Monday, April 21, 2008

Top 5 Hated Sports Franchises (Pro)

Tim’s Top 5:
1. Boston Red Sox - Remember when you rooted for the Red Sox to beat the Yankees in the ALCS in 2003? Yeah, they didn’t win. They blew it and the Marlins won a World Series that was unwatchable in every way, shape, and form. Then the Red Sox came back and won two World Series in four years and generated more fans than a Chinese factory. I used to try and distinguish between the bandwagon fans and the old fans, but I have long since given up. They’re both equally evil and continue to act like they’re somehow a victim in the Yankees race. David Ortiz seems as likely a candidate for my Mitchell Report as exists on this earth and Manny gets to be Manny and people 1) act like it’s a big deal and 2) celebrate it.

2. New England Patriots - It was a great experience for the entire planet to rally around anyone beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I’m pretty sure if I’d had to choose between the Patriots or the Nazis winning the Super Bowl, I’d probably have just gone to a bunker and shot myself. Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and the fact that no one’s suspicious how a healthy 30 year old man has a stroke, Bill Belichick’s goddamn hoodie, Brady’s perpetual presence on the injury report, Spygate, Brady’s immunity from actually being injured and forcing one of their backup QBs to start for the first time since high school, the fact that Randy Moss suddenly learned to behave, basically everyone but Ellis Hobbs and Mike Vrabel infuriate me. Oh, and Charlie Weis being mistaken for a good coach. I hold that against the Pats.

3. New York Yankees – It’s actually gotten to the point where I kind of pity the Yankees, because they spend so much more than anyone but Boston, but they really haven’t posed a serious threat of winning a World Series in some time. Still, the owner situation, the Brokeback Mountain-like affection for Derek Jeter, the total disdain for actually gifted players like Alex Rodriguez, and the sense of entitlement really get me. But the Red Sox almost push them out of the Top 5 entirely.

4. Colorado Avalanche – They’re the Quebec Nordiques, okay? Then they went out and acquired most of hockey in free agency (and the rest in trades) when I was still enjoying hockey so they had Sakic, Forsberg, Rob Blake, Ray Bourque, Dave Andreychuk, Patrick Roy, and I believe by the end of 1999-2000, they also had Terry Sawchuk, Darryl Sittler, and Rogie Vachon. Oh, and Jesus. He signed as a free agent shortly after that.

5. Chicago White Sox – Hawk Harrelson should be in Chateau D’If. If there’s a team that’s impossible to root for, it has to be the White Sox, and Harrelson doesn’t exactly help. The White Sox won a World Series premised on an ump who calls “strike” by making the out gesture, A.J. Pierzynski, Bobby “Fatass” Jenks, and the opportunity to play the Astros in the World Series. Oh, and their manager is an angry bigoted loudmouth who gets mistaken for colorful when he says the same things as John Rocker just because he’s from a little farther south.

Honorable mention: Oakland Raiders – it takes a lot of evil to make me hate a team that’s sucked for so long, but they really pull it off; San Francisco 49ers – I used to hate them far more than I do now, but I still really hate them; University of Southern California Trojans football team – I hate them precisely because they are all professionals; any hockey team that’s moved in the last 20 years (Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes; Dallas Stars); Atlanta Braves – grr.

Dan’s Top 5

1. The Washington Nationals - I have nothing against the members of the team itself or any of its coaches. But when the Expos were planning their move, it seemed like the top two spots for them to end up were either Washington/Northern Virginia or Norfolk. If you’ve lived in Virginia for any length of time, then you know there’s a spirit of rivalry between Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. I thought we had it won when I looked at a map and saw how close a Washington team would be to the Orioles. But when the decision was made not to go to Norfolk, I made a vow to hate the Nationals as long as I could stand to. We remain the largest metropolitan area without a professional sports franchise.

2. The St. Louis Cardinals - Remember back when the Cards were the really safe bet every year to win the NL Central? There are no reasons other than that and Pujols to list them here. Probably not my truest ranking, but I’m still feeling a lot of early-season passion.

3. The New England Patriots - I have nothing to add after reading Tim’s excellent breakdown, other than I’d like to see what a Nazi NFL uniform would look like. Despite the evil, I think it could look pretty damn cool.

4. The Washington Redskins - I was taught as a child to hate the Redskins, and the team really hasn’t done anything to change my perspective.

5. The Dallas Cowboys - Any team that has the audacity to call themselves "Americas Team" had better make damn sure that they’re speaking for everyone in America, and guess what? They didn’t do that, because I exist and hate them. Ranked so low because in actuality, I don’t really care.

Ryan's Top Five

1. Denver Broncos - Fuck Mike Shanahan. He cheats, he is an asshole, he continually screws up numerous fantasy football rosters (given, if you're still dumb enough to draft a Denver RB, you deserve it), etc. etc. etc. They will beat the Chiefs in Denver about 97% of the time, to the point that I get furious when they lose to other teams in Denver (which happens 97% of the time, lately). Bah. Denver. Evil.

2. St. Louis Cardinals - As much as I hate, say, the Huskers, I've met some fans in my life who are sensible and not jerks. Not so with St. Louis--every fan I've ever met (ever) has an unhealthy and delusional vision of their franchise as the best in history. So you won a World Series. Congrats on being the worst team ever to win a World Series. The Cardinals could win fifteen straight World Series, they'd still bitch about Denkinger in '85. Little discussed facts, courtesy of wikipedia: "Many Cardinals fans blamed the loss on Denkinger's call, but the Cardinals made a number of mistakes that enabled the Royals to stay in the game and win. In the next at-bat, Clark misplayed a foul pop-up by batter Steve Balboni. Instead of popping out, Balboni singled on the next pitch, and Onix Concepcion came in to pinch-run. With runners on first and second, Jim Sundberg then bunted into a force play at third. (It should be noted that the runner forced out at third was Orta.) Catcher Darrell Porter then allowed a passed ball, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Pinch-hitter Hal McRae was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Dane Iorg knocked a bloop single to right that scored Concepcion and Sundberg, who avoided Porter's tag at the plate to score the winning run." Then they went on to lose the next game 11 to fucking zero. Boo, hoo.

3. Chicago White Sox - Hawk Harrelsen pretty much sums it up, for me, in everything he embodies.

4. Oakland Raiders - My hatred of them has really worn off since they've taken a UNL-like fall from sports grace. Kudos to Bill Callahan for helping ruin TWO of my least favorite sports entities.

5. Johnny Damon - I couldn't decide between the Yankees or the Red Sox, so I figured this was the safe pick. Whenever someone says "Red Sox" to me, the first thing I think of is Caveman Johnny Damon helping them with a World Series with the voice-over from that piece of trash (translation: Jimmy Fallon movie) "Fever Pitch." Blehck.

I also hate the Yankees.

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