We are nearing the end of the 12th year of the 21st century, meaning many moribund franchises will feel time is giving them dozens of chances to reverse their horrible histories of ineptitude. I do not claim to be Nostradamus, except for when it comes to predicting the amount of white hairs that will mingle with my blond locks when I have my hair cut, but I believe the next four teams can consider themselves cursed until at least 2100.
What must being a fan of the Chicago Cubs involve? Their supporters likely would have excelled in the Middle Ages, as they have mastered enduring torture. The Cubs won the World Series in 1906 and ’07 but have left their faithful (I will be nice here) followers forlorn since. I have heard all the talk about the team’s possible acquisition of Albert Pujols and, being a religious chap, I can understand the severity of whatever petitions the organization will make to the slugger. My faith also lets me know losing builds character. When the Cubs lose out on Pujols, their perpetual pining will receive a confidence boost. The late announcer Harry Caray loved to declare “Cubs win!” Rest in peace, my man, as the victories are going to have to be moral ones for quite some time.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have found themselves in sticky situations since 1967, the year they captured their 13th and most recent Stanley Cup. They have missed the playoffs for six straight years and seem settled into the Northeast Division’s fourth or fifth spot. I scanned their roster and knew five guys, all of whom I am familiar with because of their time with other teams. I hear Toronto is a beautiful city and believe residents will have plenty of occasions to leave games early to see the sites.
I despise the New York Knicks, who last won a title during the Nixon administration, but not because of their players or coaches. As a Philadelphia native and a fan of most Massachusetts teams, I have to hate New York teams. The Knicks, regardless of their dynamic duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, are going nowhere whenever the NBA resumes. They play a frenetic style that shuns defense and relishes being eye candy for seriously impatient people. With the league’s labor situation in peril, maybe the players and their fans can join the Occupy Wall Street movement, where they can be equally successful at feeling frustrated.
Was I ever wrong about the Eagles (http://southphillysports.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/bird-flu/)! The Birds cannot even reminisce about their title days, as they do not have any. I would tab them loveable losers but still wonder why people love them. Management seems clueless, the players appear lost and the fans are still bonkers about their boys. Move on, people. You have an equally frustrated team only a couple blocks away in the Flyers. I love the fly guys for this year, as I never want them to appear on a similar list by another scribe. Let’s go Flyers!