Following a weekend filled with upsets and last-second finishes, find out which football teams Kings players favor in the postseason.
Kings players huddled around a television in the locker room, their eyes glued to the screen as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Denver Broncos in a double-overtime thriller in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Sunday afternoon.
“We gave that game up – we had it and we gave up the touchdown (late in regulation),” said longtime Broncos fan Marcus Thornton, as he shook his head, his team’s crushing loss still fresh in his memory.
“I was very upset because we didn’t want to win that game it seemed like,” affirmed fellow Denver fan Isaiah Thomas. “They need to get some UW guys back there (on defense)!”
The Washington native discloses he became a Broncos diehard due to his father’s influence.
“My dad brainwashed me – I don’t know how he became a fan, because he’s from L.A.,” says No. 22. “Ever since I was little, (when) Terrell Davis and John Elway (won) back-to-back championships, I’ve always liked the Broncos.”
After his beloved N.Y. Giants fell short of qualifying for postseason contention, Jimmer Fredette was rooting for Peyton Manning to win his second ring, as well.
“I was hoping Denver would do well because my wife is a huge Broncos fan,” said No. 7. “Now, it’s great to see some teams in there that haven’t won a lot of championships or any at all. I’m just rooting against the Patriots right now, being a Giants fan. I think San Francisco might win.”
Tyreke Evans, a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers supporter, was pulling for his second-favorite team to pull out a last-second victory.
“I was cheering for Denver, but I don’t care (who wins the Super Bowl) right now,” he says. “Pittsburgh’s out and Denver lost, so that hurts.”
Despite living in close proximity to the Mile High City during his youth, James Johnson, a Wyoming native, is not a fan of the Broncos.
“I’m a San Diego Chargers fan – that’s what I was born as and came up as before I moved to Cheyenne,” he says. “(The Broncos) have a lot of bandwagon guys – a lot of guys are just getting on them now because Peyton is on the team, so I root against them every time.”
Rather than rub Denver’s elimination in the faces of his teammates, however, No. 52 reveals he hasn’t found the need to do much trash talking.
“Their team went down, so that’s enough said,” stated the forward.
The Wake Forest product wasn’t the only Kings player who was heavily invested in a Ravens upset.
“Most of the fellas were going for Denver, so I just went ahead with Baltimore,” revealed DeMarcus Cousins with a chuckle. “I guess I’ll ride with them all the way through.”
When the Oakland Raiders don’t qualify for the Playoffs, Modesto, Calif. native Chuck Hayes supports the hometown NFL team of his previous NBA stop.
“I cheer for the Texans – even though I didn’t think they were going to win at Foxboro – because I have friends who play there,” says the former Houston Rocket. “I know some of their guys – (Andre Johnson), (Brian) Cushing, DeMeco (Ryans) when he was there, Duane Brown. I’d run into them and they came to our games when I played there.”
While Hayes, Evans and Philadelphia Eagles fans John Salmons and Jason Thompson view the Patriots as clear-cut Lombardi Trophy favorites, Thomas is hoping his team’s disappointing loss won’t go in vain.
“I’ll go with the Ravens because they beat my Broncos,” he says.
All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and the AFC North Division Champions have plenty of backers in the Kings locker room.
“I definitely was pulling for them and I was happy they won and somehow pulled it out,” said Travis Outlaw. “(I’m a fan of) Ray Lewis – just over the years, (I’ve appreciated) his intensity and his speeches.”
Washington, D.C. native Thomas Robinson, a Redskins fan since childhood, says his current allegiance likewise falls with the Ravens.
“Since we lost in the first round, I’m going to go for Baltimore,” he said. “I want Ray Lewis to go out with a bang now.”
Johnson is hoping the John Harbaugh-led squad pulls off another stunner against heavily-favored New England.
“(If the Chargers are out), I just want the underdog to win after that,” he says. “I always believe in the underdog.”
With the Super Bowl slated for Sunday, Feb. 3 – in the midst of a Kings road trip – players plan to gather to watch the Big Game in a hotel room or local restaurant.
“We’ll probably watch it wherever (we are),” says Thornton. “We’ll make sure to get together.”
Kings Players’ Super Bowl Predictions:
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