|Readers' list: Worst teams to be a fan of|
From the Page 2 mailbag
Do you get strange looks at games and sports bars because you're cheering for your favorite team?
Well, you're not alone. For example, Page 2 editors are loyal fans of such hard-luck franchises as the Seattle Seahawks, Vancouver Canucks and New York Knicks (take 'em out of the Big Apple, and they're the Warriors) -- and reasonably proud to admit it.
After we offered our choices for the 10 worst franchises to be a fan of, we asked you to send us your suggestions. Page 2 readers responded with more than 2,000 e-mails, and below are the top 10 choices. Vote in the poll at the right for your top choice.
1. Detroit Lions (268 letters)
How about Andre Ware, Rodney Peete, Scott Mitchell, Wayne Fontes, Aaron Gibson? How about a cheap owner, and a management group that consistently mistreats some of the franchise's best players. The Herman Moore fiasco? Not only is he the Lions' best receiver ever, he holds the league record for most receptions in a season! And they treated him like dirt in possibly his last few seasons in the NFL.
How about one stinkin' playoff win in 50 years? I love 'em, but I can't quite figure out why. Pity me. Pity us.
You missed the Detroit Lions. The never-been-to-a-Super-Bowl Detroit Lions. Their best finish since the merger? A massacre loss to Washington in the 1991 NFC championship game, coming off their only playoff win in a generation (over Dallas, who would go on to win three Super Bowls, as the Lions never got close again).
The worst knock on the Lions ... they can't even lose right. On pace to a perfect 0-16 season, they picked an expansion year in which they couldn't get the top pick. Then they close the year on a two-game winning streak, and now pick third, sealing a fate of several more years of losing.
The only team on a perpetual five-year rebuilding plan.
2. Chicago Cubs (142 letters)
It angers me even more that I have to listen to Red Sox fans gripe about their team. Not only did they win a World Series just 84 years ago, but they go to the playoffs all the time. They gripe about Bill Buckner letting a ball go under his legs in the World Series, but you never hear Cubs fans gripe about a similar incident with Leo Durham in the '84 NLCS (Cubs fans know), and at least they got to a World Series recently. Then they gripe about playing in the Yankees' division while the Cubs play in the only six-team division in baseball. Forget the Sox fans -- Cubs fans have it the worst.
Being born and raised in Chicago, I've been a Cubs fan since 1967. Next time some "long-suffering" Red Sox fan starts whining about not winning since 1918, ask them who they beat in 1918? That's right, the Cubs.
Being a Cubs fan is like going on a blind date every year. At the start, you are convinced that "This is it!" But after a little teasing, you just end up crying yourself to sleep while watching SportsCenter.
3. New Orleans Saints (120 letters)
We just won our first wild-card game two seasons ago, our only one. We were the only team in the NFL at the time to have never won a playoff game, and we've only been to five of them.
Some of the teams you mentioned won a championship, even if it was eons ago. We wish we had that. We've had lots of talent over the years, but there's always some reason we choke, especially in big games. The team always has internal conflict and a very low level of pride. They are pathetic.
If there's one thing this team can do, it's make this list.
The fact the Saints didn't even make your list is proof that they are the worst franchise to be a fan of. They're so bad they aren't even considered a real team.
4. Boston Red Sox (76 letters)
The worst part of being a Red Sox fan is the Yankees. Even when we spend the kind of money the Yankees spend, we still can't beat them. And it is incredibly demoralizing to sit back every year and watch the Yankees build teams with centerpieces who used to be the centerpieces of other organizations: Giambi, O'Neill, Lyle, Jackson, Clemens, Wells, Cone, Tino Martinez ... the list goes on and on and on ...
All due respect to Cubs fans, the Red Sox have been close. It's analogous to dating. Cubs fans are the computer nerds who never get dates and are blissfully ignorant of the charms of women. Red Sox fans are the other kids, the ones who get the girl into the back seat of the car, get hot and heavy, then have her stop and say, "It's getting late, take me home," seconds before you reach the promised land. I ask you, who feels worse during "Saturday Night Live?" Now you understand.
What has to be worse than never being in contention is to repeatedly have your team's expectations get the hopes up of your fans up, only to rip their hearts out when you fail.
In addition to the historic Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner-esque moments, failing has become even more agonizing when Red Sox fans see their stars of the recent past, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens, finally get their world championship rings wearing the uniform of your most hated rival.
5. Golden State Warriors (63 letters)
Now they seem to be trying really hard, but they still stink. It's one thing when management doesn't seem to care if the team wins or loses. But when it tries this hard and the team still loses, that takes suckiness to a whole new level.
There is not a team that makes worse trades, signs the wrong people to big contracts, or passes over more talent in the draft -- this is the team that took Joe Smith instead of Kevin Garnett, Todd Fuller instead of Kobe Bryant, and Adonal Foyle instead of Tracy McGrady.
Just to borrow from Bill Walton: "They're terrible!"
6. Detroit Tigers (52 letters)
Even when we develop decent players, we trade them off for their benefit and to our detriment. The only thing worse than watching the Tigers wheel and deal their way to obscurity is to drive through Detroit to get to Comerica Park. It's disgraceful!
7. Cincinnati Bengals (47 letters)
8. Chicago Bulls (42 letters)
And while the passing on Jordan in the draft is on oft-cited misfire in the NBA, only one team (and owner) has ever been stupid enough to not give His Airness everything and anything he wanted to keep him in red.
9. Milwaukee Brewers (38 letters)
And worst of all, we are taxed so we can pay for the new ballpark while the Brewers make a profit. We should tax the public so private industry can make money? Where do I sign up for that program?
10. Montreal Expos (34 letters)
Then they got a fresh group of home-grown boys like Marquis Grissom, The Big Cat, Moises Alou, Larry Walker, Delino Deshields and Pedro Martinez. They had all the pieces and the damn league goes on strike. They have had more All-Stars leave their team then they have people come to their games.
They always have talent, but the talent always leaves. I guess they are taking the fans with them. Now they don't even have a freaking owner.
They have reached the playoffs only once, and now they have absolutely no hope. It is like they are in the movie "Major League," without the happy ending but with all the crappy sequels.
Also receiving votes (10 or more letters)