Many fans have other NFL teams that they root for besides their favorite, and I am certainly among them. Growing up in Louisiana, I was constantly surrounded by Saints and Cowboys fans, but neither team ever really did much for me.
When Hurricane Katrina demolished south Louisiana, I was emotionally affected... New Orleans, regardless of what outsiders may think, has always been a living, breathing city, one full of life, culture, and art that I have always been in awe of. Katrina altered that dramatically, and the few times I went down south after the storm, I could tell that much of the magic was gone. It was as if the soul had left that great city.
When Drew Brees and the Saints started their journey to breathe life back into that community, you could see an uplifted spirit, a resurrected sense of pride, and a bit of a rebirth for the city of New Orleans. During the 2006 season season, I developed an emotional connection to that team, not because of their performance on the field, but because of the effect they were having on the community. And that lasted all the way through the 2009 season when they won the Super Bowl.
I haven't lived in Louisiana since early 2007, but have become a fan of that team. And I have no shame in admitting that, when the outcome won't affect the Bears, I root for the Saints each and every week.
Shameless plug: If you haven't already, start watching HBO's Treme. I am always weary when television tries to portray the culture of New Orleans (it's always about voodoo and Mardi Gras, and actors with terrible accents), but this series on HBO is phenomenal. One of my favorite lines comes from the first episode, when a clueless British reporter asks John Goodman's character why the US government should help rebuild New Orleans. Goodman's reply: "Since when do nations not rebuild their great cities?" Perfect response. /End plug.
Also, when Peyton Manning entered the league, I was instantly intrigued by his tireless approach to study, and his orchestration of an offense that will undoubtedly loft him into "Greatest of All-Time" arguments when it is all said and done. So, for the last few years, I have also been known to root for the Colts in games that didn't involve the Beloved.
With that being said, are there any other NFL teams that you root for during the season? Are there other teams that you have an emotional connection to, or some that you hold in high regard?