16. New York Giants fans.
Where do I start? This is not a fan base you should EVER have any sympathy for because they’ve won two Super Bowls in the past five years. But that didn’t stop them from declaring that Eli Manning is washed up and Tom Coughlin should be fired around Week 3 of the season. Giants fans are frustrated because they’re always frustrated, unless they’re winning a Super Bowl — which I repeat is quite often. Still, even I have to admit it was a bad year for them.
15. Washington Nationals fans.
After finishing the regular season with the best record in baseball in 2012, the Nationals entered the playoffs with hot bats and a stacked pitching staff and had the St. Louis Cardinals dead and buried in NLDS — but let the series get away from them. It was a tough loss, but there was no reason why fans should have expected anything different in 2013. Stephen Strasburg, arguably the best pitcher in the game, was back with no innings limit. Brash young star Bryce Harper hit two home runs in the first game of the season! This was their year! But it wasn’t. Harper got injured and the bats were mostly ice-cold, while the pitching staff wasn’t as dominant as 2012. After being declared World Series favorites, the Nationals didn’t even make the playoffs.
14. Vancouver Canucks fans.
Four straight division titles. Two Presidents Trophies. Zero Stanley Cups. One city-crippling riot.
13. University of Oregon football fans.
The high-flying Ducks may have lost Chip Kelly to the NFL, but they still went into the season as one of the favorites to get to the BCS Championship game. They were armed with a Heisman candidate at quarterback and running back — as they seemingly are every year — and yet again failed to live up to expectations. Oregon lives by the motto “speed kills.” Well, they should change that to “speed kills everyone except Stanford.” The Ducks were beaten up and had their lunch money stolen by the Cardinal nerds for the second year in a row. And then instead of rallying and fighting for a Rose Bowl birth they got stomped two weeks later by Arizona. Say hello to the Alamo Bowl!
12. Houston Texans fans.
Last year, the Texans were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They had the most dominant pass rush in football. J.J. Watt was basically superhuman. The team was seventh in the NFL in total offense and total defense. They started the 2013 season with Super Bowl dreams dancing in their head and opened the year with a gritty comeback win over the San Diego Chargers. They followed that win with a overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans — and they haven’t won a game since. They’re currently the leaders for the No.1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
10. University of Texas football fans.
9. Washington football fans.
What is there to say about Dan Snyder that hasn’t already been said about the Ebola virus? He’s over-involved with football operations, insensitive, pompous, lacks common sense and is hated by most if not all Washington fans. And all of Snyder’s many flaws have been on full display this season in the very public debacle over the team’s nickname. Oh yeah, and the team itself? Well, RG3 has been beaten beyond recognition due to the poor play of the team’s offensive line, and they’re currently in last place in the NFC East.
8. UCLA basketball fans.
The Bruins are arguably one of if not the most historic program in college hoops. Recruiting elite players to their sun-soaked Southern California campus is a layup. (BASKETBALL PUN.) But somewhere in the last few years Ben Howland stopped recruiting the right elite players. Reeves Nelson was a disaster. Josh Smith was beyond out of shape. The team was in shambles. Then last year Howland had arguably the second-best recruiting class in the country featuring future NBA players Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams. They were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament and Howland was fired. After being turned down by VCU coach Shaka Smart and Butler coach Brad Stevens, UCLA then hired Steve Alford — whose New Mexico team had just lost to Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
7. New York Mets fans.
Because baseball has no salary cap, it’s a sport where, if you have money and half a brain, you should be able to field a competitive baseball team — but the New York Mets have finished below .500 for five straight seasons despite playing in the country’s biggest market. Due to their owner’s friendship with a certain financial analyst named Bernie the team was put in a financial bind. So for each of the past five seasons the Mets have fielded a team of scrappy, likeable, no-name players around David Wright and shockingly remained competitive for the first half of the season. And after the All-Star break rolls around the fairy dust wears off. Last year, the season started with Matt Harvey taking the baseball world by storm. The hard-throwing, tobacco-chewing, model-dating badass gave Mets fans a reason to care and be optimistic. He started the All-Star Game at CitiField…and then he tore his UCL and now no one will see him pitch until 2015. Oh, yeah, Terry Collins is 36 games under .500 in three seasons as manager — they signed him to an extension.
6. New York Knicks fans.
Speaking of underachieving big market New York City teams with terrible owners, let’s talk about the Knicks, shall we? Their first-round victory over the Boston Celtics last spring was the first time they’ve won a playoff series since the ’99-’00 season. Winning a playoff series for the first time in over a decade should be reason for optimism, except for when you root for the Knicks. J.R. Smith, last season’s 6th Man of the Year, was rumored to be out partying at clubs the night before playoff games against the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks lost and Smith had a terrible series. Then the Knicks re-signed him for four years. Then they traded like nine draft picks for Andrea Bargnani’s corpse. Then Tyson Chandler got hurt. Raymond Felton is playing so bad he may have leprosy. Their best player, Carmelo Anthony, still doesn’t play defense and doesn’t pass. And so this season Knicks fans have watched a team with no leadership or direction lose to the Pelicans and Bobcats en route to an early 3-13 record — tied for the worst in the NBA.
Oh, and Jeremy Lin is averaging 15 points a game and shooting over 50% from the field for a potential title contender. In Houston.
5. Buffalo Bills fans.
It’s been 13 years since the Buffalo Bills last made the playoffs and unless lightning strikes half the AFC it looks like the drought is going to extend to 14 years — the longest streak in the NFL. Of the Bills’ eight losses two have come in overtime, one on a last second field goal, one in a game in which their defense didn’t allow a touchdown and one in a game that involved Geno Smith. C.J. Spiller was supposed to be one of the best running backs in the NFL this season, instead he proved to be made of glass. And then to add insult to injury rumors have swirled about Jon Bon Jovi purchasing the team and moving them to Toronto — home of crack-loving Mayor Rob Ford.
4. Cleveland Browns fans.
If there is any team that has had more issues at the quarterback position of the course of the past decade and a half it’s the Cleveland Browns. This season they’ve seen Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer multiple times, and none of those names scream savior. They traded last year’s first-round pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts after Week 2 of the season, seeming to wave the white flag, yet they reeled off three straight convincing wins over Minnesota, Cincinnati and Buffalo. There was hope in Cleveland! Then they lost six of their next seven games because, well, they’re the Browns.
3. Fans of every professional sports franchise in Florida other than the Miami Heat and Tampa Bay Rays.
What a disaster. It’s hard to feel bad for people with permanent tans and year-round beach access, but Florida professional sports fans have it pretty tough. The Marlins get a brand new stadium — out of the taxpayers’ pocket — and they have about two recognizable names on their roster. The Panthers are still somehow a hockey team with uniforms and everything. The Dolphins started the season 3-0 and then became the center of the biggest NFL scandal in recent memory. The Orlando Magic’s best player is Aaron Afflalo. The Buccaneers’ coach engaged in an public bitchfest with their starting quarterback until the team cut him. The Jaguars are the Jaguars. Oh, and I’ve just been informed the Tampa Bay Lightning still exist.
2. Chicago Bulls fans.
The Bulls have been thisclose for the past couple years. On paper they appear to have all the pieces in place to compete for a title: an MVP in Derrick Rose, an All-Star center and small forward in Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, great perimeter defense in Jimmy Butler and an efficient post presence in Carlos Boozer. Last year they made it to the second round of the playoffs despite not having Rose all season and losing Deng in April. This was supposed to be their year, and then Rose’s OTHER knee crumbled. At least Chicago fans have the Blackhawks, right?
1. University of Florida football fans.
After spending most of the 2000s dominating the SEC and college football in general the Florida Gators aren’t going to make a bowl game for the first time in 22 years. The Gators have been hit hard by injuries, but that still doesn’t justify losing to Georgia Southern — an FCS team — or their apparent inability to tell their teammates from their opponents. Meanwhile their in-state rivals Florida State are No. 1 in the country and appear destined for a BCS national championship appearance. Urban Meyer — who ostensibly retired from the Gators for health reasons — has yet to lose a game as the healthy coach of Ohio State. There isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel either; coach Will Muschamp has the full support of the Florida athletic director. Sorry, guys.
Oh, and former Gators star Aaron Hernandez may have murdered everyone in Boston.