports.

I’m not saying that you can only cheer for the team closest to you, but pick a team and stick with them, for good. It’s okay if they have down years (or 20….sigh), that’s what being a real fan is about. You stick with your team through the good and the bad. Sticking with them through the bad is what makes the good feel like the best thing in the world. After the agony of 2-14 last season do you know how amazing it felt when KC was 9-0? I was literally on top of the world.

The Indianapolis Colts brought a crushing end to my team’s dream season, but that’s okay. I’ll take the pain. I’ll take the insults. I’m sticking with my team, I can’t help it. Someday that loyalty will pay off. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I know a lot of you can relate. That passion is what makes sports so great. I know that those of you “bandwagoners” out there think you are getting all the best parts of being a sports fan by cheering for all the winning teams, but I would argue that you’re actually missing the best part and don’t even know it.

Now onto the divisional round predictions for this weekend………

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