Are you a "successful" sports fan?

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?

Tigers: 1984 world series winner, 2006 AL Champ
Red Wings: 3 stanley cups in my lifetime
Pistons: 3 championships in my lifetime
U of Mich. Football: many big ten championships, 1997 national champs
Lions: well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad

I think that’s a pretty successful run overall.

I’ve been a Dodger fan my entire life. 50+ years of heartaches and triumphs. Overall, I’d call it a success. The highs of the 80s were balanced by the lows of the 90s. We’re back into serious mode now, since they’ve dumped DePodesta as GM and turned his stupid computer into a planter. If we manage to find a power hitter some day, watch out!

Fayetteville Fire Ants (caution–plays music loud) brought the City of Fayetteville its first championship in 51 years in 2007. The SPHL is only in its third year. Overall, the team has its ups and downs and this season has been on helluva roller coaster.

The SwampDogs have yet to win the Petit Cup, but have finished first in their conference in the first half for the last three seasons. The games are usually fun to watch regardless of if they win or lose.

FTR I am a true fan of the teams I can go out to see, and can barely stand to watch sports on TV anymore.

SSG Schwartz

On the whole, I’ve had a lot of success. In order of love:

Chicago Bears: One Super Bowl in my lifetime, but I don’t remember it. One Super Bowl appearance (last year) and several dismal playoff games since I became a fan. It’s been up and down for my Bears but lately have been fairly successful.
White Sox: One world series, several good teams since I became a fan in the late 80s. Agonizing at times, but my Dad is a huge Sox fan so it’s a great bonding thing.
Illini Basketball: One national title game we should have won, but we’ve been really good since I became a fan in the mid-90s. I want an Illini national title in basketball more than anything.
Chicago Bulls: I didn’t appreciate the Jordan years at the time, but now I realize how amazing those titles were. I have a lot of great memories of Bulls games and Chicago Stadium.
Illini Football: Two BCS appearances since I became a fan, but also some truly terrible years.

Mets fan and was able to see both their World Championships and all their World Series appearances. They’ve been successful enough; if you expect championships every year then you root for the Yankees. But being a Mets fan can be a triumph of hope and miracles – as well as years of frustration (like this one).

In football, I follow the NY Jets. Just one triumph (which I was around to see), but nothing but misery since then. I survived Joe Walton, Charlie Winner (hah!) and Rich Kotite, though, and take a victory over Miami as a high point of the season this year.

I don’t follow hockey too much, but lean toward the Rangers. But I haven’t really paid much attention to them in years, so missed their Stanley Cup. I’ll also root for the Islanders from time to time.

I don’t care for basketball – too slow, too dull, too unathletic, and too much scoring.

I essentially follow three teams: the Toronto Blue Jays, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Raptors. The Blue Jays have won the World Series twice and I got to see that, so that’s got me set for awhile. The Raptors and Senators are too new (10 years and 14 years old, respectively) to be concerned that they haven’t won a championship yet, and both have delivered some fun times.

Gosh, I wish Paul DePodesta was our GM. He did a great job and was fired for idiotic reasons.

Ferrari Formula One: Good times lately, some lean times I remember as well.

USC Trojans: Glorious history, 50/50 while I was there, then into the toilet, now back to the top of the heap.

Nothing lasts forever.

I am a NY Yankees fan; overall this has been a very successful feeling. I watched them from 1969 on and really started watching them seriously around 1973. No franchise has been more successful over than time, so yes, very successful.

I got to be part of the 2000 ticker tape parade as an adult escorting the Long Branch HS Band. That was mind blowing marching down the Canyon of Heroes. I found myself alone in Monument Park before the start of the 1998 World Series. Guys in the bleachers wanted to know how I got in and what made me special. I got to use the line, “I’m with the Band”. I was there at Old Timer’s Day when it was announced that Billy Martin would return as the Yankee Manager in 1980 and the Stadium went nuts. I was there at the playoff game when Jeter went tumbling into the seats to catch a foul ball for an important out against the A’s, but the play was largely forgotten when later that series he made the “Flip” to Jorge. I was only about 10 rows from where Jeter went in and my friends and I talked about it for weeks.

When I was still a kid, I got to me Yogi at the YooHoo plant where my father worked as a VP of the trucking company that hauled YooHoo. Yogi might be the nicest person on Earth.

I know Yankee History, probably better than anything else I know.

So yes, I consider being a Yankee fan a successful thing.

I am a NY Giant fan. I started watching around 1972 and seriously around 1975. I went through a long bad spell to start my Football fandom. I stayed with it and celebrated little victories like going 3-11 but beating Dallas for one of the Wins. Then came the Parcell years and two Superbowls. We have since made the playoffs and even made it to the Superbowl, but overall rooting for the Giants has been frustrating far more than not, including last night’s failure to upset the Patriots. I would still say it is fairly successful, just not on par with being a Yankee fan. More like being a Reds fan.

I was a NY Ranger fan. They were rarely good in my life and I stopped caring about hockey with the strike and I hate the Dolans. I was only a casual fan anyway. I was great to help celebrate their only victory in my lifetime, but I just don’t bother with Hockey anymore.

I was a Knicks & Nets fans. The Dolans have driven me from my Knicks loyalty and find the Nets not as compelling. So I don’t watch much B-Ball anymore.


Hee hee hee…

I went to my first California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels game in 1967, when I was three weeks old. It took them almost 20 years to win the division, and 35 years to win a World Series. Not as long as it took some teams, but it was my whole life! :wink:

Hubby was a huge USC/John McKay guy growing up, so naturally he became a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan when they came into the league and McKay became their coach. My God, how the disappointments rolled over him… until, ironically, 2002, when they won the Super Bowl.

At the time, we thought- Angels win the Series, Bucs win the Super Bowl… if the Duck win the Stanley Cup, it’ll mean the end of the world! :smiley:

Then the Duck almost won it that season! :eek: Missed armageddon by that much:wink:

Duke Basketball: 3 national titles during my fandom.
Duke Football: Not so much. Two bowl games in my lifetime.
University of Georgia Football: 1 national title many years ago (1980), but often very good.
University of Georgia Basketball: 1 Final Four many years ago (1983).
Atlanta Braves: (After many lean years) 1 title, many division championships and several league titles
**Atlanta Hawks: ** A few 50-win seasons, but none recently, and no titles. Sure was fun watching Dominique Wilkins, though.
Atlanta Falcons: Wildly inconsistent. One trip to the Super Bowl (ending in humiliation). Never made playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Organization is currently in a shambles thanks largely to Michael Vick.

Dallas Cowboys since 1983. They went to some playoffs at that time, then went downhill, the rose quickly to win 3 Super Bowls in the 1990s, then became mediocre, and are back in the playoffs lately.

My Dodgers won a Word Series in 1988, and have not tasted post-season success since.

My Angels won a World Series in 2002 and ares still a force in the American League.
My Buckeyes (football) may win another National Title this year.
My Bengals…well…we love the Bengals.

Well, for a while, I suspected I was some sort of human lightning rod for the Stanley Cup.

I grew up on Long Island. The Islanders won 4 in the early '80s. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
I went to college in Pittsburgh between 1989 and 1993. Penguins won it twice. “Isn’t this nice?” I thought…
Then I moved to Jersey in 1994. Rangers won it in '94, and then the Devils in '95. “Okay, this is getting a little weird…” I thought.

Fortunately, the intervening years have demonstrated that the location of the Stanley Cup doesn’t have a whole lot to do with me…though the Devils have won it a couple more times!

It’s wonderful when the local team wins the cup though. I’m glad I’ve been around to see it so many times.

As a Cleveland sports fan my teams have, shall we say, underperformed since the Browns’ last title in 1964.

I am also a Notre Dame fan and they’ve won 3 championships during my fandom (1973, 1977 and 1988) so it hasn’t been all bad.

I was born in 1961 and don’t remember much sports wise before Super Bowl 3 (January 1969).

My beloved Atlanta Falcons are, in many ways of measuring these things, the worst team in the history of football. I don’t mean just this season; I mean all-time. As mentioned above, we’re alone in the NFL in never having had back-to-back winning seasons.

In addition, here’s an interesting post on the blog, looking at teams’ best four-year periods, i.e., the four-year period during which each team got the most total wins.

Who’s at the bottom? The Falcons, of course. Our best four years ever entailed 37 wins, for a 57% win rate. (The numbers are pro-rated to a 16-game season.)

That’s right. 57% was the best we’ve ever managed to do over a four-year stretch. That’s only 3.75 wins/season better than the Vikings’ worst four-year period.

If nothing else, being a Falcons fan has taught me to accept defeat with equanimity, if not resignation.

Mixed bag, I think. I grew up in Dallas, and only really gave a rat’s ass about three sports teams:

Dallas Cowboys: Obviously, have had some kick ass years over the last couple of decades. Definitely a successful sports franchise.
ETA–jackelope’s link puts the Cowboys in second place for the best 4-years streak, during the early 90s. So yeah, good times for a Dallas fan.

Texas Rangers. Christ. They couldn’t win a World Series if every member of the team sold their souls to the Devil simultaneously.

Dallas Mavericks. I was a kid when they were created as an expansion team. They’ve had their ups and downs, but all in all, a pretty shitty team over the years. Never really in contention.

That’s about it. Pretty middlin’, I’d say.

Carolina Hurricanes: been to the Cup finals twice in the last 5 years, won once.

Green Bay Packers: Won the Super Bowl in 1997, lost in 1998.

Chicago Cubs-'Nuff said.

I used to be a huge sports fan in general and my favorite pro teams were the Atlanta Braves and the Dallas Cowboys. They both were quite successful when I was watching them, so no problem there.

The only sport I care about at all anymore is college basketball, and I have been a rabid fan of my hometown Memphis Tigers my entire life. I cannot recall missing a game that was televised. After I moved to Saint Paul a few years ago, it was a pain in the ass that I couldn’t see most of the games anymore.

So, my Tigers fluctuated between kinda sucky to sort of alright for most of the years I have been old enough to really follow them (say from the early 90’s on). There were a few good years here and there (the Hardaway years for instance) but generally, they were seen as perpetual underdogs.

Until now :slight_smile: . Yeehaw. And now I can see a shitload of the games. On ESPN no less (still seems a novelty). Even now that we are #2 in the nation, I can’t shake the feeling that we are still the underdogs in every game we play, and we will certainly find a way to blow it (as is the tradition). But this time around I can admit that I am being overly cynical rather than realistic.

I can’t imagine being a fan of Duke, or another team that is usually extremely good. What’s the fun in that? It means so much more when you have seen the team at its suckiest and seen them gradually improve.

This feels long. I guess I have nobody up here to talk to about this, and was just waiting for the opportunity to brag.

Oh wait.

I just reread the OP and I suppose “successful”=championship, eh?

Oh well.

We shall see…bwaaahhaaahaatouch woodhaaahaaahaa