San Jose Sharks: Stay Positive Fans. Things Can Be Worse.

Anthony CasaleCorrespondent IMay 16, 2008

Watching the remainder of the talented Stanley Cup playoff contenders, I have realized that I am still depressed the Sharks went down for the 3rd consecutive year in the second round. 

I couldn't help but hear the word "underachieved" in my head in every sentence I rambled to myself.

While I sat there in disbelief, I caught myself in the middle of watching a Pittsburgh Pirates game.  Although the Pirates won that game, it got me thinking.  Is it really that bad to be a Sharks fan? 

I got to thinking about many other underachievers and realized that Sharks fans are not in that bad of a boat.

Let me put in perspective some horrible times to be a fan in not just the NHL but, other professional sports.  From horrid teams, stretches of many years without winning, getting to the big dance and just not quite getting the electric slide down (winning it all), and other variables that I will consider a bad time to be a fan.

These are in no particular order because they are all just...appalling.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

I decided to start off with an abysmal hockey streak for you to help those Sharks fans sooth your depression or anger you may have. 

The Sharks were founded in 1991 and haven't won a cup to date.  That makes 17 years of a Cupless city in San Jose.  Though the Maple leafs have won cups in the past, their last one came in 1967. For those of you slow at math, that's 41 years without a cup. 

In those 41 years without the cup, they have only won one division title.  I have not seen a San Jose Sharks fan with a paper bag on their head yet (picture shows a Maple Leaf fan).  That’s when you know the franchise has seen a low, the dreaded paper bag.

2. Seattle Anything

Let's take a look at Seattle. 

The Mariners are 31 years old and have made the playoffs four times.  Once settled in the playoffs, they have not managed to win the AL Championship, which means zero World Series titles obviously. 

The Seahawks are 32 years old and have zero Super Bowls with two Superbowl appearances. 

The Supersonics have the only title that goes back 29 years ago.  Oh and the last time I looked, they are about to leave the city.  When you have 105 seasons combined between the 3 franchises and, a championship to show for it. Chalk Seattle up for being one depressing sports city.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

Losing seasons that extend to 15 years and counting. 

There is not much that needs to be said.  Being a Pirates fan I can tell you, not much else would suck worse than saying you are a fan of an organization that does nothing but lose. 

Ask someone what the first thing they think of when you mention the Pirates franchise.  I can almost bet they won't mention anything about the five World Series titles. More than likely they will spit out the number 15 and the words losing seasons. 

I think I have a better chance of asking 15 women out and getting at least one yes (If you knew me you'd know that I have some kind of woman repellent on me).

4. Buffalo Bills and Sabres

How can you write a segment about bad times for sports fans without uttering the words "Buffalo Bills"? 

Could you imagine being a Bills fan for those four straight Super Bowls?  After every loss, they had to have said, "Okay, this is the year.  I am feeling it."  I don't know if I could ever be optimistic about anything after being a fan during that period.  The Sabres are going on 38 years without a Stanley Cup, coming up short in six final four appearances.  Try and stay positive Buffalo, your time will come.


5. Cleveland Anything

Being from Pittsburgh I got to love writing this section.  Cleveland has seven titles to its name, not bad.  In 212 total seasons though diminishes the accomplishments quite a bit. 

The Browns were there, then left, then came back.  Almost like an ex after they find out you have been dating again.  Just like the ex, they never seem to please as good as the first time. The Browns have not really given the fans much to cheer about till lately but, who knows how long that'll last. 

The Indians are going on 60 years without a World Series title.

The Cavaliers had not won a division title up until last year. 

The City of Cleveland is on a 44 year drought from a title. 

One depressing city if you ask me.

6. 1974-75 Washington Capitals

Their final record, 8-67-5.  My fellow sports fans, that, is the definition of nauseating.  That team was 1-39 on the road and then carried the "Stanley Can" through the city after that first road win near the end of the season.  The "Can" was a garbage can of some sort. 

They gave up an NHL record 446 goals and goalie Michel Belhumeur set an individual best (or worst) 0-24-1 record.  Did I mention to stay positive Sharks fans?

7. 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers

Just 6 years from winning the Championship in 1967 the 76ers then posted up the years, and still to this day, worst record in the NBA.  The team managed to win nine, count it, 9 games and posted 73 loses.  How does one franchise manage to decimate a championship team in just 6 years to post the worst record of all time in the NBA?  Even having one good player in the NBA can mean at least double digit wins.  What was this team playing with?  A bunch of professional bowlers turned NBA players...absolutely astonishing.

8. 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs

The start of this franchise was really nothing to look forward to. 

Imagine being a fan in this situation, new team coming in and nothing but excitement, until after about three games in that excitement could very well have been destroyed. 

This team averaged no more than nine points a game and was beat by and average of 20 points a game.  The longest pass the quarterback, Steve Spurrier, threw was 38 yards. 

"The coach (John McKay) stopped talking to us after the third game.  During the week, he wanted nothing to do with us. I can't blame him, really. We had so many guys get injured that nobody knew who was hurt and who wasn't. By the end of the season we were getting guys out of the Canadian league and off the streets." Words of their defensive linemen Pay Toomay to the Columbian Dispatch in 2001.

9. 1962 New York Mets

I am going to go with the 62 Mets because it is a team that is still around today. 

There were teams that were statistically worse then these Mets (Boston Braves, Philadelphia Athletics, and Cleveland Spiders).  These Mets were 40-120. 

This quote by Casey Stengal will give you the basic idea of what this team was like:"When one of them hits a single to you," he advised his outfielders, "throw the ball to third. That way we can hold them to a double." 

Couldn't you have thrown out some college ball players and played better baseball?  For that matter, little leaguers?

10. Philadelphia Anything

The A's five Championships are the most by any Philly team. 

Last time I checked, they are nowhere to be found in Philadelphia.  They go out of there in 1955, do you blame them?  Since the 1980's the Phillies four main sports—Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers— are 1-10 in Finals appearances. 

This city has been the definition of underachieving when the team is there.  It's been 25 years since the last title with 4 professional teams that are in the playoffs many of those years.  I'm glad I'm over six hours west on Route 80.

Other notables: Houston, Minnesota, Denver Nuggets, San Diego, Phoenix.

Those, my fellow Sharks fans, are some pretty bad times to be particular sports fans. 

The Sharks may be exiting the playoffs earlier than expected but, they aren't reaching the finals and losing.  You and I got about 20 years and 4 finals exits from being considered in some similar article of this.  Barring an 8-10 win season I think the Sharks are in the clear for now. 

The best cure I can give to you is to become a Philadelphia fan.  Try to watch pretty much all 4 teams go into the season and playoffs with nothing but high hopes and optimistic thoughts.  Just to get shot down in the finals or playoffs. 

So I ask you.  Is it really that bad to be a Sharks fan?


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