Poll shows Firehawks favor Rams as both LA teams make NFL playoffs



WINNERS: LA Rams running back Todd Gurley receives a hand-off from quarterback Jared Goff in the team’s 30 – 22 victory over the Cowboys Saturday night.

The results are in.

Whatever happens in this weekend’s playoff games, the Los Angeles Rams have thus far won the contest for loyalty among most Shalhevet football fans, who hope to be able to root for them in this year’s Super Bowl.

In a Schoology poll Jan. 8,  47 percent of 66 respondents said they’d be rooting for LA’s very own Los Angeles Rams, while 15 percent said they’ll support LA’s other home team — the Los Angeles Chargers.

But fandom aside — and in spite of there being two LA teams to root for — a plurality of those who responded to the survey think the winner of Super Bowl LIII will be the New Orleans Saints. One third of those polled think the Saints’ talent and experience will drive them all the way to the Lombardi Trophy come Feb. 3.

“Of course I’ll root for an LA team — it’s just LA pride,” said sophomore Max Wintner in an interview. “But the Saints have many veterans who are familiar with the playoffs. And [Saints’ quarterback] Drew Brees is breaking many records this season, and I feel as if he can carry this New Orleans team to victory.”

Junior Jonah Tochner, who rooted for the Chicago Bears until their elimination last Sunday, has now thrown his support behind the Saints.

“They’ve shown no signs of slowing down,” Jonah said of the team’s recent games. “Drew Brees playing with Michael Thomas is a lethal combination that will tear apart any defense.”  

Whoever they’re rooting for, football fans at Shalhevet seem to be more enthusiastic about the playoffs than in previous years, with 34 percent saying they have more interest than usual, 50 percent about the same amount of interest, and the remaining 16 percent have less interest than usual.

But after years of having no local football team, Shalhevet fans have had to decide for themselves which LA team to root for — if they don’t have a favorite team yet.  So far, the Rams have won more fans among the Firehawks.

In a hypothetical Super Bowl matchup between both teams, 59 percent of respondents said they would root for the Rams, while 32 percent would support the Chargers, and 9 percent would support neither side.


The Rams came first, so that comes with more respect. I feel like the Rams are LA’s team.

— Jack Resin, 10th grade

Sophomore Jack Resin says he’d root for the Rams, who moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in January 2016.  The Bolts followed suit in January of the next year.

“The Rams came first, so that comes with more respect,” Jack said. “I feel like the Rams are LA’s team.”

Junior Harry Diamond– who grew up as a Philadelphia Eagles fan because his father is from Philadelphia — says he would support the Chargers.

“I honestly do not love the Rams so much,” Harry said. “However I do believe that the Chargers deserve to win because Phillip Rivers is a Hall of Fame quarterback and he deserves a Super Bowl ring.”

Some fans — especially those who became football fans before the Rams and Chargers moved to Los Angeles — have no real affinity for either LA team. Among them is junior Zach Helfand, who roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers because of his family’s ties to Pittsburgh.

“I don’t really care for either team,” Zach said.

For the regular season, the Rams and Saints have identical stellar records — 13 wins and three losses. But ESPN ranked New Orleans No. 1 in its Power Rankings heading into the playoffs on Jan. 1.

According to The Boiling Point’s poll, just 17 percent of Shalhevet football fans believe the Rams will win the Super Bowl, in third place behind the Saints’ at 33 percent and the New England Patriots’ at 22 percent.

FAVORED: Rams quarterback Jared Goff hugs his Saints counterpart Drew Brees after the Rams’ 45-35 Week 9 loss. Almost half of Firehawks respondents polled say they’ll root for a Rams victory in Super Bowl LIII, but one in three expect the Saints to win on Feb. 3. (therams.com)

But led by running back Todd Gurley II’s 17 touchdowns and defensive lineman Aaron Donald’s league-leading 20.5 sacks, the Rams have had their best year to date in Los Angeles, moving from St. Louis three years ago.

Some Rams fans are confident in the NFC West champions’ playoff chances. Freshman Jack Sanders credits the Rams roster, including the likes of quarterback Jared Goff and receivers Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods.

“They have the best depth chart in the league,” said Jack.

But others are skeptical of their team’s ability to beat tougher teams in the playoffs — especially the Saints, who they’ll most likely play in the NFC championship if the Rams beat the Cowboys tonight. The Rams have lost three of their past seven games — all against playoff-bound teams — after starting the season undefeated with an 8-0 record.

Sophomore Yaelle Shink thinks New Orleans has secured the momentum, especially after beating the Rams 45-35 in Week 10.

“I feel like the Saints will take it home,” Yaelle said.

Considering the Patriots’ recent Super Bowl wins, it’s no surprise they finished third in the poll. The Patriots have made the playoffs every year for the past 10 seasons, and have won the Super Bowl most recently in 2015 and 2017. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII last year.

Senior Yakir Kanefsky, a Saints fan, nevertheless thinks the Patriots have a real shot of winning the Super Bowl, because of quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick’s playoff experience.

“They always have to be in the Super Bowl discussion,” Yakir said.


I am tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl all the time. They are like the Golden State Warriors of the NFL.

— David Saeedian, 11th grade

But the Patriots’ playoff success has given them some haters, too. Junior David Saeedian is a fan of the New York Jets, who are in the same division as the Patriots.  

“I am tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl all the time,” said David. “They are like the Golden State Warriors of the NFL.”

Despite rooting for different teams, all football fans at Shalhevet say they’ll watch the Super Bowl — whoever’s in it. Maybe that’s because fewer than half say the game itself is the main reason they will watch.

Among respondents in the Schoology poll, 42 percent gave watching competitive football as the main reason they watch the Super Bowl. Twelve people said they watch because of the Super Bowl parties, and eight people said they watch it because of the commercials. Another 8 said they would watch because it’s a tradition.

Most will tune in on TV, and none say they plan to attend the Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta.

The Saints seem to be the favorites to win the Super Bowl outside of Shalhevet, too, at this point. According to CBS, the Saints have a 26.23 percent chance to win it, and their odds in Vegas are 7/4.

The Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night by a score of 30-22. The Rams will advance and face the winner of tomorrow’s Saints vs. Eagles game next Sunday.

The LA Chargers will face the tough New England Patriots on Sunday at 10:05 a.m. in frigid cold weather. With the starting temperature expected to be just 28 degrees, they’ll try to ride their wave of momentum at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots will rely on their playoff experience.

The Chargers haven’t won the Super Bowl ever in their franchise history, and haven’t made the playoffs since 2013.

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