The AFC South is one of the newest Divisions in the NFL. Two of its member teams used to reside in other cities, and the other two are expansion teams. The Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers. The Houston Texans are now where the Oilers used to be. For added confusion, last season when all the AFC teams were celebrating the AFL, the Kansas City Chiefs became the Dallas Texans, and the Tennessee Titans became the Houston Oilers, while the Dallas Cowboys and Texans remained themselves. So at any time there could have been 4 Texas-themed teams on one Sunday. That’s a bit of overkill, but I digress. In football terms the AFC South is relatively new, but it still has it’s fans, and I am here to give you a field guide into their psyches.
The Indianapolis Colts have seniority in this division for three reasons. One, age, two, they’ve won the division almost every year since its inception in 2002, and third, they’re the only team to have won a Super Bowl. The female Colt’s fan has a near fanatical belief in Peyton “Laser, Rocket Arm” Manning. The most charismatic of cult leaders has nothing on Mr Manning in Indy. This devotion borders on the delusional, as the Colts girl will not entertain in the slightest any notion that her QB has a flaw, any flaw. If you ask her whether Peyton deserves MVP they will say yes. If you ask them whether Peyton deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, she will say yes. If you ask if Peyton deserves a Grammy,she will say yes. If you ask if Peyton deserves the Academy Award for Best Picture, she will say yes. Get it? To get along with a female Colt’s fan, throw compliments at Peyton. You may even get a date out of it.
A female Jaguars fan has the equivalent of Battered Wife Syndrome for sports fans. The Jaguars continuously get her hopes up, then dash them quite expertly. She has a level of anxiety comparable to the Lion’s fan, but unlike that pitiable creature, the Jags girl has tasted some measure of success. So this season, no matter what little hope for a positive winning season there is, she knows in her heart of hearts that it will all come out to nothing in the end. There is the honeymoon, which is the regular season, then the violent ending, which is the post-season. She has tasted victory just enough to miss it when the Colts cruelly snatch it away again, and again, and again. Following a team based on running and defense means that you also follow a team that is plodding and slow. Desperately trying to claim an identity in a Steelers and Cowboys world, the Jags girl wants to be seen for who she is, an individual. She wants to be seen as a tough minded girl who loves her team, a team that is feared, a team that will punch you in the mouth, a team that others fear to play! A team… just like the Steelers…
The Houston Texans are the youngest sibling in the AFC South, and they act like it. Constantly being schooled by Number One Son Colts, they have made steady progress as a franchise towards respectability. Likewise has the Texan woman striven to come out from beneath the shadow of her Cowgirl cousins. The Houston woman thinks herself more truly Southern and, well, Texan than the cosmopolitan, big city Dallas gal. This country mouse/city mouse dynamic can be seen on the field, as Jerry Jones has, to my knowledge, never publicly acknowledged the existence of the Texans. The Texan woman is a realist, and a football person through and through. She grew up in “Friday Night Lights” country, and knows offensive and defensive schemes as well as any man. She knows that she will never earn the respect of the Cowgirls until her team takes care of its house, which means winning the South, which means beating the Colts. She has some choice words about Mr. Manning, and will share them with anyone who’ll listen.
The Titans woman was more than happy to welcome the Titans into the Tennessee football family. Already well versed in football from years of being a diehard Volunteers supporter, she finds a certain smug satisfaction in the fact that her state has an NFL team and West Virginia doesn’t. She is confident in both her team and VY, and believes that someday soon her boys will make it in the Super Bowl. She has an odd attraction towards Black men in positions of authority. Unlike the Jaguars and Texans women, the source of her anger isn’t Peyton Manning… no it is one Lane Kiffin. I’ve written of hatred in previous assessments, but I’m not sure if any of them can measure up to the negativity that Lane Kiffin has generated in Tennessee. He has messed with both the Volunteers AND the Titans, which is quite the feat. The Titans girl will never, EVER, get over what Lane Kiffin did to her state. If you harbor any hopes of getting on with a Titans woman, please do not be a USC fan. She may take you to Rocky Top, and leave you there. Believe me, your remains will never be found.
John Minus is a noted Bon-Vivant, Raconteur, and all-around Anti-Hero. He has a podcast called the Alter Negro Sho and co-hosts the Non-Productive Podcast. He can be contacted on twitter: www.twitter.com/DonCoyote and by his email [email protected]