Gather 'round, Redskins fans. There's something you need to hear, and it's something that may be a bit jarring at first.
Are you ready?
This year, when Super Bowl 50 kicks off, Washington won't be one of the participants.
Man, that was some tough news to deliver. One of the hardest parts of this job, in fact. You guys OK?
Yes, that's right; unfortunately, the Burgundy and Gold won't be competing this Sunday for the Lombardi Trophy. Instead, that right belongs to the Broncos and Panthers. But with that being said, tons of 'Skins supporters will still eagerly be tuning into the game, so who should they root for between Denver and Carolina since their favorite team will be absent from the contest?
Here are eight questions that should provide some clarity to which side Redskins lovers should take in SB 50.
1) What is your stance on dabbing?
Is it a tired dance that has run its course? Do you think it looks more like someone sneezing into their arm instead of celebrating? Then wear that Denver orange, because they are a fairly dab-less bunch. Yet, if you still (somehow, impossibly) like the dab, then you obviously have to get behind the person who made it famous: Cam Newton. It has now caught on with his entire team, and you'll probably see plenty of it on the gridiron in Santa Clara if they're performing well.
2) Do you miss ex-Redskins kicker Graham Gano?
The 28-year-old kicker, who played in D.C. from 2009-2011, has been with the Panthers ever since he left the Redskins. Therefore, if you find yourself missing the former Florida State product, root for the NFC Champions.
3) Do you miss ex-Redskins lineman Tyler Polumbus?
Polumbus, another guy who once played for the 'Skins, is now a backup tackle for the Broncos. That means there are players with ties to the current NFC East champions on both sides of the matchup, but if you're particularly fond of this veteran, go with the AFC's representative this Sunday.
4) Do you like revenge, even if someone else is getting it for you?
If so, as a Washington watcher, the choice here is the Broncos. That's because, back in November, the Panthers manhandled the Redskins, 44-16. You know what they say, right? "If you can't beat 'em, root for the team that's playing against them in the Super Bowl to beat 'em instead."
5) Are you tired of all the "The Redskins should have hired Wade Phillips" talk?
The Broncos defense is really, really good. And defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has had a large role in their tremendous year. An unfortunate byproduct of their success, though, is many Burgundy and Gold diehards suggesting/debating/saying over and over and over again on any social media platform available that the franchise made a big mistake in passing over Phillips for Joe Barry. So, if this has exhausted you to no end, you're probably going to want to see Carolina put up a 50-spot on Denver. That should quiet the noise a bit.
6) Which quarterback storyline do you prefer...
- Young, up-and-coming signal caller picks up first title and caps off his first truly dominant year with the ultimate victory? Panthers.
- Old, down-and-leaving "OMAHA!" caller picks up second title and caps off his (probably) last season with the ultimate victory? Broncos.
7) Do you yearn for the days of the 2012 Redskins?
Ah, the memories — A running QB. The read-option offense. A group of guys coming out of nowhere to put together a fabulous year. That's how the 2012 Redskins did things, and that's how the 2015 Panthers are doing things, too. Therefore, if that edition of your favorite team made you feel some type of way, Ron Rivera's bunch will hopefully bring back some of those emotions for you as well.
8) Do you hate the Cowboys?
Of course you do. And since the Cowboys aren't playing this Sunday, either, both the Panthers and the Broncos are a suitable choice to cheer for in the Super Bowl. Because neither of them are the Cowboys. If you end up using this question to decide, you honestly can't go wrong.