Coyotes, Suns in ESPN’s Top 25 most miserable pro sports fan bases
For years, the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Suns have consistently broken the hearts of Valley sports fans.
Well, at least it’s finally being recognized.
Thursday, ESPN’s T.J. Berka released his list of most miserable fan bases in professional sports, and the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Suns came in at No. 12 and No. 14, respectively. The factors used to rank the fan bases include championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparisons.
The article pointed out that, even though the Coyotes haven’t been around very long, they haven’t achieved much in that time.
The Coyotes have missed the playoffs six years in a row and 12 times in 15 seasons, and only had one year where they won a playoff series, as they made a run to the Western Conference finals in 2012.
While a Western Conference finals run is impressive, Berka noted that the Coyotes’ conference finals loss only led to more misery.
Of course, that glimmer of hope turned to pain when the Coyotes were taken out by the rival Kings, who went on to win the Stanley Cup. Arizona’s rivals have thrived while the Coyotes have capsized, as the Kings have won two Stanley Cups this decade while the Ducks hoisted it in 2007.
To make matters worse, one of the Coyotes’ division rivals, the Vegas Golden Knights, reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year of existence. The combination of the Coyotes’ lack of success and their rivals’ accomplishments combined to give Arizona a rating of 18.95.
Though not quite as miserable, the Suns are only two spots behind the Coyotes at No. 14.
The Suns have had their fair share of star players, such as Charles Barkley, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, but even so, they were never able to take that next step.
Phoenix has actually been a frequent playoff participant, having made it 29 times. But good Suns teams have always been firewalled by slightly better teams, with the Bulls and Rockets blocking them in the ’90s and the Spurs and Lakers killing good Suns runs in the 2000s.
Phoenix’s No. 14 ranking is also an indicator of just how bad the Suns have been recently. At least this year they were able to cash it in with the No. 1 draft pick.
Right now, Suns fans are despondent about watching terrible basketball, as the team hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2010 and has lost 58 or more games the last three seasons.
Additionally, two of the Suns’ rivals, the Lakers and Warriors, have won eight combined championships since 2000.
While things certainly aren’t great for Coyotes and Suns fans, at least they aren’t Sacramento Kings fans. Sacramento was given a 27.1 rating because the team hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2006, the way it lost to the Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference Finals was heartbreaking and its rivals have been successful.
On the totally opposite end of the spectrum, the New England Patriots were given a misery index score of -51.4.
Must be nice.