Courtesy Seattle Seahawks
Bucky buddies in Seattle: Russell Wilson and Darrell Bevell.
The Seattle Seahawks probably feel like they're at McDonald's, because they must be lovin' this. Nobody is paying attention to the Patriots' NFC opponent in Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX; Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman's elbow simply can't compete with New England quarterback Tom Brady's balls.
Deflategate has blown up because it involves the National Football League's most reviled team, an arrogant franchise whose winning ways have been pocked with transgressions -- including Spygate, when the team infamously videotaped defensive signals by the New York Jets from its own sidelines during a 2007 game.
If you plan to watch the Super Bowl, you probably don't need to dig deep to find reasons for rooting against New England. But that, of course, means cheering for Seattle, the defending Super Bowl champ and a team that has emerged as every bit the Green Bay Packers' nemesis as once were the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
If taking Seattle's side still stings, maybe this will ease the pain: Four former University of Wisconsin football players are on the Seahawks' roster. Obviously, there's quarterback Russell Wilson, who has racked up more regular-season wins during his first three seasons in the league than any other QB in NFL history (36).
But let's not forget about defensive end O'Brien Schofield, who played in every game this season, plus reserve linebacker Mike Taylor and reserve wide receiver David Gilreath.
What's more, Darrell Bevell -- who in 1993 led the Barry Alvarez-coached Badgers to Wisconsin's first-ever Rose Bowl victory with a 21-16 win over UCLA -- is Seattle's offensive coordinator. Earlier in his career, Bevell worked with Brett Favre as the Packers' quarterbacks coach, eventually joining the Seahawks staff and convincing his new bosses to pick Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft. Even Seattle head coach Pete Carroll wasn't completely sold on Wilson back then.
So if you see someone around Madison wearing the navy, green and gray Seahawks logo (the coolest in the NFL, by the way), resist the urge to pass judgment. That person may be more of a Wisconsin sports fan than you think.
By the way, I'll be wearing my Seahawks hoodie on Sunday.