Cleveland Sports Franchises Are the Worst, According to GQ Magazine

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterSeptember 26, 2013

To the guy with Charlotte Bobcats swag around the house, the fan with Jacksonville Jaguars season tickets or the poor soul who continues to head off to Wrigley Filed year after year, chin up. Things could be worse, because you could have been born a Cleveland fan. 

GQ Magazine's Rob Tannenbaum recently published a list entitled, "The 20 Worst Sports Franchises of All Time." And we fully expect it to receive the kind of vitriol welcomed anytime an author decides to rank anything. 

Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates (No. 18), Toronto Raptors (No. 15), Kansas City Royals (No. 7), and Detroit Lions (No. 2) are on the list. 

However, the franchises at the top spot make this such a memorable powerless ranking. 

Tannenbaum has the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers all listed as the worst in sports, like some disgusting cocktail of the most vile and generic hard alcohol Cleveland fans have been forced to digest over the years. 

If that weren't enough, you are once again forced to see the name LeBron James next to your beloved teams with his explanation: 

To the great people of Cleveland: Look, you gave us Harvey Pekar, and apparently you’ve got a world-class orchestra. But facts are facts, and since your city is, even now, synonymous with Akron-born LeBron James, let’s look at the curse of Cleveland sports from his perspective. Between the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavaliers, Cleveland last celebrated a title four years before LeBron’s mother was born—that’s a combined 152 seasons of futility. James ditched the Cavs not because he was the Whore of Akron but because he was the Oracle of Ohio. In his formative years, he witnessed Cleveland teams suffer The Drive (John Elway beating the Browns in 1987), The Fumble (Earnest Byner sabotaging the Browns in 1988), The Shot (Michael Jordan murdering the Cavs in 1989), and then The Move, when Art Modell decided Cleveland was such a hole he’d rather field his team in Baltimore. James surely knew that if he stayed in Ohio, some kind of ridiculous fate would befall him—The Hangnail, The Cramp, or maybe The Aneurysm. Hence: The Decision.

Mar 18, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; A Cleveland Cavaliers fan holds a sign referring to LeBron James (not pictured) in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers lost 111-90. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Now, before you Cleveland faithful blast Tannenbaum for not giving your teams proper love, recognize he is merely writing that these particular franchises have delivered the most futility in the past. You can wear this as a badge of honor, a sign that you are the antithesis of those deplorable bandwagoneers from other cities. 

However, the list is enough to remind you to be especially kind to anyone you know from Cleveland. Most don't know what it means to see your team win the World Series (Indians last won in 1948), the NBA Finals or a Super Bowl. 

Despite postseason success for the Cavs when LeBron James was on the team and some playoff appearances in the '90s for the Indians, it's been a veritable desert as far as success is concerned. 

Chin up, Cleveland. 

Sep 25, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Fans hold up signs during a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns may have set fire to the roster with the recent Trent Richardson trade, but they beat the Vikings last weekend. 

The Cavaliers have one of the more exciting young players in Kyrie Irving leading the team and seem to be moving in the right direction. 

Most importantly, you can wash down this ranking with every Indians win, knowing that the franchise is that much closer to clinching a wild card spot. 

If they do, you can savor the red-hot Ubaldo Jimenez when he takes the mound or the electrifying stuff delivered by the likes of Danny Salazar. 

Hell, go ahead and pretend you actually like Nick Swisher if it makes you feel better. 

The point is, no city can have this many horrible teams forever—at least we all hope not, for your sake. 


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