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Ranking Ten Pro Sports Teams I Loathe

November 4th, 2018 · No Comments · Barcelona, Basketball, Champions League, Dodgers, Football, Lakers, Lists, NBA, NFL, soccer

Have I done this before? After 10-plus years I must have. But know what? I’m not going to check because the 10 teams I love to hate changes a bit, from year to year. This list would probably be unlike any other I might have done.

For instance, most of my life I have wished bad things on the San Francisco Giants, and many Los Angeles sports fans would suggest I still should. But I was impressed that the Giants reached the World Series three times in five years (2010, 2012, 2014), and won all three. Those teams were cleverly constructed, the players were likable.

Sorry. They don’t make the list.

It’s difficult, actually, to hate 10 teams. Hate is a strong word. Perhaps we should go with “strongly dislike”.

So, yes, this is a list, and as usual we’re going to start with the less repellent and work up to “most strongly dislike”.

–10. Toronto Blue Jays. I know they belong on the list, but I have trouble articulating it. Being in Canada is part of it, but not all of it, because the Toronto Raptors are not on this list. Maybe it’s a feeling that Canada shouldn’t have a baseball team. Maybe it is because I think of them as a big clumsy team that sat around waiting for a home run since before everyone in baseball started doing it.

–9. Montreal Canadiens. The hockey team. Will not hire an anglophone as coach. Really. This is a thing. Which means the Canadiens recycle French-speaking coaches who are not very good, which is part of the reason why they have not won the Stanley Cup since 1994. They used to dominate the league, and have 25 championships, which led to arrogance, which is another good reason not to like them. They were too good for a long time, and not nearly good enough since then.

–8. Manchester City. Yes, the English Premier League soccer team. They are a prime examples of a club that became a serial winner simply by outspending everyone, particularly on players. Just got done watching them pummel Southampton 6-1. Premier League games are supposed to be more competitive than that. One of the announcers made a point of noting that on City’s bench were four guys who cost the club 72 million pounds sterling (about $100 million). With Pep Guardiola now coaching them, they may win all sorts of stuff for years to come. Though they still (ha!) have not won the Champions League, which is what their Emirati owner wants most.

–7. Paris Saint-Germain. Another open-the-Gulf-checkbook team, except this one is Qatari-owned. Perhaps the ultimate example of “why develop players when you can just buy everyone else’s best guy?” They have so much money that they bought Neymar away from Barcelona. Yes, Barcelona was outspent by PSG. Also like the team above, they have yet to win the Champions League, and it frustrates them as much as it does City.

–6. Dallas Cowboys. Back to the States! The NFL club that had the temerity to declare it was America’s Team. Without noticing that it wasn’t, really. The Cowboys still comport themselves like a special team, but it has been a long time since they won a Super Bowl. Haven’t won (or played for) a championship since 1996. Haven’t won a playoffs game since then, either. Jerry Jones, the owner, is a piece of work, too.

–5. Barcelona FC. The most self-impressed soccer team in the world. The club’s slogan is “more than a team”. They tend to be good, and certainly have been since they obtained Lionel Messi, but their arch-rivals Real Madrid have won the past three Champions Leagues. That doesn’t keep Barcelona from suggesting it invented modern soccer, or at least the tika-taka kick-around style that bored millions for a decade.

–4. Oakland Raiders. Pride and poise, commitment to excellence, the silver and black … anyone who knows the NFL knows the Raiders’ self-aggrandizing slogans. Trouble is, they mostly have been lousy since Jim Plunkett, and seem to glory in being big and stupid — rather like their fans. Another lost season and then another shift of the franchise. From Oakland to Los Angeles, back to Oakland (who leaves L.A. for Oakland?) and the last multipurpose stadium in the league, and now to Las Vegas next season.

–3. Boston Red Sox. And not because they just beat the Dodgers in the World Series. A bad case of “special-ness” despite once going 86 years without a championship. The team that sold Babe Ruth in his prime. A huge payroll, a goofy stadium, they have become serial winners in this century by taking a cue from their arch-rivals, the big-spending New York Yankees … by becoming the Yankees.

–2. Boston Celtics. The kings of arrogance, with coach Red Auerbach smoking victory cigars on-court, perhaps inspired by the awful logo of a pipe-smoking leprechaun. Living on their reputation in recent decades, with only a 2008 title in the 32 years since 1986 and Larry Bird. As a Lakers fan of a certain age, the Bill Russell Celtics of the 1960s brings back nightmares of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor falling just short again and again. If the Celtics never win again, it would be fine by me.

–1. New England Patriots. Notice a trend, here at the end? Hard to beat Boston teams (and their fans) when it comes to hate-ability. The NFL team rates down here at the bottom because it is coached by the miserable cheat Bill Belichick who, unfortunately, has won five Super Bowls (and, happily, has lost three). And his top player has been the eccentric quarterback Tom Brady, who says he drinks a couple of gallons of water every day (don’t try this at home) — and deflates footballs (illegally) so he can grip them better. After the past two decades … we can’t think of a better team to lose, oh, about 25 straight.



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