Washington: Worst Sports State in America?
Fans invest more time, energy and money than they would ever care to admit in supporting their hometown teams.
For the hardcore fans, this investment stretches beyond just the good, healthy or rich times. These fans are also passionate during the bad times, the poor times and the sick times.
Fandom is a marriage, and fans have a right to be in blissful wedlock.
I would imagine though that many fans have problems with the current and immediate futures of their respective states' professional and collegiate sports teams.
Those fans may not be ready to sign the divorce papers just yet, but they are certainly in need of some counseling.
Keeping this discussion to the four major professional sports, as well as college football and men's basketball, which state can rightfully claim the title as the "Worst Sports State in America"?
Nothing to Cheer For
First, let’s dispense with all states that either do not have major professional sports teams or have nationally irrelevant college teams.
It’s better to be single than to be in a dysfunctional relationship, right?
Goodbye then to Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
Can't Be a Champion
If your team has won a national championship in the very recent past, your marriage is doing just fine.
Goodbye then to Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Can't Have Too Many Top-Tier Teams
If your state has a team that in the last year performed at or near the top of their respective sport’s standings, you have no river to cry for me.
Farewell then to Arkansas, Georgia and Michigan (AP Top-10 football teams); Kansas and Ohio (No. 1 seeds in NCAA tournament); Mississippi (AP Top-20 football team in 2011); Nebraska and West Virginia (AP Top-20 football teams); North Carolina (AP Top-5 men's basketball team); Oklahoma and Oregon (AP Top-5 football); Tennessee (AP Top-20 men's basketball, Vanderbilt); and South Carolina (Two teams in AP Top-15 football).
Can't Have Celebrated Too Recently
Can't Have Made Big FA Splash
Can't Own Tim Tebow
Bye bye to New Jersey (the real home of the Jets).
Can't Have Been a Cinderella
Do you have a team that has defied the odds, taken the nation by storm and made us fall in love with them?
You then have no argument.
Adieu to Idaho (Boise State), Indiana (Butler), Utah (BYU) and Virginia (VCU).
And the 'Winner' Is...
We have now crossed 49 states off the list, leaving us with only one.
I reveal to you the worst sports state in America: Washington.
With having as many sports teams as there are in Washington, you would never think it would get this low, but it has.
The terrible teams are easy to name, and their plights are borderline historic. Let us count the ways...
It's difficult to imagine anyone being worse than the Mariners. Since 2004, the Mariners have averaged 71 wins per season, finishing last in their division six times over those eight years. They've lost 101 games twice in that span.
This season, the Mariners are again in last place, on pace for 77 wins. The team even traded away the franchise's most famous player, Ichiro, to the Yankees.
Looking at the Seahawks, the team has gone 23-41 since 2008, averaging less than six wins during that span. The team has not had a winning season since 2007.
The optimistic Washingtonian might say that the Seahawks won a divisional title in 2010 and then a playoff game.
All I can say about that is this: NFC West, 7-9 record and even Tim Tebow has won a playoff game.
It's not that much better looking at the collegiate side.
The Washington Huskies football program has lost six or more games every year going back to 2002, including the dreaded 0-12 season of 2008.
The team has made a couple brief appearances in the AP Top 25, getting as high as No. 22 in 2011, but the program has not come close to replicating its Rose Bowl win in the 2000 season.
It's even worse for Washington State. The Cougars have gone 14-47 since the start of the 2007 season and are now working on their third head coach during that span.
The Huskies basketball program has seen a resurgence under head coach Lorenzo Romar, but Romar has yet to lead the team to a regional-finals appearance.
The last time the Huskies were in the AP Top 10 was the 2005-06 season. Missing the NCAA tournament last season further exacerbated the frustration of fans.
Topping it all off was the city of Seattle's losing the beloved SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008. Watching the Thunder go all the way to the NBA Finals with a young, super-talented core group of players must have made Seattle fans go nuts.
That makes Washington the worst sports state in America.