We don't have the Dolphins to kick around anymore, but fortunately, it's almost as fun to pull for teams based on hate as it is a deep, abiding loss of hope (just kidding, Dolphins fans!). Ah, hate: we want to hold it, and pet it, and name it Ken O'Brien.
This is important, because with just three football games between now and the gaping, lifeless expanse of the offseason, you've got to watch these games anyway -- and everything's more fun with a dog in the fight.
Here's a spiteful breakdown of Sunday's games:
NY Jets vs Indianapolis | CBS | 3 p.m. | Lucas Oil Stadium
A few days ago, Herald writer Israel Gutierrez wrote that Dolphins fans should cheer for the Jets to win the whole thing, because it would make us all feel better about the Dolphins. He's wrong: the only thing that could make the Dolphins feel better is a time machine and Michael Irvin.
It's unconscionable that a Dolphins fan would root for their worst rival, even if Indianapolis stole its team from Baltimore and Peyton Manning is an evil monotoned robot from space who wants to drive America into fatal amounts of obesity through the consumption of Double Stuffed Oreos (oh, and he is. We're onto you, buddy.) The alternative is cheering for a man who tells everyone his kids needs a pizza and then eats it himself, and a franchise who has already put the following up in its team store:
Oh, Jets. How we hope this jinxes you into oblivion and some of you are accidentally sent along when that gear gets shipped to Haiti.
New Orleans vs. Minnesota | FOX | 6:40 p.m. | Superdome
During the season, when it became obvious the Saints were unstoppable by good teams, Dolphins fans practically started cutting over the fact that Nick Saban had declined to take Drew Brees. But who in the NFL hasn't either been or almost been a Dolphin and then gone off to wreck shop? Even Matt Roth's groin became magic after he left Miami. It's no reason to hate the Saints.
Brett Favre, on the other hand, is a reason to hate a team. Brett Favre leading them in a song some crazy man sang on "American Idol" is a reason to hate to kill.
Naturally, we hate Favre and the kid no one else reportedly plays like out there so much we refuse to give him credit for an entire decision. So what else? Greg Cote tried to break this matchup down based on which fan base deserved it more; New Orleans had Katrina, sure, but both fanbases have endured long, horrible, victory-less stretches: the Saints have never been to the Super Bowl, and the Vikings haven't been since 1976.
That, like Drew Brees, is neglible: by my count, that's 42 and 34 years, respectively, sitting around drinking beer and bitching and eating nachos. It's actually my lottery dream.
That leaves this: think about each horde invading Miami. Glitter-loving, Hurricane-swilling party mongers, or pasty white northerners?
Die, Vikings. Die.
Janie Campbell is a Florida native who believes in the pro-set and ballpark hot dogs. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the internet.