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The 11 Worst Places to Be a Sports Fan in 2013

by: Esteban On  Monday, December 16, 2013
Tags:  Cities   MLB   NBA   NFL   NHL   Worst Sports Teams  

worst places to be a sports fan in 2013 (worst sporst cities 2013)

Seven different cities saw their teams play in a championship game or series for one of the four major pro sports leagues in 2013—Baltimore, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami, San Antonio, and St. Louis. And of course, in addition to those cities, a bunch of others saw their teams have excellent regular seasons or surprising playoff runs—places like Oakland (despite the Raiders), Seattle (despite the Mariners), or Indianapolis.

Those were the places where it was good to be a sports fan this year. Unfortunately, as always, there were also places where sports fans were absolutely tortured in 2013 with dismal seasons, epic collapses, idiotic trades, embarrassing scandals, or some combination of the above. And these sad places are what we’re going to focus on today.

If you happen to live in one of these places…sorry in advance for rubbing it in.


11. Washington D.C.

11 sad redskins fans - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Teams: Capitals, Nationals, Redskins, Wizards
Playoff Berths: 2

There was one long bright spot in DC in 2013 and that was the Capitals, who were buoyed by the return to form of Alex Ovechkin. And even they suffered another heartbreaking upset in the first round.

As for everything else? It was a train wreck. The Wizards were and are the same terrible Wizards, so there’s no big surprise there. But the Nationals? After getting upset in the 2012 postseason they were the favorites to win the National League this year, but a horrendous start sank their season and they were one of the biggest busts in MLB.

And then there are the Redskins. Sure, they made the playoffs in 2013 thanks to the stellar play of franchise QB Robert Griffin III. But they got there with RGIII on a gimpy leg, and this year it’s been obvious he never fully recovered—hence the 3-11 record.


10. Minneapolis


Major Pro Teams: Timberwolves, Twins, Vikings, Wild
Playoff Berths: 2

The Wild spent a fortune to acquire two huge free agents in 2012, and that got them to the playoffs…where they got to play the Blackhawks in round 1. And of course, the Vikings actually made the playoffs last year thanks to the superhuman MVP performance of Adrian Peterson.

Since then it’s been a downward spiral. The Twins were terrible and traded away a former MVP (Justin Morneau) mid-season. The T-Wolves saw their two best players (Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love) injured for significant chunks, which really hurt them last season. And now, even with both of them back, they’re struggling a bit in the loaded Western Conference.

And, um, have you seen the Vikings play this year? Not good.


9. Cleveland

9 don't leave kyrie irving cleveland fan - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Browns, Cavaliers, Indians
Playoff Berths: 1

Well, let’s see here. The Cleveland Cavaliers were terrible last year again, but everyone said they were a team on the right path. However, this year the East is terrible and they’re still only 9-14 and outside the playoffs at time of writing. Oh, and now people are freaking out that Kyrie Irving—who hasn’t done jack yet—is going to abandon them just like LeBron.

Meanwhile, the Browns are Brownier than ever. So I don’t think we really need to talk about that.

The lone bright spot in Cleveland this year were the upstart Indians, who made the playoffs but lost the Wild Card game. There’s a little bit of hope there still…but not much…because it’s Cleveland.


8. Toronto

8 sad maple leafs fans - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, Raptors
Playoff Berths: 1

The Raptors might just be the worst franchise in the NBA, which is no surprise since they are owned by the same parent company that owns the Maple Leafs. So basketball is pretty much a total rightoff in Toronto.

Let’s talk about baseball, then. Remember how the Blue Jays made major trades and signing last offseason to acquire Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and R.A. Dickey, and how people were saying they were the favorites to win the AL East, and maybe even the favorites to win the World Series? Well…hahahahahaha. The Jays totally broke their fans’ hearts this year, finishing dead last in their division.

But the Leafs—they were a bright spot for Toronto sports fans, right? Well, they did make the playoffs for the first time in seven years, which was super exciting because it meant the richest team in the league had finally managed not to climb into the 50th percentile!

Unfortunately, the Leafs rewarded their loyal fans with one of the most agonizing defeats of all time. Up by three goals with half a period left to play in Game 7, Toronto choked and lost in overtime.

Stanley Cup drought in the most hockey mad city on earth: 46 years and counting.


7. Philadelphia


Major Pro Teams: Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers
Playoff Berths: 0

The Eagles have been okay in 2013 thanks to Michael Vick getting injured and the subsequent emergence of Nick Foles. However, they’re only 8-6, and if not for the utter ineptitude of the Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins they playoffs would be out of the question.

As for everyone else in Philly? Yeah, pretty rough. The Sixers missed the playoffs by four games last year after being held hostage by Andrew Bynum, and so far this year they’re 7-18. The Flyers are as mediocre this year as they were last year and will probably miss the playoffs for the second straight year. And the Phillies have gone from World Series favorites to washed-up has-beens in just two years.

In Philly, it looks like more tough times are ahead.


6. New York

6 sad new york sports fan with yankees hat revis jersey - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Giants, Jets, Knicks, Mets, Nets, Rangers, Yankees
Playoff Berths: 3

Yes, the Rangers, Nets, and Knicks all made the playoffs of their respective leagues last spring. And yes, technically, that was 2013. But have you seen their records this year? At time of writing, all three are out of the playoff picture, and while the Rangers are okay and might improve, the Knicks and Nets are just awful.

Then there are the baseball teams, who both missed the playoffs. The Yankees had to deal with the Alex Rodriguez suspension circus during the year, then they lost their best player (Robinson Cano) to free agency. The Mets, meanwhile, were supposed to be terrible—but at least they had the best rookie pitcher since Doc Gooden in Matt Harvey…until he blew out his elbow.

And do I really need to even say anything about the football teams? Probably not, but I will anyway. The Jets are the Jets: they traded away their best player (Darrelle Revis), then lost their starting QB (who wasn’t that great anyway), and have faded big time after an inexplicably okay start. Then there’s the Giants, who have been putrid, no thanks in part to Eli Manning’s 83 interceptions.

So, yeah, it’s been all downhill in 2013 for New York Sports fans.


5. Houston

5 houston texans fans - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Astros, Rockets, Texans
Playoff Berths: 2

Last year the Rockets got Harden and this year they got Howard, but they’re still not really contenders. If anything, Howard is going to undo anything good Harden would have done—and that’s the best thing going on in Houston right now.

The Astros? Worst Team in Baseball by a wide margin. First they sold off every single player with any value, then they started selling the nuts and bolts that hold the seats together for scrap metal.

And then there’s the elephant in the room: the Texans. You may think that they’re epic slide into crappiness only started this season, but it actually started last season, when they lost three of their final four regular season games before getting clobbered by the Pats in the playoffs. Then they won the first two games of 2013, but now have lost 12 straight. TWELVE! 

Just ask Matt Schaub how tough times are in Houston.


4. Jacksonville

4 sad jacksonville jaguars fans - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Jaguars
Playoff Berths: 0

In the olden days, when the Jaguars sucked, the sports fans in Jacksonville at least had the Florida Gators to fall back on. Now they don’t even have that.

While the 2013 season hasn’t proved to be quite as terrible as people expected it to be for the Jags, it’s still been bad. The fans, of course, have clamored for the team to sign the beloved Tim Tebow, arguing persuasively that it couldn’t possibly hurt, given that he’s won more playoffs games (1) than Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne combined. But owner Shad Kahn isn’t having it. And the fans aren’t happy.


3. Edmonton

3 sad oilers fan - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Oilers
Playoff Berths: 0

One could make the case for Edmonton being the worst place to be a sports fan in 2013. After all, the one team they live and die for—the Edmonton Oilers—is pathetic.

How pathetic, you ask? Well, let’s see. The Oilers decided to embark on a total rebuild a couple years ago and started trading players and stockpiling draft picks. They used those draft picks to get an almost unprecedented amount of young talent—guys like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov—and then told fans to just wait.

Well, three years later and they’re still waiting. Despite all that insane young talent, the Oilers are terrible again this season. At this point, you have to wonder if these players are going to pan out.


2. Milwaukee


Major Pro Teams: Brewers, Bucks, Packers
Playoff Berths: 1

Giving Milwaukee the Packers is generous, given the fact that they play their games two hours away in Green Bay. But Milwaukee is a Packer town, so you have to count them. And doing so is really a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, the Packers are the only pro sports team at all associated with Milwaukee to win a championship in the last half century. On the other hand, watching the Packers struggle without Aaron Rodgers this year has been torture.

Still, the worst thing Milwaukee sports fans have had to endure this year is the fall from grace of Ryan Braun. Not only did his season-ending suspension tank the Brewers’ season, but they can no longer idolize the dirty, lying, no-good cheater that is still their franchise player.

And am I even going to talk about the Bucks? No, I’m not. That’s how bad they are.


1. Buffalo

1 sad buffalo sabres fans - worst places to be a sports fan (worst sports cities) 2013

Major Pro Teams: Bills, Sabres
Playoff Berths: 0

The Bills, obviously, have caused more heartbreak than probably any team in the NFL. I mean, they went to four straight Super Bowls, didn’t win, and have sucked for 20 years. However, when it comes to the Bills, the fans are somewhat numb. I mean, they can’t really expect them to win with Ralph Wilson still the owner, right?

Different story with their beloved Sabres. In 2010 they were bought by a Terry Pegula, a billionaire hockey-lover who promised to spend money and win a Stanley Cup. This was supposed to be their time. They had the dream owner!

Well, the Sabres suck. They sucked last year, and they suck even worse this year—to the tune of a 7-23-3 record. And for a city that’s endured nothing but heartache when it comes to sports, 2013 has been pretty brutal.

Sorry, Buffalo. I’m pulling for you.