I’m beginning to think I may never get to experience a championship as a fan of any of my teams. No, seriously. It’s been nothing but heartbreak for any of my teams I’m a fan …
I’m beginning to think I may never get to experience a championship as a fan of any of my teams.
No, seriously. It’s been nothing but heartbreak for any of my teams I’m a fan of.
Firstly, I’m a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, West Virginia in both college football and basketball, Carolina Panthers, Nashville Predators and in the last six or seven years, the Boston Celtics.
And every one of those teams has broken my heart.
Sure, the Reds won the World Series in 1990, but I was barely two years old and didn’t know the difference between a short stop and a right fielder.
Let’s have a look back at each of these heartbreakers I’ve experienced.
In 2007, the WVU Mountaineers had arguably the best team in the nation with Pat White, Steve Slaton and Rich Rodriguez at the helm.
A Thursday night matchup against unranked rival Pitt kept WVU from playing for the BCS national championship with a 13-9 score.
Fast forward three years and the WVU basketball team rode the last-second heroics of Da’Sean Butler on multiple occasions with a Big East championship and a ride to the Final Four…only to see our hero in Butler tear his ACL and see Duke beat us.
So in 2012, I thought we may have a shot at a World Series championship with a core of young Reds players that simply had all the pieces to win a championship.
After winning the NL Central, Cincinnati went up 2-0 against the San Francisco Giants in the NL Division series. I thought, ‘This is our chance.'
San Francisco responded with three-straight wins to end the Reds’ season.
San Francisco went on to win the World Series in 2012.
In 2015, I got a taste of what greatness could truly be with the Carolina Panthers.
Behind MVP Cam Newton and the defensive prowess of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis III, Carolina nearly went unbeaten in the regular season and went 15-1 before a Week 17 loss to Atlanta broke that streak.
The postseason was highlighted by a thrashing of Arizona in the NFC Championship.
We went nearly four months and had just one loss—life was good.
And then Von Miller and the Denver Broncos sent Peyton Manning out on a high note with a 24-10 win over Carolina.
One again, so close.
I was crushed.
And now, most recently, the Boston Celtics snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Boston made one of the best turnarounds in recent NBA history and from the month of January, became the best team in the NBA.
They followed by sweeping the Brooklyn Nets, beating defending champion Milwaukee in seven games, and followed with a Game 7 win in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami.
So a blowout win against Golden State in Game 1 of the NBA Finals meant I was finally going to see a championship, right?
Stephen Curry made sure that wasn’t going to happen on Thursday night with the Warriors beating Boston in Game 6 to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
It’s been years and years of heartbreak.
But the thing about being a fan isn’t just supporting your teams when they’re contending for championships—it’s sticking with them in the losing seasons and suffering all those heartbreaks that eventually make winning all the sweater.
It just may not be in my lifetime.
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Tribune. Email him at email@example.com.