I grew up as a resident of the St. Louis area until I was 21, and have lived in Kansas City ever since. As an avid sports fan, the thought crossed my mind the other day – how many of the teams from my two cities are absolute stinkers overall? Below are my thoughts on two of the three St. Louis professional sports teams, both of Kansas City’s major sports teams (excluding the MLS’ Sporting Kansas City, which is the only thing sports-wise KC has going for it), and threw in the Chicago Cubs just for kicks and grins.
MLB – THE CHICAGO CUBS:
The lovable losers. Credit to their fanbase, though. To paraphrase professional wrestler CM Punk (who is a lifelong Cubs fan), “I’ve been to The Cell. I’ve been to Comisky Park. They’re always half-empty. Wrigley Field is always filled to capacity, 39 thousand strong.” The battle cry of the Cubs fan: HOPE. Granted, the team is now on a 104-year streak without a World Series championship, but at least they’ve made postseason on a handful of occasions since then (including being oh-so-close to another World Series appearance, thwarted by that Bartman guy). Unfortunately for the franchise, they’ve been on the sub-500 side of their division for a number of seasons lately. Can they rebuild the team around newly-renewed Starlin Castro and bring playoffs back to the northside of Chicago? Only time – perhaps lots of time – will tell.
MLB – THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
Perennial losers since 1985. As was mentioned earlier with the “Curse of the Goat” with the Cubs, some have joked about the “Don Denkinger Curse” for the Royals. A blown call paved the way for KC to make a two-win comeback and claim baseball’s grand championship. Since then, the team has not only failed to repeat their championship status, but have failed to even qualify for the playoffs. With a habit of taking any player who shows quality & potential and trading them away, it’s become a tradition of the “Glass Era”. My thoughts – until change takes place at the very top, and someone without the last name of Glass is owning the team, a postseason appearance, much less a second World Series title for the Royals, is nothing more than a pipe dream.
NFL – THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:
Battling the Kansas City Royals annually for the title of “City’s worst team”, the Chiefs both win and lose. The odds of accomplishing a +/= .500 record is decent. They entered the playoffs two seasons ago. However, they haven’t won a playoff game since the 1993 season and their Super Bowl title took place before at least half of Chiefs Kingdom was ever born. Recent years have been a revolving door of head coaches and coordinators, and some coaches who have doubled as coordinators. Their quarterback scenario is pitiful. Offense and defense both take their share of dumb penalties. One thing that the Chiefs have going for them, much like what was noted earlier in the Chicago Cubs, is that Arrowhead Stadium is still a pretty packed place for home games. Unfortunately for them, near-sellout crowds don’t dictate wins and losses. Will they make postseason and beyond under new coach Romeo Crennell? Don’t hold your breath on it for this season.
NFL – THE ST. LOUIS RAMS:
Remember that team that won it all in the 1999 season with the “Greatest Show On Turf”, and then followed that up with another Super Bowl appearance two years later under the cloud of “Spygate”? Yeah, those days are long gone, and so is the success that came with them. Through the last decade, a pattern of bad (and in the case of Spags, HORRIBLE) coaching has held up, along with players who theoretically looked decent but never lived up to their potential, and bad draft pick after bad draft pick. The result is a fanbase with a “devil-may-care” attitude. The Rams are a distant 3rd place in the ranks of St. Louis sports franchises. Add to that the constant issue of dome renovation/replacement and the possibility of the team leaving St. Louis. It’s as if the franchise is too distracted with those issues to actually concentrate on building a decent team and winning games. Anything over 5 wins for the Rams in this 2012 season should be considered a success.
NHL – THE ST. LOUIS BLUES:
It’s hard to grasp the fact that a team with so much potential has yet to grasp that brass ring and make it their own. The Blues are the only remaining franchise from the “Expansion Six” to have never won a Stanley Cup, despite making it to the championship round in their first three seasons of existence. The organization also boasted a streak of 25 consecutive seasons of post-season play – a record that that falls short only to two other hockey organizations – no team in any of the other major sports has matched this. Alas, the story of the Blues for so many years has been financial struggles, even recently. The team finally squared away details on its sale earlier this year to new ownership, and appeared to be running full-steam ahead into the 2011/2012 season playoffs. They rolled San Jose in 5 games, and then were swept out of the second round by Los Angeles, who went on to win their franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Will the Blues ever take it all the way? Out of all the sports teams listed in this blog, I believe they have the most potential and are the most likely to be the first/next team to win it all.
My pick on which teams will win their respective championships while I’m alive: In order…
1) St. Louis Blues
2) Kansas City Chiefs
3) St. Louis Rams
4) Chicago Cubs
5) Kansas City Royals
Feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, disagreements, greivances, etc.