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On the eve of one of the most electrifying and intense Stanley Cup finals of all time, and the precipice of possibly THE most boring and predictable NBA finals ever (Hey, it started out strong, remember that first round? All those Game 7s? Good times!) sports are on everyone’s mind right now, which is very unusual for this time of year. I mean, there’s no football. How can you possibly give a shit about sports when there are no Mannings, Bradys, or Romos to mock mercilessly?
We are taught from a very young age to “root, root, root for the home team,” and we use the term “home” loosely. Some people are fans of a team from a city they haven’t lived in since they were born. Some people are fans of teams from cities they’ve NEVER lived in, or colleges they didn’t even attend. You can be a fan of a team because that’s who your parents root for, and you can even be a fan of a team just to spite your parents. But sometimes, your favorite team can be a little less “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!” and a little more “If they don’t win, it’s a shame.” Here are the hardest sports teams to follow.
New York Mets
This is probably the first team that comes to mind when you think of “disappointed fans.” Hell, it’s probably the first team you think of when you hear the word “disappointment.”
Think back. The Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Baseball Giants–both New York staples since the 1800s–each left the city in 1957 for California, opting for the greener pastures of Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. The only team left in the city was the New York Yankees, and no self-respecting Dodgers or Giants fan growing up in Brooklyn, Queens, or Long Island would be caught dead in pinstripes. Who do you root for?
Enter the New York Mets, a team that tried to capture the spirit of New York, borrowing the colors of the Dodgers and Giants, and building a stadium in Queens. This made them the first team to exist outside of Manhattan since the Dodgers. They won two “miracle” world series in ’69 and ’86, and established themselves as the new, cool kids in NYC, even battling the Yankees in the 2000 “Subway Series” World Series.
Then what happened? Well, where do I possibly begin? the back-to-back postseason collapses in ’07 and ’08? The team being out of money because they got Madoffed? The fact that they either stupidly trade away every good player they’ve got (from Tom Seaver to R.A. Dickey) or lose them to injury (Johan Santana)? Or maybe the fact that Mrs. Met is a dirty, cheating hooker? No matter how you look at it, it’s tough to be a Mets fan. Just don’t do it.
Kansas City Royals
Image via FanSided
As I researched the Royals, I saw the team’s Wikipedia page has an entire section titled “2003: A Winning Season.” That’s never a good sign.
Since the formation of the AL Central in 1994, the Kansas City Royals have never won the division title. Since winning the franchise’s only World Series title in 1985, the team just collapsed. I mean, it absolutely fell apart. They ended the ’80s with one of the best pitching rotations in baseball, but the disastrous 1990 season, plus the devastating injury to Bo Jackson–who’s arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time–marked the end of the Royals’ relevance in baseball. I mean, shit, the Royals basically went unowned for nearly a decade after the team’s owner died. Then a Walmart executive bought it and essentially ran it like a Walmart. The Royals dumped superstars to cut salary costs, including David Cone and Johnny Damon, and at one point in 1999, the team’s payroll had fallen to a team record low of $18.5 million–compare that to the ’99 Yankees at $88 million. In 2002, they lost 100 games for the first time in franchise history. It wouldn’t be the last.
Things are starting to look up for the Royals, though. Last year, it posted its best record since 1989. As of today, the Royals are three games below .500 and fourth in the AL Central. “The Curse of the Baseball Abstract” is alive and well, KC fans.
Tie: Chicago Cubs/Chicago Bears/Chicago Bulls
Chicago fans, you have the patience of saints, and good Lord, do you need it.
Ignoring the Blackhawks (because they’re actually really good) and the White Sox (because it’s so damn easy to ignore the White Sox) Chicago sports have seen better days. “How can a major city have so many sports teams that just purely suck?” he asked, ignoring the fact that just last year, 2013 was considered the worst year ever for New York teams. And even then, they still did better than their counterparts in Chicago, with the exception of the Blackhawks.
I mean, Jesus H. Ditka, you could do an entire article on why the Cubs suck and call it a day. When your team’s nickname is “The Lovable Losers” and you own it, you’re some kind of masochist. That’s cool, I respect that, but you’ve got to know when it’s a lost cause. The team’s last World Series appearance was when FDR was president. Fuck that fucking goat, man. Who brings a goat to a baseball game anyway?
Now, over to daa Bears, who are only relevant because of the team’s 1985 Super Bowl win and “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” from SNL. Seriously, if you ask a random person about the Bears, all they’ll reply with is “daa Bears.” People our age don’t remember ’85 Ditka–they remember “Kicking and Screaming” Ditka. Good for the guy for being the third lead behind Will Ferrell and Robert Fucking Duvall, but still. Enjoy Cutler until 2021, y’all.
And finally, nothing sends a Chicago fan into tears faster than the words “Derrick Rose’s ACL.” A first round draft pick, rookie of the year his first season, an all-star second season, the MVP his third season, then…he played 10 games in the last two years. Ten. Dude makes $20 million a year. To be honest, the team has done just fine without him, but it’s been a very long time since the Jordan era. Let’s hope for Chicago fans’ sakes that the Bulls sign Carmelo Anthony in free agency. A big three of Rose, Melo, and Joakim Noah would be pretty unstoppable.
New York Islanders
“The Islanders? But JayTas, surely you can’t be talking about the team that won four Stanley Cups in a row? The 1980-1983 Dynasty? The team that won 19 consecutive playoff series between 1980 and 1984? Also, aren’t you from Long Island? JayTas, you’re a big, dumb idiot.”
You can’t deny the Islanders have been a successful team. Nobody has ever won 19 consecutive playoff series since them. And neither have the Islanders–the team hasn’t won a single playoff game since 1993. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
No no, the problem stems from the fact that I am from Long Island, and any true Long Islanders should hate the Islanders hockey team, too. Not because they, quite literally, suck on ice, but the fact that the owner is a petty, mismanaging douchebag. Charles Wang, billionaire owner of the Islanders and founder of Computer Associates, was displeased with the Islanders’ home arena, Nassau Coliseum, which is located in “scenic” Uniondale, Long Island. The arena has seen better days for sure. Nassau Coliseum absolutely needed and deserved a face lift, and it still does. So Mr. Wang proposed a project called “The Lighthouse Project,” which would have rebuilt the Coliseum and added houses, offices, restaurants, stores and even a five-star hotel and a minor league baseball stadium to the area, which would have helped a depreciated area like Uniondale.
Except there was one tiny problem: Taxpayers would have been the ones to foot the $3.74 billion bill, and all the land, development rights, and other fun stuff would have been owned by Mr. Wang. And he blatantly said that if the voters didn’t approve this measure, he would move the team. They put it to a vote and it was soundly rejected, and like any petulant child, he took his team and moved them elsewhere. The Islanders will move to their new home, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, in 2015. So the “Islanders” will no longer be playing on Long Island. Yes, technically Brooklyn is physically attached to Long Island, but Long Island won’t see a dime of that revenue. So I ask you, how can you be a fan of a team made famous from playing on Long Island if they no longer play on Long Island? Pretty difficult, no?
A Legitimate Miami Heat Fan
Hear me out on this one. As a Yankees fan, I can absolutely understand the stigma that Heat fans get. I’m not talking about the Heat fans who left Game 6 of the NBA finals early or that awful, horrible woman who flipped Joakim Noah the bird.
And I’m certainly not going to defend that their biggest fans are Bieber and Rihanna.
Yes, the Heat won a title in ’06. They weren’t made up of the most talented squad in the world, but it wasn’t the most talented league in the world, either. You have to give props to the real Heat fans who stuck it out through years of injury-laden series–they’re the ones who would still be there on Opening Day 2014 even if the Heat dropped four in a row to San Antonio in the next two weeks, regardless of the talks that the “big three” will break up.
Any Soccer Team
Sorry, folks. You will not get me to give a shit about soccer, and you’ll be hard pressed to get any other Americans to join you in this endeavor. Why should I care about dudes running across a field for 90 minutes straight kicking a ball at each other when I can watch a bunch of padded up men smack into each other on a terrible running play that doesn’t gain a single yard when it doesn’t make sense why they didn’t just throw the fucking ball in the first place?
Any American who says he or she is a Manchester United fan is more of an asshole than a bandwagon early-2000s Yankees fan and bandwagon “big three”-era Heat fan combined. The best way to spot phony fans? Ask them what channel Man U plays on. They will look at you like they’ve just seen a ghost. Treat them with no respect, for they deserve none.