LeBron James and the Lakers: Top 10 insufferable sports franchises
LOS ANGELES: The moment LeBron James and the Lakers announced he was moving to California, obnoxious Hollywood celebrity fans started trash talking. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Insufferable Sports Franchises. James is moving to the Lakers in a reported $154million deal. To be one of the Top 10 insufferable sports franchises, you have to be good…really good.
You also have to be really obnoxious about it. You have to have fans who love you and others who loathe you. When you get to the point that your fans are saying that you can’t lose, the rest of the league wants you humbled just to shut you up. If you win quietly and act professionally, that is fine.
Yet if they start bragging about how quiet and professional you are, that is insufferable.
We all know who these franchises are. This is not about the Chicago Cubs. They were long-suffering, not insufferable.
Villains are not insufferable. Heroes are.
Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Red Sox – New York Islanders and Miami Dolphins
For example, take the Dallas Cowboys. The 1970s would not make the list because they really were clean and wholesome and quiet, at least with their most well-known faces Tom Landry and Roger Staubach. The label “America’s Team” rankled many, but Landry and Staubach were impossible to hate.
The 1980s Cowboys were totally insufferable. Danny White and his team by then were pure glamour boys. People were sick of them. They bragged about how angelic they were in winning despite not winning any championships.
Ironically, the 1990s Cowboys won three championships but were not insufferable. Troy Aikman was quiet, and the team had enough criminals to make them entertaining. They were actually the bad guys.
Rex Ryan could have had the Jets on this list, but after two years he and the Jets declined.
The Red Sox went from long-suffering lovable losers to darling lovable winners in 2004. Yet by 2007 they were on the verge of being insufferable.
The Islanders were insufferable in the 1980s, but they have been so miserable for over 30 years that many people alive today did not know that they once were doing the “drive for five.”
Watching the Edmonton Oilers destroy them in 1984 was fantastic, but ancient history.
The 1972 Dolphins are insufferable with their annual champagne popping ritual, but again that is ancient history. Don Shula himself was never obnoxious.
Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Boston Celtics
The 2000 Ravens were insufferable, and Brian Billick was the most arrogant man in all of sports. Yet they were one and done, and Billick is long gone, yet to be rehired anywhere.
The Oakland Raiders in their heyday were too hated to be insufferable. They were the villains. Insufferable requires a certain glamorous attitude, like wrapping oneself in the American flag. The Raiders wrapped themselves in pirate flags. They really were outlaws. There was no phoniness.
The Boston Celtics won many championships before the television era exploded, allowing them to escape scrutiny that exists in the internet age. Bill Russell was classy.
Pittsburg Steelers and the Greenbay Packers
Plenty of teams win without being insufferable. The Steelers and Packers proved this. They have both won plenty of games, but with grit, honor, and toughness.
The Miami Heat were on this list, and Pat Riley is forever insufferable. However, the Heat are no longer relevant. Their fans have fled to the South Beach nightclubs.
With that, here are the top 10 most insufferable sports franchises.
10.) Golden State Warriors—
It is hard to have a new team rocket onto this list, but not since the 2004 Lakers have any team been despised by so many outside of the home fans. This team was brought together as a bunch of superhumans.
Making it worse, their star player and coach keep spouting off about politics rather than just shut up and play basketball. Is there jealousy involved? Sure. Yet so many people will be gleeful if this team fails.
9.) Connecticut Huskies (The women) –
Most people can only name two people ever involved with women’s sports…The late Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt and Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma. Summitt was classy. Auriemma is classless, always taking shots at Summitt. His bragging about “We have Diana Taurasi, and you don’t” was really insufferable.
Connecticut Men’s Coach Jim Calhoun was a tough old battleax. He was cantankerous but somehow likable. Auriemma could learn from him how to win without being haughty.
8.) Duke Blue Devils–
Coach K (last name hard to spell) is likable enough. Yet even ivy league schools have less snobbery than this university that brags that it graduates intelligent athletes.
Until their most recent championship, Duke had been to the big dance eight times. They lost six of those, but kept acting like they won all the time.
7.) All Women’s Sports–
Let the women get angry. Nobody cares. Enough about Title IX. Outside of the two basketball teams mentioned earlier, women’s sports does not bring in the big bucks. Women who complain that men get significantly more money ignore the fact that men’s sports brings in much bigger ratings.
It is not sexism. It is based on merit.
Schools are canceling football programs due to fear of lawsuits because six girls in some podunk town wanted millions of dollars to play rock, paper, scissors. Enough already.
6.) San Francisco 49ers–
In the 1980s this team won 4 Super Bowls but was likable. Bill Walsh and Joe Montana gave us great football. Yet starting in 1990, the 49ers became incredibly pompous. George Siefert, Steve Young took over, and others were terribly full of themselves. Tim McDonald showed how to be a classless winner by saying “Same 49ers, same Rams.”
The term “West Coast Offense” became code for teams bragging about having no running game.
The 49ers won one Super Bowl since the 1980s but acted like they won all of them. Terrell Owens destroyed the last vestiges of what was actually a classy franchise. All the 1990s 49ers did was announce how classy they were. They were not. What they were was a team who consistently lost big playoff games at home by getting beaten up.
5.) New England Patriots–
This team sucked for 40 years, and then took arrogance to new heights. They won many games, but having to listen about “The Patriot Way” was unbearable to many NFL fans. The ultimate joy for Patriot haters was seeing the 2007 team go 16-0 and then lose in the Super Bowl.
Bill Bellichick was tarnished by a cheating scandal. His assistant coaches copied his arrogant abrasive style without the results, from Eric Mangini to Josh McDaniels to the ultimate pompous coach Charlie Weis. Tom Brady is a glamour boy, and his conduct after the “Tuck Rule” game was low class.
The rival Colts and Peyton Manning were the team that quietly went about their business. The Patriots were the team bragging about how quiet they are. Thanks to their last two Super Bowl victories, they will never shut up.
4.) Miami Hurricanes–
This might be one of the dirtiest teams in the history of sports. For those who want to watch an outstanding documentary, check out the 30 by 30 ESPN movie about the Hurricanes. This team actually bragged about how thuggish they were. From Howard Schnellenberger to Jimmy Johnson to Dennis Erickson, the school really brought out the worst in sportsmanship. They even call themselves “The U,” as if they are the only university in America.
“The U” is much more obnoxious than “America’s Team.” The low point would be the game where the players showed up in Army fatigues…and then lost. Then again, winning four championships in nine years was marred by fights and numerous off-field incidents. Nebraska and Florida State were the lovable good guys. Villains should be likable, and Miami wasn’t.
This is why the 2006 Hurricanes were such a surprise. Coach Larry Coker was a nice, humble guy. He was then fired, perhaps for being willing to win with decency.
3.) New York Yankees–
Of course, they win championships. They buy them. A few years ago they had a $200 million payroll while the Montreal Expos paid only $9 million. The Expos relocated to another city. The Yankees simply take a one million dollar player on a competitor and give them 20 million. This is what is killing baseball. Anybody who thinks this organization is classy does not know the meaning of a Bronx cheer.
Billy Martin was fun the way he kept coming back. Reggie Jackson was an all American hero kids could love. Joe Torre was likable, but George Steinbrenner won games while making enemies. Neutrality toward the Yankees is not possible. They are either worshiped or despised.
Watching them lose in the World Series never gets old for Yankee haters.
2.) Los Angeles Lakers–
Basketball can be an ugly game, but somehow the Lakers are always seen as glamorous. The media focuses on how handsome the players are. Even the coach’s romance is news. This team was not insufferable until the 1980s. Magic Johnson brought “Showtime.” Larry Bird was the introvert who led the Celtics to quiet victories. The Lakers did everything loud.
Despite winning nothing in the 1990s, they kept talking. Then Kobe Bryant came along, giving Laker haters rocket fuel. The Laker players were arrogant, and the fans in the stands were ridiculous. It was all about the beautiful people wanting to see and be seen.
Hollywood Celebrities outside of Dyan Cannon and Jack Nicholson were fairweather. Watching the 2004 Lakers try to buy a championship and get blasted in the finals was a joy.
Dr. Jerry Buss was very likable, yet somehow his players always seem to be in love with themselves. The media feeds this narcissism. Now LeBron James is coming to the Lakers and Lavar Ball is acting like Lavar Ball. Any reason to not hate the Lakers has evaporated.
1.) Notre Dame Fighting Irish–
Memo to this entire insufferable university: The Pope does not care if this football team wins. Listening to stories of the Four Horsemen is beyond grating. The team even played a game in Ireland, talking about how right it felt to be there. Meanwhile, the people of Ireland had no idea what the fuss was as most of the tickets went to people from Notre Dame who traveled to Europe for the game.
Lou Holtz is the ultimate insufferable coach.
Every year he insisted that his team was #1, even after they would lose a game. They won one championship under Holtz but acted like they won 10 straight. Their independent status and fat tv contract still bother many fans.
The fact that they were eligible for bowl games with a 6-5 record while 8-3 teams got screwed only increased the clamor for a playoff system.
It is one thing to claim the love of a nation. This team acts like it is backed by God Almighty and that it speaks for an entire religion. The hiring of Charlie Weis made it reasonable to despise Notre Dame again long after he was fired.
This is the list of the top 10 most insufferable franchises. Have fun with it.
Lead Image: Date 10 February 2016 Author Erik Drost https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lebron_vs_lakers.jpg