Which Band Is Your Favorite NFL Team’s Spirit Animal?

Getty Image

And just like that, another football season is upon us. Week 1 is already (almost) in the books, and just like that, we’re forced to question things we knew for sure just last week. But we’ll leave the armchair analysis to others. We’ve got a different thought exercise: Which bands represent your favorite NFL team? As in, which musicians and teams share either the same traits, story, or at the very least, some sort of similarity?

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

This is about the trash-talking, boisterous and unapologetically blunt dudes running these ships (Bills coach Rex Ryan and Noel Gallagher). Both are keen on making big claims and dismissing their rivals. Ryan and Gallagher have also both moved on to new projects after leaving the ones that made them household names.

Miami Dolphins: Katy Perry

Likes: Sunshine, marine life, bright colors. Dislikes: Snow, muted colors, Taylor Swift.

New York Jets: Azealia Banks

Sure, they’ve had some success, but ultimately they are both best known for the drama they create and the drama that surrounds them.

New England Patriots: Nicki Minaj

Incredibly talented, incredibly successful, incredibly controversial. In addition to that, both the Pats and Minaj aren’t afraid to call out their detractors from time to time, whether it’s Minaj’s now famous “Miley, what’s good?” comment at the MTV VMAs or Tom Brady encouraging the Baltimore Ravens to read the rule book before they complain about things. And hey, neither is beholden to a specific genre or style of play. They can beat you in a variety of different ways.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Foo Fighters

The Ravens and Foos are both in the midst of a solid run of sustained success, and while not considered “great,” are definitely chalked up as “really, really good.” But what also connects them is that both came from the ashes of past bands/teams. The Ravens escaped Cleveland to become the Ravens, while Foo Fighters were created after Kurt Cobain’s suicide and the subsequent dissolving of Nirvana.

Cincinnati Bengals: Ed Sheeran

It’s all about the power of the ginger. It is a force strong in both. It compels Sheeran to write songs gals swoon over and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to be a decent enough play at quarterback in your fantasy football league if your main quarterback has a bye week.

Cleveland Browns: Maroon 5

Hey, they’re both fronted by tabloid-fodder white dudes (Johnny Manziel, Adam Levine) and those are the only two people anyone knows in their respective units. No, really. I dare you to name either another member of Maroon 5 or someone else on the Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Swift

Everyone at the very least likes the Steelers (unless you’re a fan of another AFC North team) and everyone at the very least likes Swift (unless your Team Katy Perry.) You can’t argue with the general consensus.

AFC South

Houston Texans: Beyonce

J.J. Watt can’t be stopped. He is a force of nature. You know who else can’t be stopped and is a force of nature? Yup, you guessed it.

Indianapolis Colts: Sublime With Rome

Replacing a popular front man or franchise quarterback is no small feat, yet the surviving members of Sublime and the Colts were able to pull it off, albeit to varying levels of success. I never claimed that these comparisons were 100 percent accurate.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Insane Clown Posse

Neither are relevant, their fans are often the butt of jokes, and both are popular in obscure parts of northeast Florida.

Tennessee Titans: Dan Auerbach

Kind of a stretch, but both the Titans and Auerbach left their respected homes and moved to Nashville. And Nashville is a fun city. So, yeah. Check out that Arcs record. It’s pretty good. Also, check out Nashville. It tops the list of my Favorite U.S. Cities to Spend a Weekend In.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Coldplay

The Broncos are good, but they are not great. Something is missing with the Broncos, something that allows them to take it to that next level. And yes, you could say the same exact things about Coldplay.

Kansas City Chiefs: Phish

They both have rabid fan bases that make lots of noise, ferociously defend their squad, and love a good midnight snack.

Oakland Raiders: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Listen, I still love the Chili Peppers, but you have to admit that their best days are behind them. You know, kind of like the Raiders are. But in their heyday, both were a lot of fun.

San Diego Chargers: Sam Smith

Successful? Yes. Exciting? Nope.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Just because you’ve won some games or some Grammys doesn’t mean people are going to take you seriously. You need to do a little more than rack up 12 wins one time in five seasons or conquer pop radio with a couple of songs that are rap in the loosest sense of the word if you want some real respect.

New York Giants: Mumford & Sons

This is about looking to change who you are, flip that identity a little bit. Mumford & Sons recently went electric after doing that folk thing with the acoustic guitars and stomping kick drum. And the Giants… yeah, you’ve won a couple Super Bowls in recent years, but I think we can all agree that defense mostly won those championships. And now that defense is pretty much long gone and it’s all about Odell Beckham, Jr.

Philadelphia Eagles: Kanye West

The Eagles and Mr. West like to think they are different, that they are original and innovators. No one is doing what they are doing because no one is able to do what they do.

Washington Redskins: Iggy Azalea

It’s hard to discuss either the Redskins or Azalea without bringing up their frequent bouts with racial insensitivity. One is routinely chastised for co-opting another race and another is routinely lambasted for denigrating an entire culture. I think we can all agree that a re-branding would benefit them both.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Luke Bryan

Country music and Chicago Bears football are treasured American institutions. Yet the purists on behalf of each would argue that obnoxious white dudes with cocky attitudes and backward hats (see: Cutler, Jay) are ruining both. I would be inclined to agree. I would also be inclined to assume that Jay Cutler loves jamming out to Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night.”

Detroit Lions: Bruno Mars

Flashy, fun to watch, beneficial if you’re at a wedding or playing fantasy football. But neither are title contenders. They are just pure entertainment.

Green Bay Packers: Pearl Jam

Not a lot of flash here. They just get the job done – whether it’s continuing to be one of the last great American rock bands or one of the NFL’s flagship franchises. The Packers and Pearl Jam are entities of the people, too; the Packers are owned by them, Pearl Jam the voice of them. If aliens came to Earth and asked you to list some things you feel represent America, Pearl Jam and the Pack would be high up on that list. Right after fried foods, student-loan debt, and a cruelly divisive political system that is systematically crippling our government.

Minnesota Vikings: Chance The Rapper

Spunky youngsters with loads of potential.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: The Weeknd

When I was watching The Weeknd perform at the Video Music Awards, it was kind of crazy to me how reliant the performance was on the backing track — which is weird, because apparently the Falcons are also reliant on a backing track. Theirs just happens to be crowd noise.

Carolina Panthers: The Killers

The Panthers have had a couple decent seasons, just like the Killers have had a couple decent songs/albums, but both hit their high-water mark in 2004. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl, losing to the New England Patriots, and the Killers released their debut album, Hot Fuss.

New Orleans Saints: Drake

Both involve a lot of emotions. Like, a lot of emotions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Brown

No matter how good Jameis Winston is this year, you’re not really going to want to root for him because of his checkered past. Kind of like how it doesn’t matter how much you like Brown’s “Beautiful People.” You’re not going to be like, Yeah I’m totally a Chris Brown fan, because he too has a checkered past, one that is hard to ignore no matter how talented he might be. At least for the time being, that same thing goes for Winston.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Queens of the Stone Age

Just some dudes, chilling out in the desert, minding their own business. Not bothering anyone.

San Francisco 49ers: Miley Cyrus

Miley and the Niners were both flying pretty high as recently as two or three years ago. Now, though? Both kind of trainwreck clown shows.

Seattle Seahawks: Justin Bieber

Both the Seahawks and Bieber are young and talented, full of promise. Got some drama there too, though. One is led by a dude who rarely talks (Marshawn Lynch), while the other is a dude who talks too much, even if it is more of an exasperated whine.

St. Louis Rams: Collective Soul

Did you know that Collective Soul are still making records and touring even though it’s been years since they were relevant? Did you know the Rams are still a team, even though it’s also been years since they were relevant? Crazy, huh?