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Franchise Crippling Defeats/Moments


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In the Unpopular Firings/Cuts/Trades thread someone mentioned the asinine front office moves that crippled the Hartford Whalers and it got me to thinking- what are some of the moments in sports history that either killed a franchise/college program or sent it into a long abyss?

 

When the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs in overtime on Christmas Day in 1971, the year before they went all perfect and shit, I do believe the Dolphins took the Chiefs' manhood. From 1972-1989 they finished over .500 4 times, made the playoffs only once, and went through a long and miserable period of futility. 

 

The 1975-77 Baltimore Colts won three straight division titles, only to have the Steelers slam the doors in their faces two years in a row. And when the Raiders pulled a "Ghost To The Post" after two overtimes, the Colts went from winning division titles, to having 5-11 seasons, to having a fucking incompetent defense that your local high school's JV team could probably score 28 points in the first half on, to Irsay pulling the biggest bitch move that any owner has ever pulled (and before anyone says Art Modell, at least the asshole had the decency to let Browns fans say goodbye to their team as he was making his own bitch move).

 

The 1993 Houston Oilers are probably the most bizarre team in the history of the NFL to ever finish 12-4 and clinch a first-round bye, based off how they shot themselves in the foot with so much internal drama that an NFL Network special was made out of the whole ordeal. This was an entire season full of franchise-crippling moments that really date back to the previous season when they blew the biggest lead EVER. Really, I don't think Houston football period has recovered from it yet.

 

And speaking of the franchise that they blew said biggest lead to, the Buffalo Bills haven't went to the playoffs since the Music City Miracle. And that was in 1999! Of course, having Wade Phillips refuse to fire his special teams coach and him getting fired for it doesn't exactly help matters. 

 

Breaking the NFL trend here, go up to Eric Dickerson or any SMU alum and say the words "death penalty" and you're more than likely apt to catch a fist to the face. Yes, it's hard to feel sorry for them because ultimately they shot themselves in the foot, but Jesus Christ, 20+ fucking years without even sniffing a bowl game?!?

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The Browns and life. Life has defeated them every year.

Which is fine, because their fans deserve it.

 

I wanted to post the Browns, but I couldn't pinpoint one single moment or game that killed them, because they've gone through decades of pain and misery.

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Fuck all of y'all.  I've done nothing to deserve the years of pain the Cleveland Browns have brought into my life.  I don't do drugs, I don't do crimes, I'm generally nice to people, animals, and even plants.  The Cleveland Browns crippling defeat/moment is Art Modell telling Jim Brown he was going to fine him if he didn't show up to camp on time and Jim Brown telling him to go fuck himself and retiring. 

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I was trying to expose Bugg as Hoardak but he didn't bite.

 

Reason I didn't bite is I don't know who that is.

 

 

 

The Cleveland Browns crippling defeat/moment is Art Modell telling Jim Brown he was going to fine him if he didn't show up to camp on time and Jim Brown telling him to go fuck himself and retiring. 

 

But then that probably goes under "What-If's", because what's to say he would've regressed as a player- as you know, power backs usually have a limited shelf life in the NFL due to all the punishment that their bodies take as opposed to speedy backs. Also, maybe I'm wrong but from what I've read it seems that Jim Brown was a bit of a flaky personality, so him and Modell (or somebody in charge) probably would've butted heads anyway.

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The 1975-77 Baltimore Colts won three straight division titles, only to have the Steelers slam the doors in their faces two years in a row. And when the Raiders pulled a "Ghost To The Post" after two overtimes, the Colts went from winning division titles, to having 5-11 seasons, to having a fucking incompetent defense that your local high school's JV team could probably score 28 points in the first half on, to Irsay pulling the biggest bitch move that any owner has ever pulled (and before anyone says Art Modell, at least the asshole had the decency to let Browns fans say goodbye to their team as he was making his own bitch move).

 

If you going to snipe at Robert Irsay--albeit justified sniping--then call out Maryland lawmakers for being idiots themselves.  They made a bad situation worse with a bill that would have used the state's lenient eminent domain law so the city of Baltimore could seize the team, preventing Irsay from moving.  Now, the reason Irsay wanted to move was because he was asking for a new or improved stadium on the taxpayers' dime--which, considering how screwed up the team was at the time, wasn't the smartest idea. Irsay was leaning toward going to Indy.

 

Sensing that Irsay was about to run, the state voted to use the eminent domain card and 'offered' Irsay a far-below market value of $40 million, but Irsay beat them to the punch and had the team past Maryland state lines before business hours in March 1984.

 

Now, who knows if any of this would have held up in court.  Clearly, Irsay would have sued Maryland and the mess would have wound up in the Supreme Court, I imagine.

 

It was a perfect storm--legit crazy owner, an embarrassing team, shady politicians, a rundown stadium in one city, another city's mayor willing to build a new stadium who just so had the Mayflower Moving CEO on speed dial.  The Colts would have left Baltimore anyway, but maybe not under such a dark cloud.  It was effed up on every side and Irsay deserves a lot of blame, no question.  But the city and state added fuel to a raging fire, only to get burned.

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He used to pop up in the NFL folder to snipe at people mocking the Browns.

I have detailed files.

 

Nah, if I was gonna do that I'd go at everyone mocking the Eagles. But then I'd probably get banned off DVDVR for the shit that I'd say, and I like these boards too much to do that. So you can imagine how much I had to bite my tongue in 2012.

 

 

The Tuck Rule + Super Bowl 37 seems to have been a pretty lethal 1-2 Combo.

 

I'd say so. The Raiders are considered the graveyard or purgatory for any free agent or NFL draftee.

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The Tuck Rule + Super Bowl 37 seems to have been a pretty lethal 1-2 Combo.

 

I'd say so. The Raiders are considered the graveyard or purgatory for any free agent or NFL draftee.

 

 

Well, the Tuck Rule Fumble in the Snow killed the Raiders one legit shot at winning the Super Bowl in that era, yes.

 

Super Bowl 37 should not have happened, but the Raiders merely made it because the rest of the AFC was weak that year - it was an old team that over-performed.  They had no shot at all to beat the Bucs in that SB and the team PROBABLY should have been exploded right after the Fumble in the Snow.

 

After that, Al was too old and crazy to do a rebuild so...really...what happened was gonna happen.

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I would be interested to see Dolfan's take on this, but I would say that the Dolphins have not really been the same since the Monday Night Miracle.

 

Growing up, it was rare that the Dolphins didn't make the Playoffs. Now, it seems like we've only made it to the Divisional Round two maybe three times this millennium.

 

Bad Ownership, GMs, Coaching, and QBs not named Marino will do that to you I guess.

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The Buccaneers eviscerating Rich Gannon the next year in the Super Bowl was a bigger stake.

As for the Dolphins, I think the turning point wasn't a game but the day in 2004 when Ricky Williams went on sabbatical. They've been struggling to find an identity ever since. Also, the day they went with Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees because the team doctor flunked Brees on a physical.

The Monday Night Miracle was just a red flag in the joy that was Dave Wannstedt.

RE the Browns: The only reason Father Time is undefeated is because Jim Brown abdicated his football career.

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Easy. 

 

2002 Week 17 vs. Patriots.

 

2 first downs away from the division title, Ricky has nearly 200 yards rushing, so they throw three times in a row.  Punt, Pats tie and go on to win in OT.  Jets win knocking both NE & Miami out of the playoffs.

 

Nothing has been the same since.

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But the Dolphins were a legit contender in 2003 until they crapped the bed in the Snow Toss game in Foxborough.

After the Ricky incident, any hope of anything but rebuilding was gone. As opposed to 2002 being a bad beat. To me, that was much worse.

I'll give you The U dying the night they got false-finished vs tOSU, though.

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The Raiders had such a terrible run of luck at the start of the century. Tony Siragusa sits on Rich Gannon in the AFC title game, tuck rule, Callahan vs. Gruden... All in consecutive years. Nobody could recover from that.

 

Cavs/Pistons Game 5 from 2007 definitely signaled the end of Detroit's good run in the mid 2000s. They hung on for one more season, but you could tell their window was shut. I don't know if they've had anything resembling a competent plan since 2008.

 

I think you could also say Pujols' massive homer in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS did the 'Stros in. They had enough left to thankfully beat St. Louis, but then it was getting swept in the WS and desperately clinging to an aging core which led to a steady decline to rock bottom over the next several years.

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UNLV's loss to Duke in '91 followed by recruiting shenanigans. No way in hell UNLV should have ever lost that game. They destroyed Duke the year prior. That also started the Duke Coach K era of dominance though it's good to see them shitting the bed of late.

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