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I'm going to root for the Patriots

Sometimes it's tough to find a reason to cheer for either team involved in the Super Bowl, especially when your team isn't there.

People tend to come up with clever reasoning to cheer for a particular team. A buddy of mine from Grand Forks, N.D. told me he's going to cheer for the Patriots because Giants quarterback Eli Manning's regular season play wrecked his fantasy football team this season. Another is cheering for the Giants because he doesn't want to see New England's Tom Brady on the cover of any more magazines. And yet another friend is cheering for the Giants because he doesn't want any more former Minnesota athletes (Randy Moss) to win championships on Boston teams, as did David Ortiz. I'm betting he'll cheer against the Celtics and Kevin Garnett in June too.

I've decided to cheer for a team for a much more devious reason. Ever since I started watching football, I've had to put up with something that bothers me each season. At first, it didn't bother me, but I was young and really didn't understand.

Now the older I get, the more it gets under my skin. But this year, one team in the Super Bowl has the chance to banish this sickening sight forever. And it's that reason alone that I pledge my allegiance to the Patriots of New England.

The Pats are currently 18-0 and need just one more win to permanently cork the champagne bottle of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. It's these members of the teal and orange that we as football fans have had to watch every year as they break out the bubbly and celebrate a perfect season that took place five years before I was even born.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't think the Dolphins did a magical thing oh so many years ago; it's just that I don't want to see Larry Csonka, Don Schula or any other member of the Dolphins that has access to a camera or local news crew revel in the delight of another team's defeat, thus cementing their own place in football history.

In 1985, when the Chicago Bears lost to, ironically, the Miami Dolphins, I remember seeing a news clip of the '72 Fish partying in Miami. I was a big Walter Payton fan and that never sat right with me. I was taught at a young age to be courteous in victory, something those men must have forgotten.

So on Sunday I'll be cheering for Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Tedy Bruschi and the rest of the Patriots to finish their quest of the perfect season, 19-0, and forever silence the golden oldies of 1972 -- putting the Dolphins drinking champagne each year clip in a vault with Lawrence Taylor breaking Joe Theisman's leg and Kurt Warner's wife cheering in the fuzzy blue sweater as things I never need to see again -- ever.

And with any luck, Randy Moss will celebrate a one-handed touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone by mooning a stunned Mercury Morris. That would be wicked awesome.

Go Pats!

Jed Carlson is the Daily Telegram photographer. Call him at (715) 395-5024 or e-mail jcarlson@superiortelegram.com.

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