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.