We have all cheered for a team that we know sucks. Rooting for the underdog is something that we as Americans love to do. Sometimes that team is so bad that we can’t find any reason what so ever to support them. This is not always the teams that has the worst record, but the team that just finds new and unique ways to piss us off.
The following is a collection of the worst franchises in professional sports today. Criteria for this dubious distinction will be judged on their performance or lack thereof in four categories:
- Win-loss records- no matter what, if you have a history of sucking your hard to cheer for.
- The owner- some think they have all the answers since they write the checks while others can hardly be bothered to do even that.
- Front office staff/general manager- anyone that cheered for Detroit through the Matt Millen years will understand how important this factor can be.
- Criminal element- guys make mistakes, but a team that spends more time hitting their wives/girlfriends and then like to get pulled over for driving drunk (or high) with an arsenal of weapons in their trunk are not easy to support
National Football League
AFC: Oakland Raiders
I almost did not name this franchise the worst due to their rabid fan base, but the Oakland Raiders are just plain bad, and not the cool bad meaning good bad either. Surprisingly, the criminal element was not a factor; the Raiders had one guy get in trouble in 2009. That actually takes away from the Raider mystic since these guys are supposed to be the bad boys of the NFL. While they have not had the worst record in the league, the Raiders have remained at the bottom of the league looking up since they went to the Super Bowl in 2002, going 29-83 in that span.
What has to be disturbing for the Raider faithful is that as long as Al Davis is at the helm (owner and GM) they will remain one of the NFL’s worst. His draft picks are puzzling as are his off season moves. The guy is simply out of touch with what works in today’s NFL, but refuses to admit it and step down. Sorry, Oakland, but you might have to wait for this guy to pass before you see a winning season again.
NFC: St. Louis Rams
This team takes the honor for the NFC on incompetent leadership and record alone. It would almost be an improvement if there were a few criminals on the team. At least there might be something interesting for analysts to talk about. When it comes down to it, these guys are just plain bad.
How does a team fall so far in just a decade? In 1999, the Rams were the greatest show on turf with stories like the emergence of Kurt Warner rising up as well as the coaching brilliance of Dick Vermeil. Ever since they gave up on Kurt Warner this franchise has been steadily circling the drain with the last three years making it seem like they are almost trying to suck. It’s a shame that Steven Jackson is stuck there for now; he could be a marquee player and perennial all-star anywhere else, but instead he will just be another good back toiling in obscurity.
National Basketball Association
Two franchises in the Eastern Conference stuck out as so bad that the Western Conference will be without a representative for this distinction
Eastern Conference: Washington Wizards
This honor goes to the Washington Wizards. They have not been the worst team over the last few years, making the playoffs as early as the 2007-08 season, but had they been in the Western Conference they would have been sitting at home in the post season where they belong.
Although there are teams with worse won/loss records the current legal trouble of the Wizards override all other issues. Since the resigning of the gun-toting, gambling prankster Gilbert Arenas by the front office in 2008, they lose points for not ditching the trouble maker when they had a chance. With the disarray that will undoubtedly follow the suspension of the team’s leading scorer, don’t be surprised to see the Wizards amongst the worst in the league by season’s end.
What a minute- they already are.
Eastern Conference: New York Knicks
Isiah Thomas was too busy trying to sink a different kind of basket while in charge of the Knicks to build a competitive team. In fact, this guy was so bad back then that the team has yet to recover since he was fired for trying to dip his pen in the company ink. To top it off the guy even tries to OD on sleeping pills. Instead of manning up and admitting it he throws his daughter under the bus (scum)!
Many of his moves still plague the team today. He paid a lot of subpar players a ton of money that never produced; their contracts were so much in favor of the players that it will take even longer for the Knicks to be clear of the Isiah Thomas Cloud. In the mean time they are going to be stuck hoping that the young talent that they draft and pick up will hang around long enough for the team to be able to pay them what they are worth.
Major League Baseball
Much like the NBA, two teams from one league in Major League Baseball have managed to rise above the rest as they find new and inventive ways of sucking.
National League: Pittsburgh Pirates
The criminal element is not a factor here; all the juicers/criminals are on the good teams. Other teams have played worse in the last few years, but none have been as consistently bad as the Pirates. For the last five years they have been in the bottom of one of the softest divisions in Major League Baseball.
Sadly, they have been among the bottom five in salary for the last few years with little intention of opening up the check book to help sign better players. It is a wonder why the owners even hold onto the team; they don’t win, they don’t have any hope of winning, and they are not even trying to win.
We might as well send them to Montreal; they can’t do any worse than the last team that was there.
National League: Washington Nationals
Few teams have a record of failure as long as this club. As the Expos the other owners in the league had actually voted to shut the club down along with the Minnesota Twins back in 2001, but thanks to some fancy legal wrangling they were given a reprieve and eventually kicked out of Canada (wow, now that should tell you something) and banished to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. where they continued to suck.
Since moving and becoming the Nationals they have continued to find new ways to redefine what it means to suck. They have finished last in their division every year with the only thing changing being the number of games back they end up; in 2005 they were only 9 back, but in 2009 they were 34 games behind the division leading Phillies.
It is noble to think that they can build a team of young quality players, but they have to keep a few around when they are no longer young if they ever intend on winning a few games. Instead, they have managed to trade away or let go every good player after they do the hard work and develop them!
Major League Soccer
How much can be said for a league who’s current champion had a losing record going into the playoffs? It kind of said even the supposedly good teams must not be that good. This was harder to pick. It would be unreasonable to blame the owners/ general managers for much; they are undoubtedly hamstrung by low budgets in a league not known for making a profit. There are too many criminals in the news from the NFL, NBA, not to mention steroid users in the MLB for anyone to care about a MLS player caught jaywalking.
Eastern Conference: Red Bull New York
How a team could be valued at $100 million and be as bad as this New York squad is amazing. Historically, the New England Revolution has been one of the worst teams as well; getting beat by a random bunch of guys in 2008 would make them a safe call. However, after factoring in things such as points per game and goal differential, the all time loser happens and reigning team of crap in the Eastern Conference of MLS is easily Red Bull New York.
Logic would dictate that these guys just need to drink a few of their namesakes, get some wings, and they could fly circles around the competition. Maybe that is what they did in 2008 when they made it to the Finals; the crash must be why they became one of the worst in 2009 winning only five games and scoring only 27 goals while allowing 47 (yawn). Playing a home game against these guys almost guaranteed a victory last season the team could not beat anyone away from home. Perhaps these guys drink too many Red Bulls and vodka; flying drunk is no way to fly, but it could explain why they can’t get the ball into goal very much.
Western Conference: San Jose Earthquakes
It is interesting that a team that was winning games, even championships, moved to another city. What that says is that even though they were pretty good no one cared. Yet for some reason the powers I charge of MLS thought it would be a good idea to try again with this franchise so they were revived after a two year hiatus and began play again in the 2008 season.
At least they were scheduled to do so. Since returning these guys have given the fans that they don’t have nothing to cheer about. The Earthquakes have become cellar dwellars, finishing last in the conference both years (08 and 09). What is even more alarming is the way in which they lost. In 08 they were at least competitive in many games, scoring 32 while allowing 38. In 09 there offense was slightly improved with 35 goals, but they forget to play defense and allowed a league high of 50! I understand that soccer is pretty dull, but allowing the competition to score so much cannot be good fro the bottom line.
National Hockey League
Oh to think what could have been if Gary Betteman wasn’t a complete tool. Moving this team to Hamilton would have created a glorious business. Instead, the players chug along as the little team that could . . .but not, while management flounders, and flip flops lie a fish out of water. Pay close attention guys, see all the legal papers, lawyers and suits? That’s the real world of sports. What we see on TV and at the arenas is just the after effects.
The attendance percentage for the Panthers this season is the lowest in the NHL – 77.1 percent, but that tells exactly half the story. The Panther’s management GIVE TICKETS AWAY to ad sponsors in huge blocks of seats. The result is an attendance that gets as low as 3,000 warm bodies in a 19,000++ arena. Disinterest in the team might have something to do with the fact that the Panthers have not made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season, but it may also have to do with the fact that managements seems to have very little interest in Hockey in general. They complain that they’re in a “Non Hockey Market.” Please! During hockey season there are more Canadians in Florida than in Montreal! Add in transplant New Yorkers, Bostonians, and Chicagoans and the team should be ashamed to even attempt such a lame excuse. No hockey fans – bullocks.