Ask CraneKicker Volume VII: Who Should I Root For?

New to, our favorite Twitter all-star @CraneKicker answers your pleas for advice. If you’d like to ask a question for next week’s column, email to

Hello all and Happy New Year. Hope those gym memberships haven’t gone to waste yet. Welcome to a special NFL Playoffs edition of “Ask Cranekicker.”

With the formalities of the Wild Card round out of the way – Falcons stunk as usual, Tebow doing what Tebow does, all the home teams won – it’s time to tackle a question that Eagles fans have been trying to come to terms with for a few weeks now: Who should I root for in the playoffs?

Should you even care about the playoffs? Of course you should, football is the best. Should you go out and buy a new hat and jersey and basically front-run your way into February? That’s your call. I wouldn’t. But it’s nice to throw a little extra interest in one direction this time of year when your team is out of the playoffs because they blew like five 4th quarter leads and then everyone got hurt and then hey look we’re going to win the last four games but oops too late should’ve got a linebacker or three yo Ronnie Brown don’t throw the grenade bro….

Sorry. I got off on a tangent there. That’s on me. I have to do a better job. Here’s a look at who is still in the running for the Lombardi Trophy.



New England Patriots –

Why you should like them: Tom Brady is really, really, really good. Camera shots of Gisele will never get old. They aren’t the Jets.

Why you should hate them: Boston fans are the worst. They are the Patriots.

Best name on the roster: Zoltan Mesko (P)

Fun Fact: Kyle Arrington, who tied for the league lead in interceptions with seven, was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2008 following the draft. He was cut that September.

Likeability Grade: C-

Denver Broncos –

Why you should like them: Tebowmania – it is awesomely unexplainable and angers as many people as it thrills. It would be great to see Brian Dawkins get a ring.

Why you should hate them: Tebowmania – it is awesomely unexplainable and angers as many people as it thrills. They have hideous uniforms.

Best name on the roster: Elvis Dumervil (DE)

Fun Fact: In addition to Dawkins (when healthy), former Eagles Brodrick Bunkley and Joe Mays are starters on the Denver defense.

Likeability Grade: B+

Baltimore Ravens –

Why you should like them: Quarterback Joe Flacco (Audubon HS), tackle Bryant McKinnie (Woodbury HS) and linebacker Jameel McClain (George Washington HS) are all local products. Terrell Suggs went to Ball So Hard University. They have a marching band.

Why you should hate them: Their fans chant “move those chains, move those chains” after every first down. They have three mascots.

Best name on the roster: Haruki Nakamura (S)

Fun Fact: You’re all going to lose your minds if former Eagles assistant John Harbaugh wins a Super Bowl.

Likeability Grade: B-

Houston Texans –

Why you should like them:  They are playing with a third-string rookie QB. Jeff Garcia is on the roster. The original QB/Center tandem has local ties: Matt Schaub went to West Chester East High School and Chris Myers married a local girl and can be found in the summer down in Sea Isle City. Most importantly, their cheerleading squad has TWO SETS OF TWINS.

Why you should hate them: Arian Foster thinks Fantasy Football is stupid. The Oilers were much cooler.

Best name on the roster: Mister Alexander (LB)

Fun Fact: Texans safety Quintin Demps was the favorite to start at free safety for the Eagles in 2009, however he couldn’t beat out rookie fifth-round draft pick Macho Harris, who didn’t even play safety in college.

Likeability Grade: B+



Green Bay Packers –

Why you should like them: The Aaron Rodgers/BJ Raji State Farm Discount Double Check commercial is funny. Greg Jennings is the man. Home field advantage = more of this.

Why you should hate them: They won last year and are everything you wish your team was. You blame Casey Matthews for not being Clay Matthews.

Best name on roster: Jermichael Finley (TE)

Fun Fact: Andy Reid still wears his Packers Super Bowl ring all the time because it’s the only one he has.

Likeability Grade: B-

New York Giants –

Why you should like them: NO.

Why you should hate them: YES.

Best name on roster: Prince Amukamara (CB)

Fun Fact: Eli Manning is not Peyton Manning.

Likeability Grade: F

San Francisco 49ers –

Why you should like them: Longtime Eagles kicker David Akers broke the NFL single-season record for most field goals a season after the Eagles front office cast him away. You can use the “I loved Joe Montana as a kid” excuse.

Why you should hate them: Nobody likes aggressive handshakes. They came back from 20 points down against the Eagles to win, which ultimately played a huge factor in the Eagles missing the playoffs.

Best name on roster: NaVorro Bowman (LB)

Fun Fact: The father of 49ers Super Bowl hero John Taylor was my uncle’s mailman.

Likeability Grade: B


New Orleans Saints –

Why you should like them: Shrimp Creole. Gumbo. Po’ Boys. Muffaletta. Crawfish Etouffee. Jambalaya. Beignets.  Jazz. Beads. Huge Ass Beers to go. Drew Brees is awesome. Steve Gleason.

Why you should hate them: You’re still bitter about losing the Sheldon Brown game. Sean Payton kinda owns the Eagles.

Best name on roster: Isa Abdul-Quddus (S)

Fun Fact: Payton was once the Eagles quarterbacks coach and had the pleasure of working with talented gems such as Ty Detmer, Koy Detmer, Bobby Hoying and Rodney Peete.

Likeability Grade: B+

So there you have it. Choose your side. Who am I rooting for? I’m pulling for a Saints/Texans Super Bowl with Saints victory. That’s a long shot, but overall I am going with the Saints. Not much to dislike about that team or city. And (IMPORTANT) they have sweet uniforms.

REMINDER: I am still fielding questions on all topics, so ask away here.

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