In this installment of our weekly exercise in the agony of defeat, we head south to Texas. The heart of the Bible Belt, the home of Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, George Foreman, Nick Jonas, and the live music capital of the world; if the great fans of these teams can survive the Dust Bowl and bang bang McCoy, they can endure a few more years without championships!
It seems odd starting with the Cowboys. They have been one of the most successful franchises of the modern era, coming in with five Super Bowls and eight conference championships, the NFL record for the most consecutive winning seasons and most seasons with at least ten wins, most post-season appearances, most division titles, and most Super Bowl appearances. The problem with all this winning, you expect it. You feel entitled to well, a title! After living in the playoffs during the 90s, the return in 2003 seemed to usher back the era of domination. But, 2003, 2006 and 2007 ended in the delight of many, but the sorrow of Big D fans. Perhaps a new stadium, and a new Tony Romo less inclined to take romantic trips to Mexico will get this team back on track.
In the grand scheme of things its pretty impressive that the Mavs were founded in 1980 and have since had decent success. Two division titles and one conference championship are nothing to scoff at. From 1982-1987 the Mavs seemed like real players and an expansion team to be reckoned with. The 1987 Mavs saw a deep play-off run but following that, injuries, staff changes, and trades would cripple the Mavs until 1994, when the draft of Cal point guard Jason Kidd sent the Mavs in a new direction. The Three J’s – Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson, and Jamal Mashburn, returned hope from 94-96. After that, the entire team was basically rebuilt and has been on a similar course since. Huge roster changes in 2004-2005 season led to big things and a trip to the finals in 2006. An upset in the 2007 finals, and a tough semi-finals road in 2008 would be more of the same. I think a championship for the Mavs will come with more acts of misconduct from Mark Cuban, new P. Diddy designed uniforms and the return of the Little General!
It’s been a tough road for Astros fans. Founded in 1962, the Astros have made one World Series appearance, and nine postseason appearances. They gave us the Astrodome, Astro Turf and Joe Morgan, only to flounder year after year. 2005 seemed promising, I mean look at the pitching staff alone, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens and Brandon Backe! But the boys from Chi-Town would destroy their World Series dreams and give them the longest World Series game, 14 innings. I say let’s return the team to their original name, the Colt. 45s, and throw down!
Imported from San Diego in 1971, the Rockets had to wait awhile for a division title in 1977 and a conference title in 1981. Drafting Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984 would perhaps be the best thing to ever happen to this team. Olajuwon led them to the 1986 finals, only to be defeated by Boston. Years later, in 1994, Hakeem again led the boys to their first championship and pulled it off again the following year. It’s been slow going from the Rockets since them. Yao Ming has been a huge help in Houston but they hadn’t advanced past the first round of the playoffs from 1995 until 2009. McGrady and Ming should be putting it together, hopefully some off-season shuffle will help these boys in 2009-2010.
Easily at the top of the list of fans that are hurting. Being one of only five teams in the NFL that has yet to qualify for the Super Bowl, and the only team in the league that has not achieved a playoff berth is not easy feet! It was probably a really good idea to pick Mario Williams over Reggie Bush or Vince Young in the 2006 draft! Last season they finished with 8-8, and have been slowly improving on all fronts. And hey, at least David Carr was fun to look out on the sidelines!
San Antonio Spurs
There is no way I’m shedding a tear for you guys, four championships in the past ten years! Maybe the tear would be saved for the Spurs of the 80s and David Robinson… but this nun is praying for him!
From the Senators to the Rangers, success has not followed this team. The Rangers are one of three teams in MLB to have never played in a World Series, as well as the only franchise to have never won a playoff series since inception. Even with Bobby Valentine and Nolan Ryan, the much promising team of the late 80s and early 90s couldn’t get it done. Maybe it’s the stain of George W or A-Fraud, but not much has been going on since!