The title isn’t great, but i’ll explain what i mean.
What i’m asking is whether, over the course of your lifetime, the sports teams that you follow have generally been successful or unsuccessful. Have you basked in the glory of multiple championships, or is your sporting fandom one long litany of “Wait 'til next year”? Have there been good times and lean times? Have you ever gotten so frustrated that you wanted—or actually decided—to change teams?
You can, in giving your answer, also decide on your own definition of “successful.” For example, over the past 7 seasons, the NY Yankees have won the AL East 5 times, made the playoffs every year, and won the ALCS twice. Yet they haven’t won a World Series in that time. Similarly, the Philadelphia Eagles have won the NFC East five of the last 6 seasons, and they’ve only made it to the Superbowl once, and lost that game. It’s up to you to decide whether those constitute “successful” campaigns.
My own sports teams here in the United States have been a mixed bag.
I’ve been here for seven full baseball seasons, and the Orioles have not only never made the playoffs, they’ve never had a season over .500 since i started rooting for them. What’s even worse is that they don’t even look like they’re rebuilding for a successful future. There is just no joy on the horizon, as far as i can see, for Orioles fans.
Football has been a bit better. The Ravens won the Superbowl at the end of my first full season in Baltimore, which was pretty awesome. Since then, they’ve won the division twice, and have been a Wild Card on one occasion, but never made it beyond the Divisional Playoff game. Last year was their big chance, i thought, when they went 13-3, but they lost to the eventual champion Colts in their first playoff game. As for this season, the less said, the better.
Back in Australia, where i grew up, my teams have generally not done so well. I grew up as a rugby league supporter, and my team was the Penrith Panthers. When i was a kid, i went to every home game, despite the fact that the Panthers were perennial also-rans.
Just after i left high school in the late 1980s, i had a weekend job as a bartender at the North Sydney Rugby League club, the home of the North Sydney Bears. While i was there, i got to know most of the players, and lived with one of them as my roommate for about a year. When you actually know the guys on the field, and they are your friends, you root for them, and i switched my loyalties from the Panthers to the Bears.
Of course, right about this time the Panthers started to get good. They appeared in their first Grand Final (the championship game) in 1990. They lost, but the following year they made it back to the big game and finally won the title. The Bears, on the other hand, were never much good during the years i supported them, and became victims of a merger then a league contraction. By the time they were kicked out of the league, they had not won a championship since 1922.
So, how about you? Has your armchair sports life been successful, or not?