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Monday, March 4, 2002
Worst franchises to be a fan of

Page 2 staff

Sports fans, Page 2 feels your pain.

This week we devote our top 10 list to those teams that are just heartbreaking and aggravating to cheer for. Take a look at Page 2's list below, then read how our readers ranked their 10 worst franchise to be a fan of. And be sure to vote in the poll to crown the No. 1 worst team to be a fan of.

1. Chicago Cubs
Not only have they not won a World Series since 1908 -- most seasons, they're not even competitive, despite the fact they are a big-market team -- but they also have to listen to Boston Red Sox fans whine about how they are the most put-upon fans on the face of the Earth, even though it's "only" been since 1918 that the Sox last won a title.

2. Cincinnati Bengals
Ought to be called the Cincinnati Birds, as in "Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!"

3. Los Angeles Clippers
Under quixotic and capricious owner Donald Sterling -- biggest of many problems: an unwillingness or inability to re-sign any of the few good players that have, usually against their will, found themselves on the team -- and ineffective longtime GM Elgin Baylor, whose drafts have been uniformly dreadful until recently, the Clips have been one of the NBA's two perennial joke franchises, along with the New Jersey Nets. Coincidentally, they both seem to have a future right now, though it will be interesting to see if either team's stars will be willing to sign on for the long haul.

4. Arizona Cardinals
Not only do they rarely win ... and never even get to a big game ... but they almost never have any interesting players or coaches. Bad and dull ... that's a rotten combination.

5. Kansas City Royals
David Glass is the kind of baseball owner who gives the sport a bad name. Under the guise of small-market limitations, he takes and takes and takes whatever revenue-sharing handouts Bud Selig can arrange, and never even tries to re-sign his good players, let alone to put a competitive team on the field.

6. New York Islanders
In recent years, they've been run like a minor-league team -- a cheap, classless and clueless minor-league team. They'd be higher on the list except for two things -- new ownership which seems to be trying to do something right and, of course, those four straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s.

7. New Jersey Nets
Since Roy Boe sold Julius Erving to the 76ers, they've been cursed, and deservedly so. If they weren't leading the Eastern Conference this year in a mind-boggling turnaround, they might be as high as No. 3.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What are those Glazers doing down there?!

9. Florida Marlins
If they're not being broken up and sold off to the highest bidder, someone's threatening to move them. Or contract them. And it's always raining ... every single damn game.

10. Boston Bruins
Once proud possessors of one of the most passionate fan bases in hockey, the Bruins have been ruined by owner Jeremy Jacobs' cheapness, lack of vision and total absence of people skills. He doesn't seem to care, and neither do the team's multitude of ex-fans.

Also receiving votes
  • Oakland Raiders (always moving ...or threatening to)
  • Boston Red Sox (just so their fans won't write in and whine about them not being on the list, and because they have to put up with the Yankees every year)
  • New York Mets (have to be in the same town as the New York Yankees)
  • Chicago White Sox (Reinsdorf Fever, catch it!)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Toronto Blue Jays (they act like a small-market team, but once averaged 50,000 a game)
  • Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos (marked for death by Godfather Selig)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (we will never forget or forgive Walter O'Malley ... plus they always seem to overspend and underachieve)
  • Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Hornets (most despised owner in all of sports)
  • Golden State Warriors/Cleveland Cavaliers/Atlanta Hawks/Tampa Bay Lightning (will they ever be any good?)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (like the Bruins, another Original Six club alienating its hard-core fans)