In the day and age of the 24 hour news cycle, which encapsulates the world of sports, just as it does the news media, it is a wonder that we would ever miss anything. It would seem that no story is too small to escape. Of course to a point that’s true….of certain teams or entities. If Dwight Howard is overly flatulent after eating a pre-game meal, ESPN will spend no shortage of hours covering the event. Same for the rest of the upper-echelon of the drama-filled, cash cow that are ESPN’s favorite topics, i.e. Tim Tebow, Manti T’eo, RGIII, or teams like the Lakers, Knicks or Eagles.
However, a friend and I recently had a discussion about the long term frontcourt issues which would face the Milwaukee Bucks. What begat this conversation was actually seeing the Bucks on SportsCenter, a pretty rare occurrence. We both mentioned how average fans could easily forget that certain teams exist. Me, I am not what you would call an average fan, but it got me thinking…are there teams I completely forget about? Absolutely! From those ignore by the mainstream sports media, to those mired in a long spell of mediocrity, even in this day and age, entire franchises can fly below the radar. Below are my four completely forgotten sports teams.
1) Seattle Mariners – In 1995, I was in the 6th grade and the Seattle Mariners were the shit. This young team, headlined by the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. had it all; cool new uniforms, a young team, a dominant ace and most of all, a winning record. When I wasn’t the Braves, I always played as the Mariners on World Series Baseball ’95. This team had the aforementioned Griffey, Randy Johnson, Edgard Martinez, the psychopathic Jay Buhner and others
Today’s Mariners are a sad shell of those glory days. Gone are the A-Rods and Ichiros and in their place are bunch of schlubs you’ve never heard of. Off the top of my head, I will try and name as many Mariners as I can….lets see…Felix Hernandez, that guy who is really good on defense in centerfield, um, Guerrerez or Gutinez or something like that, Chode Figgins and that catcher they got in the Yankees trade. Seriously…that’s it for me. I follow baseball religiously and can’t tell you anything about these guys. They are a bad team, completely obscured in a very good division and they produce no offense at all.
I dare you without looking, right now, to name as many Mariners as you can. If you get more than six, I will send you an autographed copy of my new book, “People Who Are Liars: Those Who Claim They Know Any Seattle Mariners.” I bet you Felix Hernandez couldn’t even tell you six guys on his own team.
2) Toronto Raptors – When will the sports world realize that Canada has not, nor ever will do anything to deserve a sports team. What made people think, “oh yeah, those whitebread cooks in winterland will love going to see giant African Americans play a game, which not a single Canadian this side of Steve Nash cares about or understands.” American cities like Las Vegas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville do not have NBA teams, but Toronto does? Get out of my face!
Vince Carter and “that other guy who plays in Miami,” are THE list of basketball players from the Toronto organization that have mattered in the NBA landscape. Sure, I love watching Jose Calderon play the point and DeMar DeRozan has a lot of capital letters in his name, but if the Raptors fell of the face of the earth right now, would anyone even notice? I would say no. What are the Raptors most famous for? They are the team whom Kobe scored 81 on. Oh, and they may be on record as having the most ridiculous uniforms in NBA history.
Which will lead me to my final point regarding the Toronto Raptors; how did a team from Toronto get the name Raptors? I do not know the history of this and I simply would never want to. In my mind, it is because Jurassic Park did so well here, it was a move they had to make. And when you think about it, what other options did they have? The Toronto Corny Accents? The Hosers? The Dan Akroyds?
3) Jacksonville Jaguars – It takes a special kind of skill to be forgotten in the NFL, which makes the Jaguars impressive in their own special way. I mean, even the fucking Chiefs get an occasional sports center nod.
Once a fun, young team, coached by a even then old ass Tom Coughlin, the Jags made the AFC Championship game in only their second season. They had a shit hot young quarterback in Mark Brunnel, an awesome receiver in Keenan McCardell and their uniforms looked pretty cool too. After a nice little run with a few visits to the playoffs, the Jags fell off, drafted Byron Leftwich and have been MIA every since. I mean, sure they have the occasional playoff appearance(though they probably won’t for a long time now), but even when they do make it to television, it is pretty hard to watch. Doctors have proven that watching the Jaguars play football has been known to cause 17% of all American comas and may be linked to Lupus too. I dare you, no DOUBLE DOG dare you to sit through a Jags game.
4) The NHL – At various points in my life I have tried giving a shit about hockey. The first was when I got the excellent video game NHL ’95 for my Sega Genesis. I would always play as the Hartford Whalers, cause I thought they had a cool name and would have a blast. I figured if the game was this good, then real life hockey would be awesome. I watched a game on TV and still have never gotten those two hours of my life back. So I gave up and just played the game.
Then Hockey came to Atlanta. I went to Thrashers games and enjoyed them. Any live event can be made into a good time. But, like most of Atlanta, I never bought into it. Our team sucked and mostly, I just didn’t care. It was fucking hockey… the sport with a 17 month season and too many dudes with too many vowels in their names.
A month after this NHL season got shortened by yet another labor dispute, I found out. I literally had no idea the season was on hold. According to the internet, there are teams in Columbus, Ohio and Minnesota. Good for them, I guess. For this guy’s money, hockey is something meant to be enjoyed in video games exclusively.
And so, there’s my list. Who would you add?