Nostalgia and sports sometimes seem to go together like walkoff homeruns and head rubbing. There’s nothing like thinking back to yesteryear, when things that don’t exist anymore existed. You might see a little more of this in my next post. But today, I was driving behind an SUV with a Houston Oilers license plate frame and it got me thinking about franchises I miss. Note that not all of these franchises are technically defunct – many of them simply moved. But as anyone who reads this blog knows, an Oklahoma City Thunder is nothing compared to a Seattle SuperSonic. Because where would we be without “I had the booze, she had the chronic, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics.” ?
5. Quebec Nordiques – Sure, they technically still exist as the Colorado Avalanche, but in their day, few teams could challenge the Nordiques for the least threatening logo and color scheme. Still, the old days of Joe Sakic and Jocelyn Thibault are something to remember.
4. Montreal Expos – Funny how two of the top 5 defunct franchises are based in Quebec, Canada – a place not often associated with sports. But many of baseball’s greats have come through the Expos’ system. Though mostly a breeding ground for major league prospects, the Expos finally seemed to be putting together a perennial contender, but the strike season of 94 cut short a campaign in which a stacked Montreal squad was forced to surrender a 74-40 start, which many believe led to the ultimate demise of the franchise.
3. Hatford Whalers – It’s odd that two of the top five teams here are hockey teams, but the Whalers make this list for one reason and one reason alone: Brass Bonanza. It still perseveres as one of the greatest sports anthems of all time. If anyone out there in the marketing world is looking for a new campaign, it should center around this classic tune. It’s been thirteen years since professional sports were played in Hartford, somebody needs to at least pick that song up.
2. Houston Oilers – I know the Titans are still the same franchise, and I know Houston has a football team of their own now, but it’s not the same. I can’t watch old highlights of Earl Campbell and Warren Moon without wishing those uniforms were still around. They might challenge the Nordiques for that least threatening logo title – it must be the baby blue and red – but why isn’t anybody suggesting that the Texans reclaim the Oilers’ name?
1. Seattle SuperSonics – I actually hated the Sonics for most of my childhood, mainly because they frequently dominated the Western Conference. But, as we’ve said over and over again here, it’s just not the same without pro basketball in the Emerald City. Seattle just has so much more character than Oklahoma City. They may have a nice thing going with Durant and Westbrook in Oklahoma, but they’ll never touch the duo of Kemp and Payton. Besides, every league should have a team donning the green and gold. NO team should be rocking sky blue and orange. That’s just ridiculous.
I’ve more than documented my man crush on Curry, and it has even stretched to seeing how he’s spending his time in the off season, sad I know. Make no mistake, I’m not a stalker that’s going to ask Curry to go to Santa Barbra to buy some antiques with me like this guy, who has more of a fatal attraction to Kobe than a mancrush. Curry made an appearance showcasing that he has some game on Monday. No, the Warriors aren’t magically in the playoffs, and if your thinking, I already knew he was a baller, and could’ve won rookie of the year this year, but I wasn’t talking about hoops. Curry played in the Quail Hollow Championship Pro Am yesterday, and posted three birdies on his score card, which is pretty impressive. He was paired up with PGA pro Stephen Lowry, Nascar’s Michael Waltrip, his dad Dell Curry, and Charlotte police chief Rod Monroe. I’m not sure exactly what the handicaps were for each player, and I’m sure that the handicaps they had helped their group a little, but their group ended up winning the tourney shooting a 54. Pretty impressive work Stephen. I guess Dell taught him a jumper and a golf swing, even though after the tourney Steph said that his dad beat him by three strokes, I’m sure he’ll beat him the next time they play. I’m far from a good golfer, and anytime I have three birdies in a round whether the course is tough or easy, I’m usually pretty happy. I doubt Stephen gets out on the links all that much, but I have a feeling when his playing days are over he will be better than Jerry Rice is on the Nationwide tour!
Some other news broke out today on the rookie of the year that MCeezy and I debated about, and would be Tyreke Evans. He’s another Norcal baller that will put Sac back on the map . He didn’t get out on the links, instead he is being recognized for his professional accomplishments during his rookie season. Although there is no official announcement made by the NBA, Sactown Royalty seems to have the inside scoop, and has reported that Tyreke will be holding the ROY award on Thursday or Friday. I honestly didn’t get to see that much of Tyreke this year, since I live in Southern California, and it’s rare that the Kings are on anywhere outside of Sac. He joined Lebron averaging 20, 5, and 5 on the year, and had some competition from Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings, but was clearly the most consistent rookie this year. All in all a great year for the rookie, and a deserved winner of the award. Hopefully these two guys can bring Norcal out of the basement of the West.