BRONX, NY – I was chatting with a co-worker the other day who happens to be a Cowboys fan. He was clearly deliriously happy about their latest win over the Giants and was going on and on about how long he’d been a Cowboys fan, claiming he went all the way back to the days of Tony Dorsett and Danny White (clearly he’s a bit younger than me). Then he said something that absolutely cracked me up: “I’m no bandwagon Cowboys fan. I’ve been with them through the hard times.” What? The hard times? Dallas? Yeah, sure there was a 1-15 season in there somewhere and Tony Romo hasn’t really done anything in the post season except shit the bed, but for someone to say that they’ve been through the hard times with a franchise that’s been to eight Super Bowls and won five of them, is absolutely ridiculous. You want to talk about suffering through some lean years, take a walk in my shoes for a moment.
Minnesota Vikings. Unless you’re a Vikings fan you truly have no idea what the term “die-hard fan” is all about, because the Vikings have died harder and in every excruciatingly grizzly fashion you can imagine and then some. The last time the Vikes were in the Super Bowl was almost 40 years ago, where got destroyed by the Roid Rage Raiders. They lost their only three prior appearances as well. Since then, it’s been nothing but exploding stoves and high gruesomes for Minnesota. Even a seemingly unbeatable 15-1 team in 1998, one that featured Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Randall Cunningham, and a decent defense, managed to piss away the NFC title game to Atlanta when Gary Anderson, who had not missed a field goal all season long, of course missed a field goal. I was there to witness it. There was something cathartic about being in a dome full of people who felt like they just got pantsed and the video went straight to youtube. After that its been nothing but fun times including, but not limited to: Korey Stringer death in training camp, Sex Boat Scandal, Dennis Green, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, did we mention Brad Childress? Begging Brett Favre to play, Brett Favre almost murdered by bounty-hunting Saints, Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson child abuse charges… Look, it’s been bad, and I didn’t even mention the Herschel Walker trade or Drew Pearson pushing down Nate Wright. Ugh, now I went and mentioned those things. Let’s move on.
Seattle Mariners/New York Mets. (*insert your laughter here*) The Mariners have never been to a World Series, though they did win 116 games in 2001 before losing to Roid Rage Roger Clemens and the Yankees, so there’s that. Seattle is also famous for another kind of losing, as in losing it’s biggest stars to other teams. Tino Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and Alex Rodriguez all made their way away from the Pacific Northwest. There’s no telling how many titles Seattle could have won had this core stayed together. As for the Mets, their last truly great moment came in 1986, which is 28-friggin-years ago. Then we got to watch Gooden and Strawberry do great things for the Yankees, which was the specialist kind of torture.
Bobby V. took one of the worst teams ever to the World Series in 2000, where they got destroyed by Roid Rage Roger Clemens and the Yankees. Are you sensing a pattern here? But the worst thing about the Mets, is the predictability of how they’ll bungle things. It’s like the baseball version of an old Three’s Company episode where you’re not sure what the episode will be about but you know for a fact that someone will overhear someone saying something and there will be a hilarious misunderstanding. The Mets are that predictable and about as funny as Mr. Furley. *sigh* Let’s try to wrap this up, I’m getting depressed.
Minnesota Wild/Golden State Warriors. I’m gonna tear this off quick like a band aid. I grew up a Minnesota North Stars fan. Then, just as they were getting good, their greedy owner moved them to Dallas, shortened their name to Stars, and they won their only Stanley Cup. How’s that for a bag over the head punch in the face? I have since abandoned the Dallas Stars because, really, how can anyone root for a team from Dallas? I now pull for the Wild (maybe worst team name in sports other than Red Bulls) who may one day win something, but I’m not holding my breath. I chose the Golden State Warriors almost randomly while in Junior High School, their 1975 title already well in the rear view mirror. They were a bunch of misfits then, and really not much has changed. No Championships but lots of interesting stuff like drafting Chris Washburn, trading Bernard King to Knicks for Micheal Ray Richardson, the Ralph Sampson era, Sleepy Floyd!, trading Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens, the mess that was Chris Webber, Latrell Sprewell choking P.J. Carlesimo, hosts of horrible coaches and equally poor players…. But, all of that being said, this could be their year.
You see how I managed to end this suicide note on a positive? There’s a lesson in there somewhere, kids. As bad as it is, I’ll never stop pulling for underdogs. Hard times? Bring ’em on. Go Royals!