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Thomas Bugg

Franchise Crippling Defeats/Moments

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I'd say the Vancouver Canucks in the finals against the Boston Bruins in 2010-11.

 

The Canucks finished first in the league with 117 points.  They go into the playoffs against their archrival Chicago Blackhawks whom had eliminated them in the previous two playoffs  and they're finally able to overcome them, winning in Game 7 to take the series 4-3.  They go into the second round and, after a little scare, Ryan Kesler steps up and they take down Nashville.  Then they cruise to a 5 game series win over San Jose when everything was just going their way (Witness that bounce in Game 5 where the puck ends up directly on Kevin Bieksa's (I THINK it was him) stick for the win.  They go into the finals against the Bruins, the first time the Bruins have been there since 1990, I believe.  They win the first two games at home to go up 2-0.  Then Boston CRUSHES them by a combined 12-1 at home and the series is tied up.  But back at home Vancouver outlasts Boston to a 1-0 victory putting them one game from winning the Cup and...they can't do it.  Boston beats them 5-2 at home, then walks into Vancouver and cruises to a relatively easy 4-0 win to clinch the Cup in Vancouver.  People riot, Vancouver burns.

 

But there's no reason that Vancouver, who is able to coax most of their players into re-signing at "Hometown Discounts" isn't the favourite to win the Cup the next year.  But, a year later, they finish first in the NHL again, and can't be the LA Kings who dispatch them in 5 games.  The year after that Vancouver takes on the San Jose Sharks and go out 4 straight, with little fight.  And here we are three years after that final, Vancouver has dumped both of their top goalies, fired their coach, one of their top players reportedly wants out, and they are looking like longshots to even make the playoffs.

 

It's amazing just how much that Stanley Cup final loss seemed to hurt them, haunt them.

 

The Oilers are another good example of a loss in the finals destroying a franchise.  They had that miracle run that likely would have ended up with a Stanley Cup had their goalie not gone down with an injury in the first game of the series.  And the franchise just imploded after that.  Chris Pronger asked for a trade, a bunch of supporting cast members jumped ship.  And the Oilers are poised to finish Bottom 5 for their 5th straight season.

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Honestly, I disagree on both, but especially Vancouver: Losing in the cup finals didn't ruin them, there problem more resolves around there handling on the Luongo situation in combination of just the usual thing that happens when a team doesn't get high draft picks for a long stretch of time: They were in a position where a downslide was obvious, and LA that year was just flat a more talented team that didn't put it together till playoff time.

 

Edmonton was screwed due to management being idiots to begin with.

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I had completely blanked on that Pats game. I guess that was intentionally blocked out in what has been many Dolphins disappointments. 

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Can we make a case for the 1998 Minnesota Vikings? I mean yes, they did go back to the NFC title game two years later, but 1998 was the year that THEY, and not the 1998 Denver Broncos, should've hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Looking back at that NFC title game from 1998-99, it was more than just Gary Andersen's missed FG that killed the Vikings- they made mistakes galore and the Falcons capitalized on every single one of them. The Vikings have had playoff seasons here and there, but nothing even remotely touching that heartbreak of a season.

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Minny got boatraced by the Rams and then had the misfortune of playing Kerry Collins when he had tbe game of his life for the remainder of their window.

You could probably make a case that Brett Being Brett in the Superdome was more devastating, considering they were so all-in that season.

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Minny got boatraced by the Rams and then had the misfortune of playing Kerry Collins when he had tbe game of his life for the remainder of their window.

You could probably make a case that Brett Being Brett in the Superdome was more devastating, considering they were so all-in that season.

 

I'll go along with Favre fucking up in the NFC title game (and by the way I feel like a dumbass for forgetting that the Vikes went to the NFC title game in 2009- maybe I was trying to block out 2009 in my mind knowing that the goddamn Aint's won a title before my Birds!). But when you mention Kerry Collins, you gotta remember that the Vikings defense that season looked like they didn't even try.

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For Pirates fans two simple words:  Sid Bream.  I don't know if making the World Series in 1992 would have prevented the eventual fire sale that destroyed the organization for 20 years but it certainly crippled baseball in Pittsburgh

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Would the lockout that cost the Expos a possible shot at a world series count?

 

I mean, obviously there's a ton of what if's there. But that franchise couldn't draw 5 guys and a stray cat after that.

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I suspect jonah keri's new book will show it's more complex than most people think.

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Baseball playoffs are such a crapshoot. You can go in with the best record and it doesn't mean much. I know people like to talk about how the Expos were doing, but it really means nothing. 

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Maybe in terms of the result but in terms of fan interest it clearly meant something, even if their hope was somewhat falsely placed.

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Game 5, 2011. Cardinals win 1-0.

The Phillies went into the playoffs having 102 wins and were absolutely fantastic. The year started with them stealing Cliff Lee from the Yankees in free agency. Their pitching staff was just unreal all year long. They ran into a Cardinals buzzsaw that ended up winning the World Series after being left for dead. The Cards won the final game of the series in a 1-0 pitcher's duel. The last out came after Ryan Howard hit a weak grounder to first and ruptured his achillies tendon running to first. My man Howard immediately went from annual MVP candidate and one of the greatest sluggers of all-time to what he is now. The Phils have been pretty dreadful since.

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Would the lockout that cost the Expos a possible shot at a world series count?

I mean, obviously there's a ton of what if's there. But that franchise couldn't draw 5 guys and a stray cat after that.

It wasn't the lockout, it was losing all their players. Montreal wasn't drawing before the lockout either. And attendance didn't crater until a couple years later.

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Game 5, 2011. Cardinals win 1-0.

The Phillies went into the playoffs having 102 wins and were absolutely fantastic. The year started with them stealing Cliff Lee from the Yankees in free agency. Their pitching staff was just unreal all year long. They ran into a Cardinals buzzsaw that ended up winning the World Series after being left for dead. The Cards won the final game of the series in a 1-0 pitcher's duel. The last out came after Ryan Howard hit a weak grounder to first and ruptured his achillies tendon running to first. My man Howard immediately went from annual MVP candidate and one of the greatest sluggers of all-time to what he is now. The Phils have been pretty dreadful since.

First of all, Howard was never one of the greatest sluggers of all-time. Ya gotta lead the league in OPS+ at least once before you get "all-time" consideration.

Secondly, he was already trending downward before he got hurt. He was staring straight at the fat guy career crash when he got hurt.

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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.

The phantom foul called on Greg Anthony that got him out of the game with about 4 minutes left and Larry Johnson's reluctance to take the 3 that would have given them the victory sucked all of the air out of the ballroom where I was watching the game. About 300 stunned silent mother fuckers. But UNLV wasn't going to be a factor in 92, anyway. They had made the deal to go on probation after defending their title.

 

And 'recruiting shenanigans' is a nice way to put the 16+ years of harrassment by the NCAA against Tarkanian that stemmed from violations that occurred before he ever coached a game at UNLV.  Tark did himself no favors by having Lloyd Daniels and Richard Perry in his life, but he ultimitely walked out of court with millions after his lawsuit against the NCAA was settled.

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I remember picking Duke to make the Finals that year and missing out on winning a NCAA pool because I picked Indiana to win it all.

I'm not sure which death Celtics fans think is more responsible for the 20+ years without a title, Len Bias or Reggie Lewis. (Although, arguably, the one-two punch of ML Carr and Rick Pitino was more damaging.)

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I don't think either is worse. I didn't know much at least initially about Bias because that was before my time but Lewis was just terrible. Things didn't start to pick up until Pierce/Walker.. it was an awful time to be a C's fan.

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If nothing else, Bias would have made it so McHale would not have had to play 40 minites a night on one foot. And that's just gauging minimum contribution

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Factoring in everything, I'm inclined to declare the 86 Angels the winners/losers of this thread.

When in doubt, suicide/attempted murder in front of your kids wins/loses.

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I suspect jonah keri's new book will show it's more complex than most people think.

 

It will be.  Jonah has been on the local Toronto radio a lot lately talking up the book.  You had a team that was middle to bottom of the pack in attendance with an owner so desparate to fight for revenue sharing he voted to cancel the season where his team was leading the league in wins.  Then throw in the 1995 referendum when Quebec nearly separated from Canada and the subsequent tailspin of the Canadian dollar to an alltime low sounded the ultimate death knell.  Montreal just didnt have a Rogers Communication to save them.  Christ the Montreal Canadiens couldnt find an owner in all of Quebec to buy them so an American had to.  By the time Loria got the team and he went shopping for radio rights.  Every station in town wanted Loria to pay them to put the games on the radio

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Game 5, 2011. Cardinals win 1-0.

The Phillies went into the playoffs having 102 wins and were absolutely fantastic. The year started with them stealing Cliff Lee from the Yankees in free agency. Their pitching staff was just unreal all year long. They ran into a Cardinals buzzsaw that ended up winning the World Series after being left for dead. The Cards won the final game of the series in a 1-0 pitcher's duel. The last out came after Ryan Howard hit a weak grounder to first and ruptured his achillies tendon running to first. My man Howard immediately went from annual MVP candidate and one of the greatest sluggers of all-time to what he is now. The Phils have been pretty dreadful since.

 

A painful fucking moment....AND I LIVE IN PERRYVILLE, MO!!! :(

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Three words:

Mayflower moving vans

 

Three (or four) more:

 

Norm Green (still) sucks.

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