Fanbases You Almost Feel Bad For
Sports fans are some of the most devoted and loyal human beings in this world. Win or lose, rain or shine, every season they're in the stadium or on the couch cheering their team on to success.
But success is a fickle friend in the world of sports—some fan bases never seem experience the "good times" and those who do can still see their fortune leave them as quickly as it came.
The following is a list of the 10 sports fanbases whose current state of misery makes a play for our sympathy. We almost feel bad for them. Almost.
Boston Red Sox Fans
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After winning the World Series twice over the past decade, Red Sox fans’ expectations for the team skyrocketed and haven’t come back down.
Watching your talented roster devolve into a struggle-carnival under Bobby Valentine’s management over the 2012 season was a punishment that no fanbase should ever have to experience.
But—and there always is a “but”—the recent shenanigans in the team’s clubhouse leave little room for sympathy for the Red Sox in anyone’s heart outside of Boston.
Ohio State Football Fans
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I turn on Eric Clapton and cry into a big down comforter every time I think of the sanctions levied on Ohio State and how many poor Buckeye fans will miss seeing their football team lose in a BCS bowl game this January.
Some OSU fans are so distraught over being bowl-ineligible this winter that they’re petitioning our president to overturn the NCAA’s rulings. It nearly picks at my heart strings. Nearly.
New York Islanders Fans
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The New York Islanders recently announced that they would be joining the Nets in the new Barclay’s Center in 2015, which is about the most exciting thing Islanders fans have to think about these days.
Its been nearly 30 years since Islanders fans witnessed their team win the Stanley Cup, and the franchise hasn't been to the final since 1993. It’s been rough sledding for their fans, who have grown more than used to their status under the Rangers as New York's second-fiddle hockey team.
Oakland EerrrrrrrRaiders Fans
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I’m sorry for writing "EerrrrrRaiders" up there, but I couldn’t help myself—probably because it’s the only way you can say Raiders with a smile on your face.
Few fan bases have had to deal with more disappointment, poor performance and adversity than those cheering for the boys in silver and black. The Raiders are 3-10 so far in 2012, and the franchise hasn’t gone over .500 for the season since 2002, leaving fans little to cheer for over the past decade.
And they signed JaMarcus Russell in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft and gave him a $39 million. Oh Lord…(sniff)…I said I wasn’t going to cry…
Cleveland Cavaliers Fans
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They were so close, so close. And then “The Decision” was made and the mural came down.
The thing that makes you feel for Cavs fans is the fact that the fan base had fully bought into James as their savior and golden ticket to a world championship. In turn, watching Cavaliers fans watch James seemly give up against the Celtics in what would be his last outing with the team was painful. As soon as No. 23 took off his Cavaliers jersey in the tunnel it felt like the end of some kind of tragic play.
New Orleans Saints Fans
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After Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans the Saints quickly became the nation’s team. It was popular and natural to want to see the longtime ‘Aints succeed and the city rallied around the symbol of underdog hope they became in the late 2000s.
Saints sympathy reached its climax in 2009 with New Orleans Super Bowl victory over the Colts and has since been on the wane.
Bountygate has rocked the program to its core, and it’s becoming almost impossible hard to feel bad for Saints fans right now.
UCLA Basketball Fans
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Even with highly touted freshman recruit Shabazz Muhammad on the court after serving a suspension, UCLA fans still haven’t seen the level of play they wanted to see this season from the Bruins.
Unexpected losses to Georgetown and frisky mid-majors Cal Poly and San Diego State have dropped the Bruins (ranked No. 13 in AP preseason polls) completely out of the AP’s Top 25 and left fans rubbing their heads.
It’s rough to see a team with a talented top recruit like Muhammad drop so precipitously from status of a nationally ranked contender, but it’s hard to lose sleep over UCLA’s poor performance considering the 11 national championships in their trophy case.
Philadelphia Eagles Fans
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The Eagles and their fanbase have been through a meat-grinder of a season this year.
Their team hasn’t won a game since September, two of their biggest stars are sidelined with concussions and they might be firing head coach Andy Reid at season’s end.
You want to sympathize with Eagles fans, some of which have taken to attending games with paper bags on their heads due to their team’s shameful 3-9 record so far this season. But then you remember they’re Eagles fans.
Chicago Cubs Fans
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It would be so easy to feel bad for Cubs fans. Year in and year out they head to Wrigley Stadium to cheer their “lovable losers” on to victory...but end up leaving many games cheering themselves onto complete and utter intoxication.
Yet just when you’re ready to start feeling bad for the underdog Cubs fans and their “Little Engine That Can’t” team, they start laying it on thick with the superstition excuses and lose all sympathy you might feel whatsoever.
New York Jets Fans
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They don’t have the worst record in football this year like the Jags or Chiefs, but the New York Jets have put their fanbase through what will probably amount to one of the most frustrating and ridiculous seasons an NFL franchise has had in recent memory.
Fireman Ed hanging up his hat made America feel bad for the Jets, but not for the kind of Jets fans who caused it to happen.