Thought of the Day finale
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
As we wrap up one of the most interesting "Thought of the Day" topics in AFC North blog history, I wanted to thank everyone who participated. The question is: If your favorite team can't win a Super Bowl this year, which AFC North rival would you want to win a championship instead?
Here is the last batch of entries along with an AFC North final say:
Austin Blunt from Charleston, S.C., writes: James, for the "Thought of the Day" segment, as a Ravens fan I'd have to say I'd like the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. This is mainly by process of elimination. The Steelers are out of the question; I respect them, yes, but hate them too much. The Browns are out because the Ravens and Browns have an interesting rivalry since the Ravens used to play in Cleveland. That leaves Cincy, and Carson Palmer is a likable representation of the AFC North.
Trey from Baltimore, Md., writes: I can't believe I'm saying this, but if a team were to win the Super Bowl besides my beloved Ravens, I would say it would have to be the Steelers. All trash-talking aside, the Ravens and Steelers have had the best rivalry in the AFC North and arguably in the NFL. These teams love to hate each other, and they have the two best defenses in the game along with two really good offenses. Everyone knows that whenever these teams meet it is going to be a GREAT game. So although I'm pulling for the Ravens to win their second Lombardi trophy, if it couldn't be them I would go with the Steelers. Go Ravens!!
Adam from Cincinnati writes: For the "Thought of the Day" I have to go with the Browns. Only because Ravens have one, Steelers have some, and I couldn't stand to hear "Who Dey" during the season, the offseason after the Super Bowl win and the entire next season. Most annoying chant I believe ever. By the way, I'm a Ravens fan in Ohio. Yes, there are some.
Steelers fan Jim from Zanesville writes: James-Interesting question this week. I have to pick the Ravens for several reasons. Since I live in (Lombardi-less) Ohio, I would hear about it all year long if either the Bengals won (an "organization" I have no respect for) or the Browns. I also respect the Ravens' playing style. So in order of preference it would be Ravens, Browns, Bengals.
Matt from Pittsburgh writes: James, give me the Browns. My hatred for the Browns died in January of 2003, when they blew that huge lead to the Steelers in the wild-card round. As the Steelers secured the victory, my father, rather than celebrating Pittsburgh's comeback, began laughing hysterically and screeching, "The Browns suck! They suck! How do you lose that game? Only the Browns!" That's when I knew the rivalry was no more. Of the other two teams, I detest the Ravens both for reasons they should be proud of and reasons they should not, so I could never cheer for them. And the Bengals are a pitifully-run franchise infested with low-character personnel and a front office that signs onto every gimmick that passes through the pro sports scene. I delight in their misery. The Browns win my vote by elimination.
Michael from Uniontown, Pa., writes: JW- To start love the blog, read it every day. This choice is easy for me. If the Steelers weren't to win I would want the Ravens to win, even though I hate them due to our rivalry and would never want them to win over us. They are my second favorite team in the league. They play "Pittsburgh football" and that's what makes them good. They are a smash-mouth football team and have modeled their team after what we have mastered since the 70's...hard-nose football. If we didn't have the Steelers in town I feel most Pittsburgh fans would be Ravens fans due to their smash-mouth football style.
Allison from Mt. Airy, Md., writes: I was born and raised a true Steelers fan in MD. With that being said, I HATE watching the Ravens succeed in the least. They really are the Browns, so there is nothing but hate for them in the first place. But being surrounded by the obnoxious purple-wearing fans DAILY makes it that much worse. Between the Brownies and the Bungals, it really is a toss-up. The Steelers-Browns rivalry isn't what it was years ago, and Big Ben is practically undefeated against the Ohio teams in his career. But since the Bungals have had the most success in the past decade, I would have to go with the Browns.
Jon from Phoenix writes: Big time Bengal fan. I'd have to pull for the Browns. These two teams have been snake bitten for so long. It would be nice for either to catch a break...instead of a 65 yard pass interference penalty. I'm just saying.
Chris Koehler from Cleveland writes: As a (die-hard) Browns fan is his teens, I have really only been able remember about seven years or so of Browns football. Seeing one season in which we did not have a losing record against the AFC North in those seven or so years is unacceptable. Even when my Brownies had a decent (fluke) year in '07, they still only went .500 against the AFC North. That being said, I would like nothing other than to see every other team in our division beat in every game they play in. I don't think I could live with another super bowl champ from the AFC North other than the Browns. If I had to pick one, though, I would have to go with the Bungals because they have seemed to given the Browns the least problem recently. GO BROWNS.
Jim from Fremont, Ohio, writes: James- As a die-hard Browns fan that is a tough one. I hate the rest of the division and this is like asking which limb to cut off. I couldn't stand to see the Steelers get another one. The Bengals or I should say their fans don't deserve one because up until 5 years ago I could get any seat I wanted when the Browns played down there. So I guess I would say the Ravens, only because of general manager Ozzie Newsome.
AFC North final say
James Walker: Coming in I had no idea where this question would lead with our AFC North community. It turns out most voted for one of two reasons: Respect or pity. Readers who felt sorry for the Cincinnati Bengals or Cleveland Browns could stomach (to a degree) those teams winning instead of their own, while respect for the most competitive opponent led other fans for all four teams to vote for that particular rival. There is really no right or wrong answer, which makes this question so intriguing.
If you have any future "Thought of the Day" topics, send them to our AFC North inbox.