Florida pro teams among ESPN's most miserable fan bases


  • Photo by Nicole Abbett
"You win some, you lose some," some guy once said.

That is, unless you're a Florida sports fan – which is why ESPN recently ranked several of the Sunshine State's professional sports franchises among the nation's most miserable based on five primary factors: championships, or the lack thereof; playoff berths, or, again, the lack thereof; playoff wins, or, yet again, the lack thereof; and heartbreaks, of which several Florida sports franchises have had little to no trouble happening upon.

Included in the top 25 most miserable:

No. 4: Florida Panthers
Now more than two decades removed from the franchise's lone trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, the Panthers have a lot to look forward to ... at least when it comes to looking at the success their cross-state rival the Tampa Bay Lightning has accomplished in recent years, including a Cup.

No. 15: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs haven't qualified for a postseason run since 2007. Neither has former No. 1 overall draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston amounted to much so far, whether we're talking about his on-the-field (interceptions galore) or off-the-field struggles (eh). Enough said.

No. 16: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have managed to sneak into postseason play only once since 2009, and only twice since 2002. In other words, the most recent teams couldn't be any further removed from the glory days of the 1972 Dolphins – the only team to go undefeated in the modern professional football era.

No. 18: Tampa Bay Rays
Recently, Rays outfielder Tommy Pham told MLB radio that what he misses most about his previous team, the St. Louis Cardinals, is their fanbase. But what he meant to say is that the Rays' have one of the worst fanbases in the entire MLB. It's now been a decade since the Rays lost to the Phillies in the 2008 World Series. So hope isn't exactly on the horizon.

And the outliers:

No. 29: Miami Marlins
No. 40: Orlando Magic
No. 47: Jacksonville Jaguars
No. 104: Tampa Bay Lightning

Miraculously, the Orlando Magic wasn't at the tippy-top of the list. Then again, misery loves company – and the past six (and, now, going on seven) seasons of the franchise have been miserable to watch, indeed.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.