What Fan Bases Won and Lost in 2018?

The end of the year is the time when many of us some into contact with certain lists based on the events that have transpired over the past twelve months. Often times these lists are comprised of the “best of” or “worst of” in a particular category. Given how sporting events can dominate the 24 hour news cycle, it’s fair to wonder how this year will be remembered by different fan bases. Will 2018 be a fond memory for sports fans of a specific city? Or was it a nightmarish year that those fans will want to put behind them as quickly as possible? Often times the answer lies somewhere in between, given that one team from a city could be excellent during a year while another team from the same city struggles (such as Kansas City this year, where the Royals were one of the worst teams in baseball but the Chiefs have one of the best records in the NFL). But which fan bases came out most emphatically on one side or the other? The following is a list of fan bases that either won or lost in 2018.

Winners

Philadelphia

For the first time in the history of the Super Bowl and the NCAA Basketball Tournament, a team from the same city won both. The Eagles took down the Patriots in Super Bowl 52, while Philadelphia’s Villanova Wildcats won March Madness. Add this to the rejuvenated 76ers being one of the best teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and Philly fans have had more to be excited about this year than arguably any other in their history. Sure the Eagles were somewhat disappointing during the current regular season and the Phillies didn’t make the playoffs, but I’m sure that’s a trade-off any eastern Pennsylvania sports fan would take.

Washington, DC

Though DC might not have had the kind of success Philadelphia had in 2018, they were able to finally celebrate a professional championship for the first time in over a quarter century. The Washington Capitals’ Stanly Cup title ended a drought that had lasted since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992. Following the Capitals’ victory in June, the city followed it up by hosting the MLB All Star game in July where hometown hero Bryce Harper won the Home Run Derby. So despite the Redskins losing two quarterbacks to leg injuries and the struggles of the Wizards at the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season, fans in the Nation’s Capital will look back to 2018 with fond memories.

Boston

Although 2018 began with the Patriots losing Super Bowl 52, fans in Beantown have reason to be positive about the events of this year. The biggest, of course, being the Red Sox steamrolling their way to 108 wins and a World Series title (while beating the arch-nemesis Yankees along the way). Add this to the fact that the Patriots once again won their division during the current regular season and the Celtics (despite some early struggles) look to be a lock for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Things seem to certainly be looking up for the fans in Boston.

Los Angeles

The absence of any professional titles for LA this year doesn’t keep the city from winning in general for 2018. Even though the Dodgers ended up losing the World Series to the Red Sox, they still look poised to be a contender in the future (making the World Series isn’t too shabby either). The cities’ two NFL teams (the Rams and the Chargers) are both headed to the playoffs. Lastly, the Lakers returned to relevance by landing a guy named LeBron James in free agency. This year was good for LA, but next year might be even better.

Losers

New York

Even though a huge number of professional sports teams play in and around The Big Apple, the overwhelming majority of them weren’t even close to contending in 2018. In the NFL, the Jets and Giants are both below .500. In the NBA, the same is currently true for both the Knicks and Nets. The Mets were a disappointing 77-85 this season. The lone bright spot, unsurprisingly, was the 2018 Yankees who won 100 games. But they ended up losing to the hated Red Sox in four games during the Division Series.

Detroit

A significant amount of disappointment for sports fans in Motown for 2018. The Tigers nearly lost 100 games. Despite having one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, the Lions will lose double digit games this year. Both the Pistons and the Red Wings are hovering around .500 so far this season. Not much to get excited about.

Phoenix

Let’s start with the Arizona Cardinals likely ending up with the NFL’s worst record this season. The Suns have the worst record in the NBA’s Western Conference. After a hot start, the Diamondbacks barley finished above .500 and missed the playoffs. At least there should be some high draft picks coming for Phoenix based teams in the future.

Atlanta

After losing in the playoffs to the eventual champion Eagles to start 2018, the Falcons proceeded to miss the playoffs entirely during the current NFL season. The Hawks have one of the worst records in the NBA. The Braves were actually a pleasant surprise for sports fans in the ATL as they went on to win the NL East. But they ended up losing in the NLDS to the Dodgers. But the biggest sports disappointment in the area is probably the Georgia Bulldogs’ football team who blew two late leads to arch rival Alabama in the National Championship Game and the SEC Championship.

So, there you have it. A comprehensive list of which cities’ sports fans won and lost for this past year. I’m sure there are some fan bases that are more or less angry as a result of the events of 2018 than I’m assuming. But putting myself in the position of these individuals, these are the conclusions I have come to. We shall see if those who won for 2018 can sustain it and those who lost can turn things around. No city stays on the top or at the bottom forever.

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