GQ just put out a list of the "Top 20 Worst Sports Franchises of All Time," a difficult task that was bound to breed disagreement no matter how it shook out. Still, GQ's list doesn't even feign objectivity, very often just picking a team for which they have a specific joke in mind and running with it. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad strategy if the jokes were killer, but they're too often retreads. Here are some lowlights:
20. St. Louis Blues: They’re the sports-franchise equivalent of a hand job, baked chicken, or Sandra Bullock—never awful, but not the least bit exciting.
The Blues are actually an awesome hockey team (probably the best defensive team in hockey), but props to GQ for writing this entry in the style of the Mens Humor Twitter account, e.g. terms Blues fans can understand.
16. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs’ home arena, Air Canada Center (okay, fine: Air Canada Centre), is regularly filled to 103 percent capacity, despite having the league’s highest ticket prices—and despite the Leafs not having reached the Stanley Cup finals since 1967. No wonder their mayor hit the crack pipe.
Hey, a Rob Ford joke! There are reasons to mock the Leafs, but that they have a hugely devoted fan base that is making them the richest team in hockey doesn't scream "worst franchise".
15. Toronto Raptors: Maybe it’s the fear of high taxes, or the cold weather, or the weird language (“loonies”?), but the Raptors’ best players have fled Canada as if the country were one giant paternity lawsuit.
Those Raptors are fleeing Canada as if the country were a baked chicken giving them a hand job during a Sandra Bullock movie. Amirite, guys?
14. Philadelphia Phillies: In 130 years, they’ve won only two World Series—same as the Toronto Blue Jays, who started in 1977 and play in f—king Canada.
Four consecutive blurbs on the list feature vitriol toward Canada and this team is neither Canadian nor remotely close to Canada. Why does GQ hate Canada?
13. Washington Federals
I mean, if minor league football teams of defunct leagues count, why aren't entries 1-20 on this list all XFL teams?
12. New York Mets: Few teams can boast a tradition of spending fortunes on wrung-dry former All-Stars (Mo Vaughn, Bobby Bonilla) and a legacy of idiotic trades.
Hackneyed references to Bobby Bonilla's annuity not withstanding, the Mets' four pennants make them one of the most successful expansion franchises in professional sports. Granted, the Mets are the #1 worst part of my life, but that doesn't make them a terrible franchise, historically speaking.
10. Detroit Wheels
How did the New York Mets end up on a list of franchises -- measuring anything -- between the "Washington Federals" and "Detroit Wheels"?
6. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez’s “butt fumble” on Thanksgiving Day last year was no anomaly for the Jets—it was a metaphor for their special breed of creative destruction, a multi-decade roll of suck interrupted only by their shock/blip Super Bowl III upset win over the Baltimore Colts.
Putting the Mets and the Jets on this list is especially suspect, since they're the two most scrutinized teams in the biggest sports market. The Jets aren't great, but they're not even a bottom-6 franchise in the NFL.
3. Chicago Cubs: What does a Cubs fan do after his team wins the World Series? A: He turns off his PlayStation 3.
I'm 13 and I love jokes.
2. Detroit Lions
1. Cleveland teams