First of all, it must be tough for a player to leave a city, under not-so-great circumstances, and then see them advance to the Super Bowl. This is the exact circumstance for Ravens' Steve Smith Sr. and Elvis Dumervil. Smith was a Carolina Panther for 13 years before having a bitter departure and disagreement with Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman. Dumervil was a Denver Bronco for 6 seasons before having a Fax faux-pause mess up his re-signing and enable him to move to the East Coast.
So, as those two ex-teams face off in Palo Alto for the World Championship of football, who will these men be rooting for?
Dumervil sees nothing different about this day, partially as self-motivation to make it special in the future.
"It's just a regular Sunday for me. Unless I'm in it, it's just a regular Sunday," he told BaltimoreRavens.com's Ryan Mink. His rooting interest is personal and not corporate. "Von (Miller) is like a younger brother. So I hope he wins one for him. Outside of that, man, it's just a regular Sunday."
Smith seems a little more willing to support his former team as a whole. His tweet shortly after their NFC Championship win shows it:
He has stopped short of fully endorsing the Panthers, though, saying while on the "Dan Patrick Show" that it could be a closer game than people think.
"I wouldn't be surprised if [the Panthers] ran away with it," Smith noted. "But the Denver Broncos do have a solid defense and it's going to be interesting to see what kind of game plan and how effective they will be."
After the 28-point Ravens blowout of the Panthers in 2014, and Smith's on-field reaction after scoring two touchdowns in that contest, it is hard to see him 'hunky-dory' about a Panthers win.
It is indubitable that, no matter the outcome, this game will fuel his fire for a super final season.