OnWis97

Choking / Cursed Franchises

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The NHL discussion about the Caps exorcising some demons and getting into the Finals got me thinking about franchises that tend to choke in the big moments, or to some, are "cursed."

 

There's kind of "recent" vs. "all-time."  The Sharks and Caps kinda feel like "recent" chokers, whereas the Vikings are an all-time choker.  The Red Sox and the Cubs used to fit the latter until 2004 and 2016, respectively.  In 2003 it looked briefly like we were going to have a Cubs vs. Red Sox World Series.  Then we had Aaron "Bleeping" Boone and Alex Gonzales (though some people know NLCS Game 6 by a different person's name).  These both added to the legend of team that could not break these long droughts, particularly Boston, which had the Calvin Schilardi game (though some people know 1986 Game 6 by a different person's name).  

 

Maybe I am biased but I can't think of a team that typifies this more than the Vikings. They have everything you need:

  • No titles.  At least the Indians have 1948 to fall back on.
  • Very competitive overall; lots of playoff appearances.  In fact, a few years ago, I had seen that the Vikings had made more playoff appearances since the merger than anyone except for Dallas.
  • 0-4 in the Super Bowl.  While they were probably the better team in only one of those Super Bowls, they have exactly zero points in the first half of each of those games, indicating that they either did not come to play or were nervous.
  • They have lost their last 5 NFC Championship games: two by blowout, one close game, and two other close games that were absolutely heartbreaking.
  • They lose big games in spectacular fashion that fans only forget about because of death and, possibly, Alzheimers.  Missed field goals, blown leads, late-game hail marys, un-clutch interceptions.  The other shoe always drops.  Always.

 

Few teams that have been around as long as the Vikings have no titles.  One of those teams is the Atlanta Falcons.  And while they probably have the single-game all-time choke, I don't think they have the Vikings' body of work regarding history of being competitive and coming up short in extremely inventive ways.  The 1998 Falcons even play a role in cementing the Vikings into this top position not only in the NFL but in all of the "Big 4."

 

And for good measure, Minnesota, which has had all four teams for all but seven years, has no championships since 1991.  That's over 100 seasons of futility.

 

Anyone want to challenge Vikings fans in the area of cheering for a cursed team?

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15 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

And for good measure, Minnesota, which has had all four teams for all but seven years, has no championships since 1991.  That's over 100 seasons of futility.

 

Anyone want to challenge Vikings fans in the area of cheering for a cursed team?

I'd never argue with the idea that the Vikings are cursed.

 

(And although it's not one of the Big Four, I'm always uneasy about setting aside the Lynx's success in these discussions. Just love giving that organization its much-deserved credit.)

 

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1 minute ago, gosioux76 said:

I'd never argue with the idea that the Vikings are cursed.

 

(And although it's not one of the Big Four, I'm always uneasy about setting aside the Lynx's success in these discussions. Just love giving that organization its much-deserved credit.)

 

While I don't watch much WNBA, I am glad the league exists for several reasons and I am glad the Lynx have won four of the last seven titles (odd-year bull :censored:).  And I've spent a little time on the bandwagon in front of my TV.

 

But it's the "big four"  where the Twin Cities hungers for a championship.  In any case, it was probably unnecessary for me to mention the 4-team drought, as the other three don't have anything to do with the Vikings anyway.  They are not cursed; just mediocre.

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Knicks and Rangers are cursed with bad ownership, Knicks more so because they mix bad gms, bad coaches, bad players, bad luck.

Jets are cursed in the traditional sense of the word. Injuries derailing seasons with high expectations, missed kicks, dumb draft picks, embarrassing buttfumble on national TV against your hated division rivals, a 6th round QB from said division rival morphing to 1 of if not the GOAT QBs owning the division 15 of 17 years and 5 rings, you name it.

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Related image

 

I don't want to depress myself by going through the history.  But we all know it:

  • forfeited playoff game
  • forced sale of Dr. J
  • exile to nowheresville
  • terrible uniforms 1988-1999
  • Kidd gets coach fired
  • Kidd wants out as player
  • move into NYC, but without "New York" name
  • Kidd wants out as coach (but not before driving out a better coach)
  • draft picks traded for aging players
  • year after year of rebuilding with no payoff
  • terrible uniforms 2012-

The two ABA titles and the two NBA Eastern Conference titles are great.  But rooting for this team is difficult, bordering often on impossible.

 

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Some here are confusing "cursed" or "choking" with just plain "stupid."

 

The Cleveland Browns are not cursed.  They do not choke.  Their organization, since 1999, has just from top to bottom been plain stupid.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are not cursed.  They do not choke.  Their organization, for most of the past 40 years with brief exceptions, has been plain stupid.

The Boston Red Sox?  Okay.  They were cursed.

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Just now, Mac the Knife said:

Some here are confusing "cursed" or "choking" with just plain "stupid."

 

The Cleveland Browns are not cursed.  They do not choke.  Their organization, since 1999, has just from top to bottom been plain stupid.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are not cursed.  They do not choke.  Their organization, for most of the past 40 years with brief exceptions, has been plain stupid.

The Boston Red Sox?  Okay.  They were cursed.

Reminds me of the Sacramento Kings in recent years. Trading good players for pennies on the dollar. The current GM, Vlade Divac got demolished by Sam frickin Hinkie in a trade recently.

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The Kershaw-era Dodgers.

 

Actually, the post-1988 Dodgers if you think about it:

 

• 11 postseason appearances without a World Series championship, the most in MLB history.

 

• 5 consecutive division titles without a World Series championship. Hell, not even the 1990s Braves waited this long in strings of division titles for one championship (won their 1995 championship on their 4th division title).

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Besides my Vikings I'd say that the Bills are the most cursed team in the NFL. Any team that loses 4 straight Super Bowls and shortly after drops off the face of the earth and misses the playoffs for 17 years is cursed in my book.

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I would consider the Bengals cursed. Their last playoff win came in January 1991 and Paul Brown died that August. Since then they endured the Bungles of the 1990s and despite Marvin Lewis getting them back to the playoffs they still havent won a playoff game

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2 hours ago, Section30 said:

Besides my Vikings I'd say that the Bills are the most cursed team in the NFL. Any team that loses 4 straight Super Bowls and shortly after drops off the face of the earth and misses the playoffs for 17 years is cursed in my book.

Can't forget the Music City Miracle when talking about the Bills. As much as they'd like to forget. 

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I’d argue that the Padres aren’t cursed, but rather have never been run by competent enough people to ever have a sustained period above mediocrity. You can’t be heartbroken when you have no expectations.

 

The Expos/Nationals, on the other hand, would be an accursed franchise. The narrow loss in the 1981 NLCS, failure to capitalize on several young cores, playing in either a frigid minor-league stadium or a white elephant, the 1994 strike, the PQ’s interference, the Blue Jays claiming Southern Ontario, a string of poor ownership, and flummoxing playoff exits in Washington all point to a curse.

 

Likewise, the Rangers aren’t cursed. They just had stupid ownership dating back to their days as the MK II Senators (who bled money like crazy - SABR had a bit on it), could never really put together a solid roster until the ‘90s, and then got on a good-but-unlucky streak in the 2010s.

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The Portland Trail Blazers:

 

1. Letting a young Moses Malone go too quick in the Fall of 1976 without thinking about it. I know that he was expensive, but management didn't really even know what they had. Plus, you have a guy in Bill Walton who only played in 50% of their games his first two seasons. If they didn't, they should have thought about trading him instead.

2. Bill Walton's injury in 1978, and his subsequent decision to sue Portland's doctors and ask for a trade. That put the kibosh on a budding powerhouse.

3. Houston's tanking at the end of the 1984 season. If Utah would have won the season finale with the Clippers, the Sixers would have been in the last Super Flip with Portland (they had the Clippers' #1 pick because of a 1978 trade involving World B. Free). From what I heard, they would have drafted MJ no matter how the flip would have gone, leaving the Blazers wide open to take Olajuwon. Instead, they had to settle for Sam Bowie, a player that they had no business drafting after already having an injury-prone center in Walton.

4. Losing to the Lakers in the 91 Western Conference Finals. Portland was the best team that year.

5. Blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game six of the 1992 Finals against the Bulls (MJ was on the bench for a lot of it).

6. The Memorial Day Miracle (1999 WCF Game 2 against SA-Sean Elliott's buzzer beater. It put SA up 2-0, and the Blazers laid down and died after that).

7. 2000 WCF: Blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Lakers.

8. Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, two big building blocks of a future powerhouse, having to retire prematurely due to injuries.

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15 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

  • move into NYC, but without "New York" name

 

Wait, you think the “Brooklyn” name is a problem? :blink:

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16 hours ago, Section30 said:

Besides my Vikings I'd say that the Bills are the most cursed team in the NFL. Any team that loses 4 straight Super Bowls and shortly after drops off the face of the earth and misses the playoffs for 17 years is cursed in my book.

As a Bills fan since 1979 I am going to have to agree with this.  Here is the litanny of woe.

 

--Won AFL championships but only in years prior to the Superbowl.  Had the merger happened 1 year earlier Bills would have been in Super Bowl I.

--Biggest star of the 1970's could not produce winning seasons and then is widely believed to have committed double homicide. 

--Best player on the team in the early 80's leaves to play for the USFL and is never the same again (Joe Cribbs)

--Savior QB picked in 1983 draft also opts for the USFL, so Bills lose 2 seasons of play that might have helped them peak sooner.

--Wide right, the name says it all. 

--0-4 in consecutive Super Bowls

--After Kelly retires, they find a lost gem in Doug Flutie, who takes them back to the playoffs in 1999 only to be benched in favor of Rob "He Sack Me" Johnson.

--They of course lose that playoff game in the Music City Miracle

--17 years of bad, but not bad enough to get top draft picks seasons.  So so many 7-9's.

--Countless 4th quarter lead games vs. the Patriiots where Brady just brushes himself off and crushes the dream in the 4th. 

--Could not even be featured in a mediocre Kevin Costner movie about the draft.  It was meant to be the Bills, but got switched to the Browns in pre-production.

 

 

I think the Bills are definitely a contender.  They,  Minnesota, Detroit and Cleveland are all in bad, bad shape. 

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Virginia 

 

I mean they lost as a #1 seed, and I don’t want anyone to forget that. 

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1 hour ago, KRZYBDGRZ said:

Virginia 

 

I mean they lost as a #1 seed, and I don’t want anyone to forget that. 

 

Not to mention they lost to itty-bitty Chaminade.

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I'd nominate the Vancouver Canucks.

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Curses don't exist, but the Clippers are the ultimate choke franchise. It doesn't get much more painful than blowing series leads in five consecutive seasons - the only NBA team ever to do that - and never getting past the second round of the playoffs in the entire history of your franchise.

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