With the draft concluded and training camp set to begin, we are only 93 days away from the start of the NFL season. It will be time for Red Raiders to decompose from the eventful Saturday of watching Tech and relax while watching the pros play. Most of us will use this time to cheer on the local team or the team we grew up watching, however what about the rest of us? How about the casual fan that strictly bleeds red and black and does not have a rooting interest in the NFL? We have a guide to show just who you should root for on Sundays this fall.
The majority of Texas Tech students come from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which means these students grew up watching the boys on Sundays. If you’re older you may even remember the glory days of Aikman, Smith, and Irvin. However if you grew up in Texas (which I did), and aren’t a Cowboys fan (which I’m not), you probably despise the Cowboys (which I do). The Cowboys are an organization that you are either with or against so if you are a casual fan, this probably isn’t the team for you. Outside of this being the closest NFL team to Lubbock there isn’t much relation between Tech and the Cowboys either.
Rooting Interest: If you are a follower and just want to “fit in” with your DFW friends, then this is the team for you.
The Texans have sort of become the hipster pick for fans that grew up in Texas but are from a city void of an NFL team. Outside of Houston, most of Texas is Cowboy country so if you want to root for a Texas team but not hop on the popular bandwagon, then the Texans are for you. Not only that, but the great Wes Welker has joined the Texans staff as a WR coach, so there’s a Red Raider connection. Choosing this team is a dark road however. As a Red Raider fan, you’re used to great QB play, this will not be the case here. Whenever Matt Schaub is the greatest QB in a team’s history, you know that team has had problems. I’m not sure a Red Raider fan that has gone through heartache with Tech wants to endure the similar heartache that comes along with the Texans.
Rooting Interest: If you like to feel agony, then this is the team for you.
The year after Michael Crabtree was drafted I saw a multitude of Crabtree 49ers jerseys in Lubbock, and I expect to see the same with Mahomes. Mahomes put himself on the Mount Rushmore of Tech QBs with his stellar play the last few seasons and propelled that to a top 10 pick. Problem here is that we won’t see Mahomes touch the field for the next two seasons unless Alex Smith gets hurt (he’s played at least 15 games in each of the last four seasons) or gets traded (not likely). I’m not sure that a casual fan would want to invest two years of time into a team for the possibility of our guy eventually being a starter. Not worth it.
Rooting Interest: Just pick another team and we’ll revisit this in two years.
As Red Raiders we like to work for everything and earn our keep as opposed to having it gifted to us. No two players embody this more than Cody Davis and Bradley Marquez. Both players went undrafted and signed UFA contracts, both went on to break free and make the team and then stay on during the season. Now they both seem to be mainstays on the team. This is another hipster pick because let’s be honest, no one outside of LA cares about the Rams. Doesn’t look like St. Louis put up much of a fight to keep them, and they can be pretty boring to watch. As Red Raiders we like exciting football (sometimes too exciting for my blood pressure), and this team has become the opposite of that.
Rooting Interest: If you like to spend your Sundays in a rocking chair while knitting, then this is the team for you.
If you’re an evil human being you might already be a fan of this team. They have Darth Vader at QB, emperor Palpatine as the head coach and the gang of clone troopers led by Boba Fett aka Gronk. With that being said, a couple of our own have been consumed by the dark side so it’s perfectly ok to support them. Danny Amendola and LaAdrian Waddle both won championships with the Patriots last season and remain to be keys to the Patriot offense. Many Red Raider fans also rooted for this team during the Wes Welker days so that can definitely carry over.
Rooting Interest: If you’re evil and will do anything, regardless of the rules, to get a victory, then this is the team for you.
Now we get to what might be the funnest team in the NFL. Marshawn Lynch once took a trainers cart and drove it around the football field, that is the type of team and players we are dealing with here. From Derek Carr to Jack Del Rio, there is very few things to dislike about this team, but in the past year they decided to kick it up a notch by adding three Red Raiders to the squad. Michael Crabtree, Deandre Washington and Branden Jackson all play for this team, and if last year is any indication, the team will get better and their roles will get larger. To top it all off, they are also called the Raiders! It was meant to be for the best team in California to be linked with the best university in Texas.
Rooting Interest: If you’re a Red Raider at heart and have no one else to cheer for, then this is the team for you.