Which side should Red Sox fans be on during the Super Bowl?
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Regardless of which team they have an allegiance to, fans from all over the country will be tuning in to watch the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams. Even those who aren’t football fans will be glued to their televisions for the commercials and halftime show. For baseball fans, “the Big Game” at least offers a distraction from MLB’s ongoing labor dispute. Since neither team has ties to the Boston area, that leaves Red Sox fans wondering which side they should be rooting for in Super Bowl LVI.
New England was spoiled by having Tom Brady as our quarterback for two decades. The GOAT led the Patriots to six championships and nine Super Bowl appearances. Throughout their dynasty, fans had become accustomed to the Patriots playing in the biggest game of the year. Even when Brady bolted for Tampa Bay, fans loyal to their favorite quarterback were still pulling for him when he won another title with the Buccaneers last year.
This year will be different. No Patriots. No Tom Brady. Which side should Red Sox fans be on?
Why Red Sox fans should root for the Bengals
Boston has no rivalry with Cincinnati. You have to go all the way back to the 1975 World Series when the Reds defeated the Red Sox in an epic seven-game series to find the last meaningful battle between the two baseball clubs. Many Red Sox fans are too young to remember that series and those who are still haunted by it probably aren’t holding a grudge that carries over to the Bengals.
Los Angeles is a different story. The Patriots have beaten the Rams in the Super Bowl twice, bookmarking the first and last championship that Brady won with New England. The Celtics and Lakers have a storied history that places them among the greatest rivalries in sports. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers for their most recent World Series title in 2018. Pulling for the Bengals is more about rooting against a Los Angeles team than it is any desire to see Cincinnati win a championship. There’s never a bad time to break out the “Beat LA!” chants.
You know who else is rooting for the Bengals? Kyle Schwarber. You might be surprised to learn that Kyle from Waltham is actually from Ohio. He has been tweeting his support for the Bengals throughout their playoff run and will undoubtedly be one of their biggest supporters for the Super Bowl. Schwarber didn’t spend much time in a Red Sox uniform before hitting free agency this winter but he quickly emerged as a fan-favorite following the trade deadline acquisition that brought him to Boston. If you aren’t sold on the other reasons to root for the Bengals, do it for Kyle.
Both teams have earned the opportunity to play on the game’s biggest stage but the Bengals still come in viewed as underdogs. That’s before factoring in that the game will be played at Sofi Stadium, making the Rams one of the rare teams in NFL history to have home-field advantage for the Super Bowl. The odds seem stacked against the Bengals but who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
Why Red Sox fans should root for the Rams
The Rams are a bit harder to get behind. They are the favorites to win in their home stadium and they play in a large market with a roster loaded with expensive star players. We can still find some reasons to pull for them though.
Much like when Brady left the Patriots for the Bucs, many Red Sox fans remain loyal to Mookie Betts following the blockbuster deal that sent him to the Dodgers. It’s not his fault he got traded, all he did was ask for the money he felt he was worth.
It’s unclear if Betts is actually a Rams fan but he was sporting one of their jerseys when he was spotted in attendance for the Wild Card game against the Arizona Cardinals. Whether he was happy to see the Rams winning or simply enjoying the electric atmosphere, Mookie seemed to be having a good time.
He wasn’t the only former Red Sox player seen taking in a Rams game during this postseason run. Nomar Garciaparra also appears to have been converted into a Rams fan. Nomar spent parts of nine seasons with the Red Sox to begin his career and at one point he was among the most popular sports figures in Boston. He played for the Dodgers later in this career and has been part of their TV broadcasting team since 2014. Nomar has now been in LA for even longer than his tenure in Boston and is deeply rooted in the SoCal region but Red Sox fans will always consider him one of their own.
The current Red Sox roster doesn’t have anyone with ties to Los Angeles. Even if they did, they wouldn’t necessarily be Rams fans considering the franchise spent about 20 years in St. Louis before relocating back to LA in 2016.
One exception is pitching prospect Connor Seabold, who made his brief major league debut with the Red Sox last season. The Laguna Hills native is clearly a Rams fan based on his tweets and retweets during the NFL postseason.
Red Sox outfield prospect Jarren Duran grew up not far from Los Angeles and went to college at nearby California State University in Long Beach. His social media shows no signs of being a Rams fan but we can probably guess that he’s rooting for them based on where he grew up.
No matter which team you are rooting for in Super Bowl LVI, we should all be hoping to see an exciting game that leaves everyone entertained.