1. Root against the Vikings or the Bears, if they're in it.To get a feel for it, over the last few years, I've rooted for the Steelers, Giants, Colts, Steelers, Eagles, Patriots, Raiders, and Patriots.
2. If I'm watching with a friend, and they really care, side with them.
3. Root for teams that play outdoors over dome teams.
4. Root against teams that have moved.
5. Root for historic teams over expansion franchises.
6. Root for underdogs.
7. Any wild card factors (like Bill Belichik's a big cheater).
8. As a final tie-breaker, I look at the congressional delegation.
But this year is a toughie. I'm watching alone. Both teams play indoors. The Colts moved, but then again the Saints are an expansion team famously created as a result of a backroom deal between Louisiana congressman Hale Boggs and Pete Roselle, when there were lots of other cities who would have wanted a team at the same time. So that all kind of cancels itself out for me. And neither team strikes me as much of an underdog--the teams seem pretty evenly matched.
There are some wild-card factors this year. You have the obnoxious Manning family factor, but that's counted against both sides. I guess everyone's rooting for New Orleans because they still feel bad about Hurricane Katrina, and I respect that. But honestly, New Orleans is an awfully cool city, and Indianapolis, well... let's just say I don't feel that bad for the people of New Orleans.
So that brings us to the final tie-breaker, the congressional delegations. But damned if there weren't two more similar delegations than Indiana and Louisiana. Melancon = Hill. Scalise, Fleming, Cassidy, Boustany = Souder, Buyer, Pence, Burton. Bayh = Landrieu. Peter Visclosky's got an influence-peddling scandal, but then there are David Vitter's prostitutes. Andre Carson's one of only two Muslims in Congress, which is kind of interesting, but Joe Cao's the only Vietnamese. Of course, there's the overwhelming leftover stink of Dollar Bill Jefferson, though I guess it's not fair to still hold that against the nice people of New Orleans. And then there's Dick Lugar. He's a conservative Republican, and as a big ol' liberal, I wouldn't vote for him. But I have to admit he seems like a pretty sincere, hard-working, respected guy. I can't bring myself to make him the deciding factor either way.
After all that, I'm still torn. I don't know what to do. But since the game started 30 minutes ago, I guess I better decide. So I'm going with the classic, tried and true way of choosing a rooting interest when you really have no other reason to care: pick the team with the best colors. The Colts' classic blue and white clearly beats the snot out of the Saints' godawful black and puke, so there it is. Go Colts!