Ranking the Saddest Sports Communities on Twitter

Jim AdairContributor INovember 17, 2017

Photo via Getty Images

Twitter. It’s a wonderful, beautiful trash heap of miserable mayhem and funny jokes that quickly get beaten into the ground mercilessly. I hate it, and I spend all day there. It’s also a place where like-minded sports fans can come together, show support for their teams, complain endlessly and beg for the sweet release of the offseason. Those special groups are the Sports Twitter communities.

Team and local Twitter subsets are loosely defined and freewheeling. The analytics dorks? Part of it. Sports talk radio hot takers? Members. Bandwagoners? On board. People who earnestly use 280 characters? Sadly welcome. 

But it’s not always fun, games, memes and score updates. After all, in the big picture, most pro sports teams stink. And even when a team is doing really well, some communities can’t help but pick fights and seek out things to complain about (hello, Eagles Twitter). A sizable chunk of sports Twitter is a cesspool of complaining, anger, anxiety, bewilderment and more complaining. So, all things considered—team futility, fan hostility, general hopelessness, etc.—which sports Twitter communities are the saddest? 

Warning: these communities have been known to use profanity.

8. Dolphins Twitter: It Exists

Mike McCarn/Associated Press

On the surface, it’s easy to mock the Miami Dolphins and their fans. They’ve been irrelevant since Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, are a mainstay on a Twitter account that tweets pictures of empty stadiums and play this ridiculous fight song on the rare occasions they score. It’s not hard to see why fans would be mad: 

And that’s not even touching how the team’s former O-line coach foolishly filmed his extracurriculars.

But here’s the thing about local members of Dolphins Twitter: They’re happier than most of us. I’m from Philadelphia, and our most famous export is a fictional, miserable boxer who lost. Miami has Pitbull, the literal most positive man on the entire planet, and DJ Khaled, the second-most positive man on the planet. And why are they so positive? They’re in Miami. Every time I see a picture of a half-empty Dolphins (or Heat or Marlins) game, I always think the same thing: I wouldn’t be there watching that team either—it’s Miami. That’s why Dolphins Twitter is at the bottom of this list. While they should be happy, it’s super impressive they can fight through all that “Mr. Worldwide wearing a youth medium baseball jersey” joy and get to the sadness of it all. Kudos, Dolphins Twitter. 

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Bonus:

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

7. Knicks Twitter: A Success Story

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Welcome to the first (but definitely not last) appearance from New York on this list. Honestly, any other year, the Knickerbockers community would be top-five, but Phil Jackson is gone, James Dolan is quiet(er) and Kristaps Porzingis is a superstar. He’s like if the Monstars stole the ability from every good player and shoved it into Stick Stickly. But in the good ol’ days—earlier this year—things were different. ‘Staps skipped his exit interview, Carmelo Anthony was Melo-ing all over the place and pre-ouster Phil Jackson was making everything worse. That, in addition to every New Yorker’s innate need to feel and be superior to others, made for a sad mix:

 

And we can’t mention Dolan and his kazoo without showing it off:

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Also, you can just search “Dolan” and any profane word of your choosing.

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

6. Oilers Twitter: Northern Negativity

EDMONTON, AB - MAY 7:  Oilers fans get into the playoffs spirit as the Edmonton Oilers take on the Anaheim Ducks in Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on May 7, 2017 in Edmonton, Albert
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers are probably the best team on this list. They’re in great shape. Last season, they made the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years, took a second-round matchup to seven games and did it all on the back of 20-year-old superstar Connor McDavid. But the Oilers lost four of their first five games to start this season and currently sit with only 16 points, the third-lowest total in the NHL. This is what sets Oilers Twitter apart.

Most other communities on this list have been bad for a while and are still bad. The Oilers were bad for a while, but now they’re good. Real good. But they’re supposed to be way better than they are, which has spawned a unique phenomenon in sports Twitter communities: Incredulous Twitter. Part shrugging, part angry, part confused, Oilers Twitter is doing some really great work in the “sad Twitter” department, though its spot on this list may be more temporary than anyone else’s.

All the great work is being done in the hashtag #HereComeTheOilers, which is basically a gif party no one wants to be at. They’re having fun with sad Twitter before it sucks their souls away:

 

Pretty much the only thing happening on Oilers Twitter outside of mocking the Oilers is people mad about Oilers Twitter:

 

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

5. Jets Twitter: Football’s Mets

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the NFL this season, here’s a quick update: The New York Giants are very, very bad. They’re a disaster. Their coach (for now) Ben McAdoo isn’t exactly a fountain of inspiration. Eli Manning is a shadow of who he once was. They have one win. But why are the Jets here and not the Giants? Let’s ask Giants Twitter: 

 

 The Giants have a relatively recent history of winning, and their fans won’t let Jets fans forget it. Winning a Super Bowl is hard (I, an Eagles fan, know this), so they have every right to flaunt it in the Jets’ face. But the sibling rivalry is real. While Giants fans are tweeting about how they suck but at least they’re not the Jets, Jets Twitter is welcoming Giants fans to being terrible. Neither community can get the other off their mind. They’re stuck with each other, they’re both terrible and neither has any real path to being good.

So why the Jets and not the Giants? Every other Jets Twitter tweet is about the Giants. Just move on already:

 

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

An oldie but a goodie:

Depression

Acceptance

 

4. Bulls Twitter: Tanks and Fists

Matt Marton/Associated Press

Chicago Bulls fans totally expected to be bad and are (mostly) totally fine with being bad. Did they like the return on the Jimmy Butler trade? Some did, some didn’t (it was trash). But they’re smart, and they accept the position they’re in. If you want to tank, you have to full-on tank. They get it.

That’s all fine, but Bulls Twitter didn’t enter this season expecting Bobby Portis to punch Nikola Mirotic so hard he legitimately broke his face. Portis hospitalized Mirotic, which led to a brief suspension for Portis and caused Mirotic to ask for a trade, which has now somehow led everyone to side with Portis. Plus, as a fun bonus for people who aren’t Bulls fans, they have a hashtag (#GarPax) just to be miserable about their front office. Every team should have one of those. Chicago is doing it right. Except for all the punching.

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Any one of dozens of tweets that say, “Bulls so trash.” Here’s one:

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

3. Kings Twitter: Proud and Enthused

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 26: A fan holds up a sign thanking DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings on October 26, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings fans have been through a lot. Just four years ago, it seemed that the then for-sale Kings might be bought and relocated to Seattle (Sonics Twitter would surely earn a spot on this list). Instead, now-owner Vivek Ranadive swooped in to save the team’s Sacramento home. But during Ranadive’s tenure, things have been less than smooth.

George Karl coached the team and then published a book where he blamed Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony’s failures (when Karl was coaching the Nuggets) on growing up without father figures. It was about as poorly received as you’d expect. Ranadive famously was very high on Nik Stauskas, which became public knowledge in a widely mocked draft room video. Then he and general manager Vlade Divac traded “Nik Rocks” Stauskas (and a valuable pick swap/future pick combo) not long after to get cap relief in order to sign free agents they didn’t end up signing. 

 

Now, they have to watch DeMarcus Cousins continue to thrive in New Orleans. It’s been rough, but Kings fans are proud. They fought off threats for years from people trying to take their team and move it away. Vivek saved them. He’s got immunity for at least a couple more years.

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

 

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

2. Mets Twitter: America’s Younger Brother

Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

In talking about the Philadelphia 76ers, many national writers would talk about how “The Process” was terrible because it created a “losing culture.” I’m not here to debate the merits of that within a locker room, but years of fielding a terrible on-field/court product can create a losing culture within your fanbase. For example: Mets Twitter.

The Mets are only two years removed from a World Series appearance, but Mets Twitter very quickly reverted to its base instincts, honed from supporting a team that has been more mediocre than bad but is forced to play second fiddle in its own city to the Yankees. It’s understandable. The Yankees get Jay-Z name drops and Denzel Washington wearing their hat. The Mets once had Garth Brooks on their spring training roster. They paid Tim Tebow. Every non-Yankees fan may hate the Yankees, but we all know they’re Marcia and the Mets are Jan. It’s a fact of life, and let’s be honest, a nation of younger siblings (your family’s “Mets fans”) was psyched when Marcia took that football to the face.

Here’s some optimism from extremely early in the 2017 season:

And an August loss:

General recent malaise:

In the field of self-deprecation, Mets Twitter is the GOAT.

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

1. Browns Twitter: (Un?)Defeated

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10:  A dejected Cleveland Browns fan looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Oh, Cleveland. There was a near-100 percent chance this spot would belong to the Browns. Before the Cavaliers brought a well-deserved title to “Believeland,” the future self-esteem and success of your average Clevelander could have been easily described with the city’s turn-of-the-20th-century nickname: “Sixth City.” The name came from the Land’s population standing at the time, but why would you ever call yourself that? The New York Times once called Philadelphia the Sixth Borough, and everyone here is still furious about that. Never admit you’re not top-five, and certainly don’t embrace it.

But because of all this, it’s impossible to dislike Cleveland Browns fans. Go ahead, try. That’s not dislike you’re feeling—it’s a weird mix of schadenfreude, pity and endearment. But on Browns Twitter, it’s less fun.

On October 31, @BrownsYouthFB, the “Youth & High School Football account for the Cleveland Browns,” tweeted about a contest involving high school football. The account, which typically tweets about football played in the Cleveland area by literal children, received this response:

The Browns just set the NFL record for consecutive Sunday losses (26). The team tried to send two draft picks to Cincinnati for backup quarterback AJ McCarron, but the trade fell through due to one or both teams’ front office incompetence. This was actually a rational response:

Even silver linings (a probable No. 1 overall pick next year) can’t force a positive response:

As you can guess, game days are fun:

 

But there’s comfort in this. When the team you love is very bad now, has been very bad in the past and will continue to be very bad in the future, you can detach yourself from it. There’s a feeling of near-Zen from watching a terrible team you know is terrible (take it from a lifelong Philly fan). Enjoy it, and hope it doesn’t last forever.

The Five Stages of Twitter Grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance