Watching Super Bowl XLIX could leave Ravens fans a little bitter Sunday night.
After coming so close to knocking off New England in the AFC's divisional-round, Baltimore fans will now have to watch as Tom Brady and the Patriots chase their fourth Super Bowl ring. Seattle also has a chance to establish a dynasty of their own by becoming the first team since New England in 2003-04 to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.
Let's look at which rooting interest is the lesser of two evils for the Ravens faithful.
New England Patriots
Record: 12-4 (AFC East champs)
Playoffs: Defeated Ravens and Colts en route to Super Bowl
Why TO root for them: There is some honor in losing to the best. The Ravens came so close to beating the Patriots in Foxborough – they allowed a pair of 14-point leads to slip away – and some Baltimore fans may sleep a little easier knowing that the Ravens came within a couple plays of beating the eventual world champions.
Why to NOT root for them: The Ravens-Patriots rivalry seems to have reached a boiling point. After several memorable playoff games the last few seasons, the Ravens-Patriots rivalry has stepped into Ravens-Steelers territory. The way the Ravens lost to Patriots left a sour taste in the mouths of many Baltimore fans, and seeing New England bring home the Lombardi would be tough to watch.
Record: 12-4 (NFC West champs)
Playoffs: Defeated Panthers, Packers en route to Super Bowl
Why TO root for them: The Ravens have no real beef with the Seahawks. The clubs have played each other four times ever, with each team winning twice. There is no bad blood between the franchises, and Baltimore fans know what it's like to support a dominant defense that the Seahawks have. Plus, seeing a Seattle victory would appease members of the "Anybody but the Patriots Club."
Why to NOT root for them: If the Seahawks win, cue a round of debate about whether Seattle is one of the best NFL teams ever. In today's era of 24/7 sports coverage, pundits and analysts will spend the next several months debating ad nauseum whether Seattle's back-to-back Super Bowls puts them into the dynasty category.