Monday, May 19, 2008

A C-Note of Losing

On May 31, 1983, the Philadelphia 76ers completed Moses Malone's "fo-five-fo" run to the NBA title, sweeping the hated Lakers in the process. Since then, fans from the City of Brotherly Love have been met with heartache on the level of the fine cities of Cleveland and Buffalo (this post will NOT compare the relative merits to each city's heartache; safe to say, when you're mentioned in the class of those towns, things have been bleak). A quick non-precalculus bit of math says that the Flyers being bounced from the playoffs by a nauseating 6-0 defeat to an emerging intrastate rival means that it has been an even 100 seasons since there was a parade down Broad Street (I would double-check the strike/lockout intracacies, but I always end up slamming my head into my keyboard. I'll take SI's word for it). Think about that: One-hundred preseasons/exhibitions/spring trainings with glimmers of optimism. One-hundred dismal rounds of golf in May/July (the end of NBA playoffs?!?)/October/ February. Here is a breakdown of 100 seasons of disappointment:

Horrible Draft Picks

The Damage: Drafting Shawn Bradley; trading an entire draft for Eric Lindros only to watch the Nordiques take the Flyers players, become the Avalanche, and run off 2 Cup titles -- Wait, I just looked it up: The Flyers gave up 5 players, the rights to Peter Forsberg, 2 first-round picks, fifteen million dollars (US dollars! Deal breaker alarm!), and Herschel Walker for Eric Lindros. Wow. -- Going gaga when an undersized d-lineman from BC! benches a few more reps than other players who spend their workout time on football drills, and drafting an unsignable player (though attendance numbers and Duracell stock did notice a modest increase in the late '90s).

In other words: drafting the most comical lottery pick ever, a trade for a prospect which actually overshadows the Herschel Walker deal, the prime example of being duped by a workout, and introducing the term 'signability' to the sports world.

Near Misses

Each team has reached their respective final round/game, notching a total of 3 victories. Between a horribly overrated walk-off winner, a sweep at the hands of Hockey Town, a Game 1 teaser before Shaq made The Wagging Finger his blond-headed stepchild, and a Super Bowl loss that brought about the T.O. Fiasco and ruined a team, the rare championship games have led to the destruction of milk cartons everywhere.

I could go into more (namely the Barkley and Iverson trades, 10,000 losses, booing McNabb on draft day, numerous playoff collapses at the hands of Marty Brodeur, the Triple Crown collapse of Smarty Jones), but I'll save those for when the Phillies pass the Washington Generals in the L column sometime after Cole Hamels wins game 7 and the Malibu Marlins celebrate their 5th World Series in franchise history.

To all: savor the titles of the Red Sox, Colts, Cardinals, White Sox, Pistons, Rams, Red Wings, Bulls, and Twins. You never know when the next (first) one might be.


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