Frequent commentator SwagFlu recently asked if the San Jose Sharks are the most ‘anti-clutch’ team in the 2000’s (see here). The comment got me thinking: who are the most anti-clutch teams? More importantly, what defines an anti-clutch team?
‘Clutch’ as an adjective is defined as “done or accomplished in a critical situation”. So for our purposes, “Anti-clutch” is defined as the sucker who could NOT accomplish the feat in a critical situation. The heartbreaker. To determine what defines an anti-clutch franchise, we need to look at the teams that constantly flirt with championships. Those teams that, going along with Pakastallion’s analogies, are categorized as the ‘tease’. They get so close to winning, but always get out between third and home.
The top anti-clutch teams within the top 5 sports? Check them out:
San Jose Sharks – The Sharks franchise has been to 7 consecutive playoffs and have never won the cup. They are a consistent top 5 team during the regular season and have also been heavy favorites to win the playoff tournament. The team has done everything from changing goalies (Nabokov for Niemi), changing coaches (Wilson for McLellan), and trading players (letting go of Cheechoo). However, everything that the franchise has done, it has still not been enough (this year included). This team, like their bay area baseball counterpart, tortures the fans year in and year out.
Dallas Mavericks – The Mavs starting winning once Cuban became the new owner in the early 2000’s. They have been to 11 consecutive playoffs and had the best record in the league in 2006-2007 (who knew that Golden State would oust them in the first round?). They have been through the likes of Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison, but have not been able to capture the championship. Let’s hope this year is the year for all Mavs fans. (The Sacramento Kings are a notable team as well, but that was before the 2000’s)
Arsenal – The Gunners have not won a trophy since going undefeated in the Premier League in 2004. Yet, they have always been at the top of the table. They have been to 11 consecutive champions league tournaments. They have been in the Champions league final in 2006 (only to lose to Barcelona). Even with the likes of Henry, Van Persie, Fabregas, and various other international stars, the team cannot shake the ‘curse’ off. At one point during this season Arsenal was on the verge of fighting for the Quadruple, only to be knocked out of each. Tough time for gunner’s fans.
Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles have managed 8 playoff appearances in the past 10 years. They have had a successful quarterback (McNabb), running back (Westbrook), and solid defense. Andy Reid is considered one of the best coaches in the league. However, the closest they have come to the Superbowl was losing to the Patriots. They always seem to be lacking some pivotal football aspect that keeps them from winning it all (whether it be a wide receiver, secondary, or special teams). At least Phillie fans have, well, the Phillies.
Chicago Cubs – For baseball, I could not just look at consecutive playoff appearances in the 2000’s, but had to go straight for the team that everyone thinks of when discussing anti-clutch franchises. This team is the stereotype anti-clutch team. There has been back to back misfortunes for the team, from Steve Bartman to LaTroy Hawkins blown save in 2004 to the infamous Curse of the Billy Goat. Since 1908, there has been nothing but bad luck for this team. Chicago fans..it may be time to cheer for the White Sox.