An Email Exchange Produces Today’s Rant

Fifty-four years ago today, my then-fiancée and I exchanged wedding vows and she became my long-suffering wife.  Happy anniversary …

Yesterday, I wrote about an NBA team that looked to benefit from the season restart in the “Orlando Bubble” and another that seemed to lose out.  Those statements generated an email question from a friend that took off in several directions.  He began with a simple question:

“Which baseball teams do you think benefited from the delayed start of the season and which ones were hurt by the delay?”

I think the team that was hurt the most was the LA Dodgers.  Back in February, the Dodgers traded away 3 young prospects to the Red Sox in exchange for David Price and Mookie Betts.  Price will not participate in the shortened 2020 season and the Dodgers will only have the services of Mookie Betts for a maximum of 60 games before he becomes a free agent.  On top of that major transaction flopping like a dead fish for 2020, the Dodgers stand to lose more revenue than other teams simply because they normally draw the most fans of any franchise in MLB by a sizeable margin year after year.

Two teams that benefited from the delayed start to the 2020 season are:

  1. The Houston Astros were the pariahs of MLB – and maybe of all US sports – for their sign stealing escapades back in February as Spring Training began.  COVID-19 and the prolonged spitting match between MLB and the MLBPA has allowed some of the heat associated with that scandal to dissipate.  The Astros will still be the targets of scorn away from home this year, but there will be fewer games and I think the edge has been taken off just a bit.
  2. The NY Yankees will benefit simply by the passage of time.  Back in the Spring, they had three good players who were recovering from injuries who would not have been ready had the season begun in March/April.  They were Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.  It appears that all three  are ready to begin the season at the end of July.

The email exchange took a few diversions – involving some attempts at scatological humor – until I mentioned in passing the old saw about the NFL, “On any given Sunday …”  My friend and email correspondent is a Jets’ fan and he took that comment in a far less constructive manner than it was intended:

[Bleep] [Bleeping] parity.  It’s bullsh*t.  The Jets haven’t won anything for 51 years…”

My retort was that the Jets had won a Super Bowl (after the 1968 season) and that there were teams that had never won a Super Bowl or an NFL championship.  If he wanted to rail against NFL parity as a sham, he could have picked a better example.  We closed the exchange of emails with a pair of insulting suggestions for each other and that sent me to do some research.

The Jets have indeed had 51 years intervene since their Super Bowl win over the Baltimore Colts.  But the Jets – and the Jets’ fans – are not nearly in the worst condition around the league.

  • Bengals:  The team began play in 1968 – the year the Jets won the Super Bowl – and the Bengals have never won an NFL championship or a Super Bowl.  Their fans have been disappointed for 52 years.
  • Bills:  The team won the AFL Championship in 1965; the cupboard has been bare since then.  Their fans have been disappointed for 54 years.
  • Falcons:  The Falcons’ first season was in 1966; they have never won a championship of any kind.  Their fans have also been disappointed for 54 years.
  • Browns:  Their last championship was the NFL Championship in 1964.  Their fans have been disappointed for 55 years – – except for those few years in the 1990s when there was no Cleveland Browns team to disappoint them.
  • Chargers:  They won the AFL Championship in 1963 – and nothing since then.  Their fans have been disappointed for 56 years.
  • Titans:  Back when the team was in Houston playing as the Oilers, it won the AFL Championship last in 1961.  Their fans have been disappointed for 58 years.
  • Vikings:  The team first played in 1961 and has never won an NFL Championship or a Super Bowl.  Their fans have been disappointed for 58 years.
  • Lions:  The Lions were NFL Champions in 1957 and have on nothing since then.  Their fans have been disappointed for 62 years.

[Aside:  After winning that NFL Championship, the Lions traded away QB, Bobby Layne, who was not pleased with the trade at all.  He “put a curse on the Lions” saying they would not win another championship for 50 years.  He underestimated the ineptitude of the franchise.]

  • Cardinals:  The Cardinals won the NFL Championship in 1947 and have won squadoosh since them.  They have the longest drought in terms of championships among the current NFL teams.  Their fans – in Chicago, St. Louis and in Arizona – have been disappointed for 72 years.

I must admit that I was surprised at how many teams have gone longer without winning a title than the Jets.  I knew the Cardinals, Lions and Chargers would be on “the list” but I did not think there would be a total of 9 teams on “the list”.

Finally, here is something from Dwight Perry’s Sideline Chatter column in the Seattle Times about a sporting event that was done in by COVID-19:

“This year’s John Deere Classic, scheduled for July 9-12, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In lieu of a news release, the PGA Tour announced the breakup in a John Deere letter.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………