History DorkAge / Sports

12th Feb '18 3:51:02 PM Yalsaris63
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* Many younger fans don't know about the San Jose Sharks' struggles in TheNineties, due to the Sharks' relative success (despite their [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut near-constant playoff chokes]]) in recent history and their extremely 90's-era identity (black and teal as primary colors, a scary animal mascot, "Get Ready for This" as a goal song). As expected for an expansion team, the Sharks were perennial underachievers, despite their rabid fanbase, the presence of talented players such as Doug Wilson, Arturs Irbe, and Owen Nolan, and some early successes (first-round playoff upsets of the Detroit Red Wings and the Calgary Flames). The Sharks then TookALevelInBadass after hitting rock bottom in 1997, drafting young stud Patrick Marleau (seen by some as the best Sharks player of all time) and hiring Daryl Sutter. Ever since then, they have been a constant playoff threat ([[NeverLiveItDown albeit one that]] [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut always makes an early exit from the post-season]]) and a huge draw for fans in the South Bay Area. Many even consider the San Jose Sharks as one of the most successful post-90's expansion teams in North American sports.

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* Many younger fans don't know about the San Jose Sharks' struggles in TheNineties, due to the Sharks' relative success (despite their [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut near-constant playoff chokes]]) in recent history and their extremely 90's-era identity (black and teal as primary colors, a scary animal mascot, "Get Ready for This" as a goal song). As expected for an expansion team, the Sharks were perennial underachievers, despite their rabid fanbase, the presence of talented players such as Doug Wilson, Arturs Irbe, and Owen Nolan, and some early successes (first-round playoff upsets of the Detroit Red Wings and the Calgary Flames). The Sharks then TookALevelInBadass after hitting rock bottom in 1997, drafting young stud Patrick Marleau (seen by some as the best Sharks player of all time) and hiring Daryl Darryl Sutter. Ever since then, they have been a constant playoff threat ([[NeverLiveItDown albeit one that]] [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut always makes an early exit from the post-season]]) and a huge draw for fans in the South Bay Area. Many even consider the San Jose Sharks as one of the most successful post-90's expansion teams in North American sports.



*** The second one was during the last season of head coach Todd [=McLellan=] (2014/2015). Following an embarrassing first round choke to the hated Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks ended up stripping Joe Thornton of the captaincy and going the entire season without a captain. They also made some uninspired offseason moves, such as signing John Scott and letting go of the likes of Martin Havlát and Dan Boyle. This ended up with San Jose finishing sixth in the Pacific Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. This was despite the presence of veterans Thornton and Marleau, the strong play of stars Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns, and the development of young studs such as Tomáš Hertl, Melker Karlsson, and Chris Tierney. Thankfully, the Sharks' slide was halted when GM Doug Wilson (considered by some a scapegoat of the Sharks' struggles) replaced [=McLellan=] with Frank [=DeBoer=] (who named Pavelski team captain), and made key acquisitions such as Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Joonas Donskoi, and Paul Martin. These moves ended up not only [[TookALevelInBadass bringing the Sharks]] [[HesBack back to the post-season]], but also led to the Sharks' first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup finals...where they [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut lost to]] [[YankTheDogsChain the Penguins]] [[RunningGag in six games]]. Some things just never change.

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*** The second one was during the last season of head coach Todd [=McLellan=] (2014/2015). Following an embarrassing first round choke to the hated Los Angeles Kings, Kings (under none other than former Sharks head coach Darryl Sutter, no less, who was responsible for the Kings' 2012 and 2014 Cup victories), the Sharks ended up stripping Joe Thornton of the captaincy and going the entire season without a captain. They also made some uninspired offseason moves, such as signing John Scott and letting go of the likes of Martin Havlát and Dan Boyle. This ended up with San Jose finishing sixth in the Pacific Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. This was despite the presence of veterans Thornton and Marleau, the strong play of stars Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns, and the development of young studs such as Tomáš Hertl, Melker Karlsson, and Chris Tierney. Thankfully, the Sharks' slide was halted when GM Doug Wilson (considered by some a scapegoat of the Sharks' struggles) replaced [=McLellan=] with Frank [=DeBoer=] (who named Pavelski team captain), and made key acquisitions such as Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Joonas Donskoi, and Paul Martin. These moves ended up not only [[TookALevelInBadass bringing the Sharks]] [[HesBack back to the post-season]], but also led to the Sharks' first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup finals...where they [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut lost to]] [[YankTheDogsChain the Penguins]] [[RunningGag in six games]]. Some things just never change.
12th Feb '18 3:47:13 PM Yalsaris63
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* Similar to Ballard, the above mentioned Chicago Blackhawks had their own ZeroPercentApprovalRating owner in William Wirtz, also known as "Dollar Bill" for being a greedy tightwad. Add InvisibleAdvertising, blocking local broadcasts of home games, raising ticket prices, [[http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=johnson/060417_blackhawks and plain mismanagement]], from 1997 to 2008 the Hawks hit RockBottom, with many Chicago fans preferring the minor-league Chicago Wolves. The team has since rebounded after Wirtz died in 2007 and his son Rocky led the Hawks to three Stanley Cups, but to show how bad things were, the fans at the United Center booed the memorial for the universally reviled "Dollar Bill" at the 2007–08 home opener.

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* Similar to Ballard, the above mentioned Chicago Blackhawks had their own ZeroPercentApprovalRating owner in William Wirtz, also known as "Dollar Bill" for being a greedy tightwad. Add InvisibleAdvertising, blocking local broadcasts of home games, raising ticket prices, [[http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=johnson/060417_blackhawks and plain mismanagement]], from 1997 to 2008 the Hawks hit RockBottom, with many Chicago fans preferring the minor-league Chicago Wolves.Wolves of the [=AHL=] (who, at that period, were affiliated with the then-Atlanta Thrashers). The team has since rebounded after Wirtz died in 2007 and his son Rocky led the Hawks to three Stanley Cups, but to show how bad things were, the fans at the United Center booed the memorial for the universally reviled "Dollar Bill" at the 2007–08 home opener.
3rd Feb '18 12:54:42 PM KYCubbie
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* The Minnesota Twins have had a succession of dark ages interspersed with periods of true brilliance. Their pre-move incarnation, the Washington Senators, were so legendarily bad through much of their existence (with the exception of TheRoaringTwenties, in which the franchise won its first - and for six decades ''only'' - World Series championship), that San Francisco sports writer Charley Dryden once quipped, "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The novel ''The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant'' was written riffing on the team's legendary badness, and made into the musical ''Theatre/DamnYankees''. After their move to Minnesota at the end of the 1960 season, the team rapidly rose to prominence, winning the American League pennant in 1965 before losing the World Series in seven games to the UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Dodgers. They won the newly-formed AL West twice before this period of prominence came to an end, but end it did, and the team's longest dork age in Minnesota (and the worst uniform in its history) lasted from 1971 until 1984, a period in which arose the team's lasting nickname, the ''Twinkies''. This era marked some of the most shamefully bad play in the franchise's history and ended when the notoriously stingy Griffith family sold the team to local banking magnate Carl Pohlad. 1993 marked the beginning of its second dork age, which lasted until 2000, which was denoted by a number of fading stars with origins in the Twin Cities (which wasn't all bad - Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor each had reasonably productive years in Minnesota and bagged their 3000th hits wearing Twins pinstripes, but it also brought several infamous loads to the Metrodome), forcing it to rely for the majority of its pitching and run production on players who really should have spent a lot more time developing in the minors, and the third one has been ongoing since 2011 with the exception of a competitive 2015. It appears to be reaching a pinnacle after finishing with the worst record in the Majors in 2016.

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* The Minnesota Twins have had a succession of dark ages interspersed with periods of true brilliance. Their pre-move incarnation, the Washington Senators, were so legendarily bad through much of their existence (with the exception of TheRoaringTwenties, in which the franchise won its first - and for six decades ''only'' - World Series championship), that San Francisco sports writer Charley Dryden once quipped, "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The novel ''The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant'' was written riffing on the team's legendary badness, and made into the musical ''Theatre/DamnYankees''. After their move to Minnesota at the end of the 1960 season, the team rapidly rose to prominence, winning the American League pennant in 1965 before losing the World Series in seven games to the UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Dodgers. They won the newly-formed AL West twice before this period of prominence came to an end, but end it did, and the team's longest dork age in Minnesota (and the worst uniform in its history) lasted from 1971 until 1984, a period in which arose the team's lasting nickname, the ''Twinkies''. This era marked some of the most shamefully bad play in the franchise's history and ended when the notoriously stingy Griffith family sold the team to local banking magnate Carl Pohlad. 1993 marked the beginning of its second dork age, which lasted until 2000, which was denoted by a number of fading stars with origins in the Twin Cities (which wasn't all bad - Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor each had reasonably productive years in Minnesota and bagged their 3000th hits wearing Twins pinstripes, but it also brought several infamous loads to the Metrodome), forcing it to rely for the majority of its pitching and run production on players who really should have spent a lot more time developing in the minors, and the third one has been ongoing since 2011 began in 2011, peaking with the exception MLB's worst record in 2016 after what appeared to be a ray of light with a competitive 2015. It appears to be reaching It's now looking like the competitive 2015 season was indeed a pinnacle after finishing harbinger of better things, as the Twins grabbed a wild-card berth in 2017, with Molitor being named AL Manager of the worst record in the Majors in 2016.Year.
1st Feb '18 11:50:37 AM Jhonny
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* The German national team (which is just as much a world power in Handball as it is in soccer) after their win of the 2007 world cup. Before that, they had been to the final of the 2003 World Cup, to the final of the 2002 European Championship and won the 2004 European Championship, after that they flunked to fifth, eleventh, fifth and not even qualified[[note]] They did get a totally bogus "wild card" because the International Handball Federation could not afford to lose out on the German market - Germany ultimately placed seventh[[/note]] in World Cups and fourth, tenth, seventh and ''note even qualified''[[note]] [[RealityEnsues No Wild Card this time]] [[/note]] in European Championships. Until they made a few adjustments, hired Dagur Sigurðsson from Iceland as their manager and managed a DarkHorseVictory in the 2016 European Championship. Whether that is the new normal or only the setup for yet more embarrassing defeat remains to be seen. Given their loss against Qatar in the round of 16 at the 2017 world cup, it seems the 2016 European Championship was a fluke and not the other way round.

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* The German national team (which is just as much a world power in Handball as it is in soccer) after their win of the 2007 world cup. Before that, they had been to the final of the 2003 World Cup, to the final of the 2002 European Championship and won the 2004 European Championship, after that they flunked to fifth, eleventh, fifth and not even qualified[[note]] They did get a totally bogus "wild card" because the International Handball Federation could not afford to lose out on the German market - Germany ultimately placed seventh[[/note]] in World Cups and fourth, tenth, seventh and ''note even qualified''[[note]] [[RealityEnsues No Wild Card this time]] [[/note]] in European Championships. Until they made a few adjustments, hired Dagur Sigurðsson from Iceland as their manager and managed a DarkHorseVictory in the 2016 European Championship. Whether that is the new normal or only the setup for yet more embarrassing defeat remains to be seen. Given their loss against Qatar in the round of 16 at the 2017 world cup, cup and their embarrassing early exit at the 2018 European Championship, it seems the 2016 European Championship was a fluke and not the other way round.
29th Jan '18 4:36:02 PM KYCubbie
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* Among Spanish teams, Real Madrid suffered one due to LaserGuidedKarma after they refused to renew the contract of Vicente Del Bosque (their coach from late 1999 to 2003), who had helped them win two Spanish leagues and two Champions League trophies. During the following three years, the team entered a dark period without winning any major title, forcing their president to resign in early 2006. While the next president seemed to put things back to greatness (the club won the Spanish league twice in a row), a series of institutional scandals put the club at the risk of an legal relegation, which led to ''that'' president to resign in turn during January 2009. This, coupled with a series of curb-stomp defeats against Liverpool (0-1 and 4-0 in the Champions League's Round of 16), longtime rivals Barcelona (3-1 and 2-6 in the Spanish league, helping the said rivals win literally ''everything'' during that year while Madrid continued with their slump), and surprisingly Alcorcón (4-0 in the Copa del Rey, followed by an insufficient 1-0 victory in the second match), put the club in a ''very'' difficult situation that only improved with better coaches (José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, and somewhat surprisingly Zinedine Zidane) in the following years.

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* Among Spanish teams, Real Madrid suffered one due to LaserGuidedKarma after they refused to renew the contract of Vicente Del Bosque (their coach from late 1999 to 2003), who had helped them win two Spanish leagues and two Champions League trophies. During the following three years, the team entered a dark period without winning any major title, forcing their president to resign in early 2006. While the next president seemed to put things back to greatness (the club won the Spanish league twice in a row), a series of institutional scandals put the club at the risk of an a legal relegation, which led to ''that'' president to resign resigning in turn during January 2009. This, coupled with a series of curb-stomp defeats against Liverpool (0-1 and 4-0 in the Champions League's Round of 16), longtime rivals Barcelona (3-1 and 2-6 in the Spanish league, helping the said rivals win literally ''everything'' during that year while Madrid continued with their slump), and surprisingly Alcorcón (4-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey, Rey tie, followed by an insufficient 1-0 victory in the second match), leg), put the club in a ''very'' difficult situation that only improved with better coaches (José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, and somewhat surprisingly Zinedine Zidane) in the following years.



** Finally, from a national standpoint, the "Yankees-Red Sox" rivalry was non-existent from the 1978 playoffs until the ALCS in 1999. Try telling a modern Sox fan that, in the early-mid '80s. the Red Sox sold out only a few games a year to watch a mediocre team playing in a falling-apart Fenway Park. Then show them Roger Clemens' 20-strikeout game and point out all the empty seats. They will likely deny this ever happened.

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** Finally, from a national standpoint, the "Yankees-Red Sox" rivalry was non-existent from the 1978 playoffs until the ALCS in 1999. Try telling a modern Sox fan that, in the early-mid '80s. '80s, the Red Sox sold out only a few games a year to watch a mediocre team playing in a falling-apart Fenway Park. Then show them Roger Clemens' 20-strikeout game and point out all the empty seats. They will likely deny this ever happened.



* The Houston Astros went through one in the late [=2000s=] and early [=2010s=], starting shortly after their sole World Series appearance to date in 2005. Years of signing aging players to large deals, overvaluing a few mediocre free agents, not spending on the draft, and trading away prospects left the team with an aging core incapable of competing and no help in the minor leagues. After a prolonged decline, the team was finally sold in 2010 (with the league forcing the new owner to move the team to the American League after over five decades in the National League, a move which [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks angered many long-time fans]]). Things only got worse, as the new front office decided the only way to rebuild was to trade off anyone worth mentioning, which further disappointed fans, who had grown attached to the leaders on the rather weak rosters. After that, the team went on a record streak of [[EpicFail three straight seasons with the worst record in baseball]], losing 324 games from 2011-2013 (and picking up the three #1 draft picks that went with it). There were other minor issues along the way, like trouble negotiating a television contract that left most of the surrounding area unable to see games; unknowingly drafting an injured player first overall (due to teams not having access to medical records before the draft) and not signing him as a result; and having their central database hacked and some of the results leaked. Thankfully, the end of the Dork Age came in 2015, with the team making the playoffs as a Wild Card team (after having ''just'' come short of the AL West division championship), their top prospects (acquired thanks to fire sale trades and good draft positions from their tanking) making a splash in the majors, the television contract finally working out for more fans to view the games, and a still-strong minor league system. Even the hacking was resolved, with it being tied to members of the front office of their former NL rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. And then they won their first World Series title in 2017.

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* The Houston Astros went through one in the late [=2000s=] and early [=2010s=], starting shortly after their sole World Series appearance to date in 2005. Years of signing aging players to large deals, overvaluing a few mediocre free agents, not spending on the draft, and trading away prospects left the team with an aging core incapable of competing and no help in the minor leagues. After a prolonged decline, the team was finally sold in 2010 (with the league forcing the new owner to move the team to the American League after over five decades in the National League, a move which [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks angered many long-time fans]]). Things only got worse, as the new front office decided the only way to rebuild was to trade off anyone worth mentioning, which further disappointed fans, who had grown attached to the leaders on the rather weak rosters. After that, the team went on a record streak of [[EpicFail three straight seasons with the worst record in baseball]], losing 324 games from 2011-2013 (and picking up the three #1 draft picks that went with it). There were other minor issues along the way, like trouble negotiating a television contract that left most of the surrounding area unable to see games; unknowingly drafting an injured player first overall (due to teams not having access to medical records before the draft) and not signing him as a result; and having their central database hacked and some of the results leaked. Thankfully, the end of the Dork Age came in 2015, with the team making the playoffs as a Wild Card team (after having ''just'' come short of the AL West division championship), their top prospects (acquired thanks to fire sale trades and good draft positions from their tanking) making a splash in the majors, the television contract finally working out for more fans to view the games, and a still-strong minor league system. Even the hacking was resolved, with it being tied to members of the front office of their former NL rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. And then in 2017, they won their first World Series title in 2017.crown.



** On November 2nd, 2016, the Cubs in extra innings beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 after coming back from a ''3-1'' deficient not to mention an array of late-game boners on the part of manager Joe Madden that allowed the Indians to tie 6-6 and force the extra innings in the first place. Coincidentally, this means they went through a situation similar to the previous champs, the Royals, in that they had endured a long drought before making the playoffs one year and winning the [[FanNickname Losers' Series]][[note]]so named because the Cubs and Indians were the biggest {{Memetic Loser}}s of their respective leagues[[/note]] the next.

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** On November 2nd, 2016, the Cubs in extra innings beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 after coming back from a ''3-1'' deficient not to mention an array of late-game boners on the part of manager Joe Madden Maddon that allowed the Indians to tie 6-6 and force the extra innings in the first place. Coincidentally, this means they went through a situation similar to the previous champs, the Royals, in that they had endured a long drought before making the playoffs one year and winning the [[FanNickname Losers' Series]][[note]]so named because the Cubs and Indians were the biggest {{Memetic Loser}}s of their respective leagues[[/note]] the next.
29th Jan '18 9:56:09 AM MyFinalEdits
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* The Domenech era (2006–10) is considered like this for the French national soccer team. France fell during the pool phase both in 2008 and 2010; the 2010 World Cup was marked by many scandals (players' strike, insults, match against Ireland...) which greatly affected the team's reputation.

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* The While the Domenech era (2006–10) is considered like this for (2004–10) of the French national soccer team.team started strong (they reached the 2006 World Cup Final, only losing in the penalty shootouts to Italy), it went downhill since. France fell during the pool phase both in 2008 and 2010; the 2010 World Cup was marked by many scandals (players' strike, insults, match against Ireland...) which greatly affected the team's reputation.



* Among Spanish teams, Real Madrid suffered one due to LaserGuidedKarma after they refused to renew the contract of Vicente Del Bosque (their coach from late 1999 to 2003), who had helped them win two Spanish leagues and two Champions League trophies. During the following three years, the team entered a dark period without winning any major title, forcing their president to resign in early 2006. While the next president seemed to put things back to greatness (the club won the Spanish league twice in a row), a series of institutional scandals put the club at the risk of an legal relegation, which led to ''that'' president to resign in turn during January 2009. This, coupled with a series of curb-stomp defeats against Liverpool (0-1 and 4-0 in the Champions League's Round of 16), longtime rivals Barcelona (3-1 and 2-6 in the Spanish league, helping them win literally ''everything'' during that year while Madrid continued with their slump), and surprisingly Alcorcón (4-0 in the Copa del Rey), put the club in a ''very'' difficult situation that only improved with better coaches (José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, and somewhat surprisingly Zinedine Zidane) in the following years.

to:

* Among Spanish teams, Real Madrid suffered one due to LaserGuidedKarma after they refused to renew the contract of Vicente Del Bosque (their coach from late 1999 to 2003), who had helped them win two Spanish leagues and two Champions League trophies. During the following three years, the team entered a dark period without winning any major title, forcing their president to resign in early 2006. While the next president seemed to put things back to greatness (the club won the Spanish league twice in a row), a series of institutional scandals put the club at the risk of an legal relegation, which led to ''that'' president to resign in turn during January 2009. This, coupled with a series of curb-stomp defeats against Liverpool (0-1 and 4-0 in the Champions League's Round of 16), longtime rivals Barcelona (3-1 and 2-6 in the Spanish league, helping them the said rivals win literally ''everything'' during that year while Madrid continued with their slump), and surprisingly Alcorcón (4-0 in the Copa del Rey), Rey, followed by an insufficient 1-0 victory in the second match), put the club in a ''very'' difficult situation that only improved with better coaches (José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, and somewhat surprisingly Zinedine Zidane) in the following years.
29th Jan '18 1:57:14 AM KYCubbie
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* Women's tennis in general has acquired a reputation for inconsistency and underwhelming performances ever since Justine Henin's retirement in 2008, with the World No. 1 spot being frequently occupied by players who hadn't won a single Grand Slam in their careers (Jelena Jankovic in 2008, Dinara Safina in 2009, Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and 2011) and were just a little more consistent than the actual Slam winners who were either sidelined by injuries or had a bad habit of following up their wins with first-round losses to inferior players. It might have started to stabilize lately, though, with the Williams sisters (especially Serena) back in serious contention and Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova back at the top of their games.

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* Women's tennis in general has acquired a reputation for inconsistency and underwhelming performances ever since Justine Henin's retirement in 2008, with the World No. 1 spot being frequently occupied by players who hadn't won a single Grand Slam in their careers (Jelena Jankovic in 2008, Dinara Safina in 2009, Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and 2011) and were just a little more consistent than the actual Slam winners who were either sidelined by injuries or had a bad habit of following up their wins with first-round losses to inferior players. It might have started to stabilize lately, though, with the Williams sisters (especially Serena) back in serious contention and contention, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova back at the top of their games.games, and Wozniacki fighting her way back to #1, this time with a Slam win (Australia 2018) to show for it.
29th Jan '18 1:37:00 AM KYCubbie
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** And then came Roy Hodgson. Under him, England failed to make it out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, managing only one point in three games. And if the Brits thought ''that'' was an embarrassment - then came the 2016 Euros, where they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by ICELAND, a country that 1. has a population roughly the same size as Leicester, England's ELEVENTH largest city, 2. does not have a top-flight pro football league, and 3. their national team's assistant coach still worked full time as a dentist. Hodgson wrote up his resignation in the locker room immediately following that loss and announced it during the post-game press conference. And when it seemed like the next coach (Sam Allardyce) would improve the situation, a corruption scandal forced him to resign 67 days later.

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** And then came Roy Hodgson. Under him, England failed to make it out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, managing only one point in three games. And if the Brits thought ''that'' was an embarrassment - then came the 2016 Euros, where they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by ICELAND, a country that 1. has a population roughly the same size as Leicester, England's ELEVENTH largest city, 2. does not have a top-flight pro football league, and 3. their whose national team's assistant coach still worked full time as team was co-managed by a full-time dentist. Hodgson wrote up his resignation in the locker room immediately following that loss and announced it during the post-game press conference. And when it seemed like the next coach (Sam Allardyce) would improve the situation, a corruption scandal forced him to resign 67 days later.



** Starting in 1964, the Yankees' long-running '50s dynasty quickly collapsed. While some have blamed Creator/{{CBS}} [[ScapegoatCreator buying a controlling stake in the team]], there were two major factors in their decline: First, in 1960, Charlie Finley bought the then-UsefulNotes/KansasCity Athletics from the estate of Arnold Johnson, who had moved the team from UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} after the 1954 season. Johnson was widely accused of operating the A's as an effective Yankees farm club, allegedly allowing the Yankees to develop their young talent in a major-league environment before getting the players back in sweetheart deals.[[note]]Historic evidence for this is sketchy, but it is known that under MLB rules of that day, the Yankees held the major-league rights to Kansas City, since their top farm club had been based in that city. The Yankees moved the minor-league team to UsefulNotes/{{Denver}}, and didn't ask for one cent of the large indemnity they could have demanded, though this was likely because Johnson owned both the Yankees' and the Blues' stadiums (the latter of which was expanded and renamed Municipal Stadium for the A's) at the time he purchased the club.[[/note]] Finley immediately ended the "special relationship" between the A's and Yankees. The ''coup de grace'' was delivered in 1965 with the introduction of the MLB draft, making it even harder for the Yankees to replace their aging 1950s superstars by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney simply buying up every hot young talent]]. They finished 1965 in the second division (i.e. in the bottom half of the standings), and the following year they finished dead last in the American League. Longtime announcer and "Voice of the Yankees" Mel Allen was also fired in 1964 to save money. Things got slightly better in the ensuing years, but it was only when George Steinbrenner took over the team in 1973 that it became a contender again.

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** Starting in 1964, the Yankees' long-running '50s dynasty quickly collapsed. While some have blamed Creator/{{CBS}} [[ScapegoatCreator buying a controlling stake in the team]], there were two major factors in their decline: First, in 1960, Charlie Finley bought the then-UsefulNotes/KansasCity Athletics from the estate of Arnold Johnson, who had moved the team from UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} after the 1954 season. Johnson was widely accused of operating the A's as an effective Yankees farm club, allegedly allowing the Yankees to develop their young talent in a major-league environment before getting the players back in sweetheart deals.[[note]]Historic evidence for this is sketchy, but it is known that under MLB rules of that day, the Yankees held the major-league rights to Kansas City, since their top farm club had been based in that city. The Yankees moved the minor-league team to UsefulNotes/{{Denver}}, and when the A's came to KC, didn't ask for one cent of the large indemnity they could have demanded, though this was likely because Johnson owned both the Yankees' and the Blues' stadiums (the latter of which was expanded and renamed Municipal Stadium for the A's) at the time he purchased the club.[[/note]] Finley immediately ended the "special relationship" between the A's and Yankees. The ''coup de grace'' was delivered in 1965 with the introduction of the MLB draft, making it even harder for the Yankees to replace their aging 1950s superstars by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney simply buying up every hot young talent]]. They finished 1965 in the second division (i.e. in the bottom half of the standings), and the following year they finished dead last in the American League. Longtime announcer and "Voice of the Yankees" Mel Allen was also fired in 1964 to save money. Things got slightly better in the ensuing years, but it was only when George Steinbrenner took over the team in 1973 that it became a contender again.



** In 1994, the outdated two divisional set-up (the year prior, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies joined MLB as expansion franchises) was tossed in favor of the current three division and a wild card format (which was problematic within itself at first, because the Divisional Series matchups/seedings were at first, predetermined instead of determined by winning percentages). Unfortunately, for the 1993 San Francisco Giants, they won 103 games yet came one game short of the Atlanta Braves (who were always since 1969, quite mysteriously, in the NL West despite being the Southernmost MLB franchise on the ''East'' Coast). Thus, had the three divisional format been implemented the year prior, then the Giants would've easily won their divisional title.

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** In 1994, the outdated two divisional set-up setup (the year prior, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies joined MLB as expansion franchises) was tossed in favor of the current three division and a wild card format (which was problematic within itself at first, because the Divisional Series matchups/seedings were at first, predetermined instead of determined by winning percentages). Unfortunately, for the 1993 San Francisco Giants, they won 103 games yet came one game short of the Atlanta Braves (who were always since 1969, quite mysteriously, in the NL West despite being the Southernmost MLB franchise on the ''East'' Coast). Thus, had the three divisional format been implemented the year prior, then the Giants would've easily won their divisional title.



** For what it's worth, though, it was under Disney's ownership that the Angels built the team that won the World Series in 2002. While many fans cheered the Mouse-Ears selling to Arte Moreno that year, Moreno has since wrecked the team by trying to make them the Yankees of the West Coast, giving the front office the edict to always sign the best player in free agency each year (in addition to the debacle over the city of Anaheim suing the team to keep their name with the team, forcing them to now be called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). This has led to them dumping proven veterans like Vlad Guererro and Torii Hunter in order to eventually sign expensive contracts with declining superstars like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. After two injury-plagued years that saw the latter fail to produce close to the numbers he had in Texas and admitting to a drug relapse, Moreno basically shunned Hamilton completely in the 2015 pre-season, and the Angels eventually handed him back to the Rangers, getting ''nothing'' in return ''and'' agreeing to still pay more than 80% of his remaining contract, which still had ''three years left''. With the financial strain of that and the six more years on Pujols' deal and a depleted farm system, the Angels could very well be in for another longer Dork Age, despite them also having baseball's current best player, Mike Trout.[[note]]Though as of 2016, Washington Nationals fans may beg to differ, with the rise of Bryce Harper to become Trout's main [[TheRival rival]] for that crown.[[/note]]

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** For what it's worth, though, it was under Disney's ownership that the Angels built the team that won the World Series in 2002. While many fans cheered the Mouse-Ears selling to Arte Moreno that year, Moreno has since wrecked the team by trying to make them the Yankees of the West Coast, giving the front office the edict to always sign the best player in free agency each year (in addition to the debacle over the city of Anaheim suing the team to keep their name with the team, forcing them to now be called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Anaheim until 2016). This has led to them dumping proven veterans like Vlad Guererro and Torii Hunter in order to eventually sign expensive contracts with declining superstars like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. After two injury-plagued years that saw the latter fail to produce close to the numbers he had in Texas and admitting to a drug relapse, Moreno basically shunned Hamilton completely in the 2015 pre-season, and the Angels eventually handed him back to the Rangers, getting ''nothing'' in return ''and'' agreeing to still pay more than 80% of his remaining contract, which still had ''three years left''. With the financial strain of that and the six more years on Pujols' deal and a depleted farm system, the Angels could very well be in for another longer Dork Age, despite them also having baseball's current best player, Mike Trout.[[note]]Though as of 2016, Washington Nationals fans may beg to differ, differ regarding the "best player", with the rise of Bryce Harper to become Trout's main [[TheRival rival]] for that crown.[[/note]]



** 2011 almost brought another. After the team made the playoffs four times from 2004–09, the divorce and antics of owner Frank [=McCourt=] appeared to derail the franchise. Attendance dropped below 3 million for the first time in almost twenty years, and most of the 2011 season was spent in the basement, filing for bankruptcy. However, a late-season MiracleRally saw the Dodgers go from last-place to a winning record; then 2012 saw the team finish second and sold to a group including LA sports legend Magic Johnson; with a new TV deal pumping serious cash into the franchise (though fans generally hate the deal itself for preventing most of the LA area from actually seeing Dodgers games on TV), the Dodgers have proceeded to dominate their division ever since.
* Following their heart-breaking loss to the Atlanta Braves in [[DownToTheLastPlay Game 7]] of the 1992 National League Championship Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw superstar Barry Bonds and ace pitcher Doug Drabek leave in free agency (after Bobby Bonilla walked the previous year), and the team that had won the National League East three straight years would not have another winning season or playoff appearance until 2013.

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** 2011 almost brought another. After the team made the playoffs four times from 2004–09, the divorce and antics of owner Frank [=McCourt=] appeared to derail the franchise. Attendance dropped below 3 million for the first time in almost twenty years, and most of the 2011 season was spent in the basement, filing for bankruptcy. However, a late-season MiracleRally saw the Dodgers go from last-place last place to a winning record; then 2012 saw the team finish second and sold to a group including LA sports legend Magic Johnson; with a new TV deal pumping serious cash into the franchise (though fans generally hate the deal itself for preventing most of the LA area from actually seeing Dodgers games on TV), the Dodgers have proceeded to dominate their division ever since.
* Following their heart-breaking heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Braves in [[DownToTheLastPlay Game 7]] of the 1992 National League Championship Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw superstar Barry Bonds and ace pitcher Doug Drabek leave in free agency (after Bobby Bonilla walked the previous year), and the team that had won the National League East three straight years would not have another winning season or playoff appearance until 2013.



* The Houston Astros went through one in the late [=2000s=] and early [=2010s=], starting shortly after their sole World Series appearance to date in 2005. Years of signing aging players to large deals, overvaluing a few mediocre free agents, not spending on the draft, and trading away prospects left the team with an aging core incapable of competing and no help in the minor leagues. After a prolonged decline, the team was finally sold in 2010 (with the league forcing the new owner to move the team to the American League after over five decades in the National League, a move which [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks angered many long-time fans]]). Things only got worse, as the new front office decided the only way to rebuild was to trade off anyone worth mentioning, which further disappointed fans, who had grown attached to the leaders on the rather weak rosters. After that, the team went on a record streak of [[EpicFail three straight seasons with the worst record in baseball]], losing 324 games from 2011-2013 (and picking up the three #1 draft picks that went with it). There were other minor issues along the way, like trouble negotiating a television contract that left most of the surrounding area unable to see games; unknowingly drafting an injured player first overall (due to teams not having access to medical records before the draft) and not signing him as a result; and having their central database hacked and some of the results leaked. Thankfully, the Dork Age seems to have come to an end in 2015, with the team making the playoffs as a Wild Card team (after having ''just'' come short of the AL West division championship), their top prospects (acquired thanks to fire sale trades and good draft positions from their tanking) making a splash in the majors, the television contract finally working out for more fans to view the games, and a still-strong minor league system. Even the hacking was resolved, with it being tied to members of the front office of their former NL rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.
* The Minnesota Twins have had a succession of dark ages interspersed with periods of true brilliance. Their pre-move incarnation, the Washington Senators, were so legendarily bad through much of their existence (with the exception of TheRoaringTwenties, in which the franchise won its first - and for six decades ''only'' - World Series championship), that San Francisco sports writer Charley Dryden once quipped, "Washington: First in war, First in peace, and Last in the American League." The novel ''The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant'' was written riffing on the team's legendary badness, and made into the musical ''Theatre/DamnYankees''. After their move to Minnesota at the end of the 1960 season, the team rapidly rose to prominence, winning the American League Pennant in 1965 before losing the WorldSeries in seven games to the LosAngelesDodgers. They won the newly-formed AL West twice before this period of prominence came to an end, but end it did, and the team's longest dork age in Minnesota (and the worst uniform in its history) lasted from 1971 until 1984, a period in which arose the team's lasting nickname, the ''Twinkies''. This era marked some of the most shamefully bad play in the franchise's history and ended when the notoriously stingy Griffith family sold the team to local banking magnate Carl Pohlad. 1993 marked the beginning of its second dork age, which lasted until 2000, which was denoted by a number of fading stars with origins in the Twin Cities (which wasn't all bad - Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor each had reasonably productive years in Minnesota and bagged their 3000th hits wearing Twins pinstripes, but it also brought several infamous loads to the Metrodome), forcing it to rely for the majority of its pitching and run production on players who really should have spent a lot more time developing in the minors, and the third one has been ongoing since 2011 with the exception of a competitive 2015. It appears to be reaching a pinnacle after finishing with the worst record in the Majors in 2016.

to:

* The Houston Astros went through one in the late [=2000s=] and early [=2010s=], starting shortly after their sole World Series appearance to date in 2005. Years of signing aging players to large deals, overvaluing a few mediocre free agents, not spending on the draft, and trading away prospects left the team with an aging core incapable of competing and no help in the minor leagues. After a prolonged decline, the team was finally sold in 2010 (with the league forcing the new owner to move the team to the American League after over five decades in the National League, a move which [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks angered many long-time fans]]). Things only got worse, as the new front office decided the only way to rebuild was to trade off anyone worth mentioning, which further disappointed fans, who had grown attached to the leaders on the rather weak rosters. After that, the team went on a record streak of [[EpicFail three straight seasons with the worst record in baseball]], losing 324 games from 2011-2013 (and picking up the three #1 draft picks that went with it). There were other minor issues along the way, like trouble negotiating a television contract that left most of the surrounding area unable to see games; unknowingly drafting an injured player first overall (due to teams not having access to medical records before the draft) and not signing him as a result; and having their central database hacked and some of the results leaked. Thankfully, the end of the Dork Age seems to have come to an end came in 2015, with the team making the playoffs as a Wild Card team (after having ''just'' come short of the AL West division championship), their top prospects (acquired thanks to fire sale trades and good draft positions from their tanking) making a splash in the majors, the television contract finally working out for more fans to view the games, and a still-strong minor league system. Even the hacking was resolved, with it being tied to members of the front office of their former NL rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals. And then they won their first World Series title in 2017.
* The Minnesota Twins have had a succession of dark ages interspersed with periods of true brilliance. Their pre-move incarnation, the Washington Senators, were so legendarily bad through much of their existence (with the exception of TheRoaringTwenties, in which the franchise won its first - and for six decades ''only'' - World Series championship), that San Francisco sports writer Charley Dryden once quipped, "Washington: First in war, First first in peace, and Last last in the American League." The novel ''The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant'' was written riffing on the team's legendary badness, and made into the musical ''Theatre/DamnYankees''. After their move to Minnesota at the end of the 1960 season, the team rapidly rose to prominence, winning the American League Pennant pennant in 1965 before losing the WorldSeries World Series in seven games to the LosAngelesDodgers.UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Dodgers. They won the newly-formed AL West twice before this period of prominence came to an end, but end it did, and the team's longest dork age in Minnesota (and the worst uniform in its history) lasted from 1971 until 1984, a period in which arose the team's lasting nickname, the ''Twinkies''. This era marked some of the most shamefully bad play in the franchise's history and ended when the notoriously stingy Griffith family sold the team to local banking magnate Carl Pohlad. 1993 marked the beginning of its second dork age, which lasted until 2000, which was denoted by a number of fading stars with origins in the Twin Cities (which wasn't all bad - Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor each had reasonably productive years in Minnesota and bagged their 3000th hits wearing Twins pinstripes, but it also brought several infamous loads to the Metrodome), forcing it to rely for the majority of its pitching and run production on players who really should have spent a lot more time developing in the minors, and the third one has been ongoing since 2011 with the exception of a competitive 2015. It appears to be reaching a pinnacle after finishing with the worst record in the Majors in 2016.



* The UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Cubs were in a ''108 year'' Dork Age, having not won the World Series since ''1908'' until ''finally'' winning it all in 2016 and, up until 2016, hadn't won a National League pennant since ''1945''. Such highlights include:

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* The UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Cubs were in a ''108 year'' ''108-year'' Dork Age, having not won the World Series since ''1908'' until ''finally'' winning it all in 2016 and, up until 2016, hadn't won a National League pennant since ''1945''. Such highlights include:



** While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seemed to hit its peak in popularity around the start of the 21st century, many seemed to think it's been in a Dork Age since shortly thereafter, due to a number of events:

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** While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seemed to hit its peak in popularity around the start of the 21st century, many seemed to think it's been in a Dork Age since shortly thereafter, due to a number of events:



*** The Chase for the Cup beginning in 2004, which includes a points reset to bunch the top ten drivers in points (then the top twelve starting in 2007, then the top ten plus the two winningest from 11th-20th from 2011 to 2013, and since 2014 the 16 drivers with the most race wins in the 26-race "regular season"[[note]]or, if fewer than 16 drivers win races in that stretch, all race winners plus enough points leaders without a race win to fill out the 16-spot field[[/note]]) together in order to try to encourage tighter battles for the title. While the actual points margins have certainly been smaller, fans in general (especially older ones) feel that the whole setup is artificial and goes against the nature of racing, and it has only heated the argument as to whether or not NASCAR should increase the number of points for a win to give wins much more prominence over consistent top ten finishes. This was ultimately addressed by NASCAR before the 2014 season, with its announcement that Chase spots would now be determined mostly by race wins. It obviously remains to be seen how much, or whether, this change will help matters.
*** The dominance of Jimmie Johnson. Jeff Gordon has been a polarizing figure for his career for being a California transplant coming in and winning, but at least he would occasionally crack a smile, show charisma and make it look like he might actually have some good ol’ boy in him. Johnson (whose car is owned by Gordon) has been a politically correct milquetoast personality that Madison Avenue loves but has never been popular with racing fans that prefer characters. Add that to him taking advantage of the aforementioned Chase format to win five consecutive championships (breaking Cale Yarborough’s record of three straight) and holding six as of 2015 to put him just one behind legends Richard Petty and Creator/DaleEarnhardt, and he made racing boring for quite a few old guard fans. Although, [[VindicatedByHistory Jimmie is slowly getting respect by the fans after he started to not winning constantly, as fans slowly started to realize that no matter what, Jimmie will be remembered as one of NASCAR greats]].

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*** The Chase for the Cup Cup, now officially known as the "NASCAR playoffs", beginning in 2004, which includes a points reset to bunch the top ten drivers in points (then the top twelve starting in 2007, then the top ten plus the two winningest from 11th-20th from 2011 to 2013, and since 2014 the 16 drivers with the most race wins in the 26-race "regular season"[[note]]or, if fewer than 16 drivers win races in that stretch, all race winners plus enough points leaders without a race win to fill out the 16-spot field[[/note]]) together in order to try to encourage tighter battles for the title. While the actual points margins have certainly been smaller, fans in general (especially older ones) feel that the whole setup is artificial and goes against the nature of racing, and it has only heated the argument as to whether or not NASCAR should increase the number of points for a win to give wins much more prominence over consistent top ten finishes. This was ultimately addressed by NASCAR before the 2014 season, with its announcement that Chase playoff spots would now be determined mostly by race wins. It obviously remains to be seen how much, or whether, this change will help matters.
*** The dominance of Jimmie Johnson. Jeff Gordon has been a polarizing figure for his career for being a California transplant coming in and winning, but at least he would occasionally crack a smile, show charisma and make it look like he might actually have some good ol’ boy in him. Johnson (whose car is owned by Gordon) has been a politically correct milquetoast personality that Madison Avenue loves but has never been popular with racing fans that prefer characters. Add that to him taking advantage of the aforementioned Chase format to win five consecutive championships (breaking Cale Yarborough’s record of three straight) and holding six as of 2015 to put him just one behind legends Richard Petty and Creator/DaleEarnhardt, and he made racing boring for quite a few old guard fans. Although, [[VindicatedByHistory Jimmie is slowly getting respect by the fans after he started to not winning win constantly, as fans slowly started to realize that no matter what, Jimmie will be remembered as one of NASCAR NASCAR's greats]].



*** The "Car of Tomorrow," which was introduced in 2007 with its splitter replacing the front bumper and rear wing replacing the spoiler; the new car was among several new safety mandates NASCAR introduced after Creator/DaleEarnhardt's fatal crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 (which sadly may have been the incident that spiked NASCAR's popularity in the early 2000s). Despite doing its job as far as safety - no one has died in a crash after four died from 2000-01 - drivers complained about its handling and fans complained about boring racing as a result. The car was announced to be discontinued as of 2013, replaced by the more-similarity-to-a-road-car-looking Generation 6 cars.

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*** The "Car of Tomorrow," Tomorrow", which was introduced in 2007 with its splitter replacing the front bumper and rear wing replacing the spoiler; the new car was among several new safety mandates NASCAR introduced after Creator/DaleEarnhardt's fatal crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 (which sadly may have been the incident that spiked NASCAR's popularity in the early 2000s). Despite doing its job as far as safety - no one has died in a crash after four died from 2000-01 - drivers complained about its handling and fans complained about boring racing as a result. The car was announced to be discontinued as of 2013, replaced by the more-similarity-to-a-road-car-looking more-similar-to-a-road-car-looking Generation 6 cars.



*** Too much emphasis on downforce. The continually-rising number of downforce in the car led to procession races; i.e. races when one car takes the lead and stay there until the next pit stop stint, a restart caused by a caution period, or said car finished the race. This get to extreme level when NASCAR tests two new downforce packages (one low, one high) in 2015 after it is apparent that the normal 2015 package (which tend to go to high) is a mess. The races with low-downforce package was met with extremely positive reviews. Those with high-downforce package? Extremely '''negative''' review. Despite NASCAR originally insisted to go to the high-downforce, they relented and went to low-downforce package in 2016, which we can say it's been a ''huge'' success so far. Given NASCAR is now willing to reduce ''even more'' downforce, this might be a starting step for NASCAR to remove themselves from its DorkAge.
** NASCAR teams who drift into Dork Ages tend not to recover - see Morgan-[=McClure=] Motorsports, for example, rising stars of the early nineties who lost Sterling Marlin after a mediocre 1997 season - and only posted one more top ten points finish before shutting down 10 years later.
** Roush Fenway Racing. Problems include slowly slipping performance through the late 2000's that's become a landslide in the last couple years, major drivers abandoning the team,[[note]]and just to make matters worse, both of the biggest examples, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, fled to the same team, Joe Gibbs Racing[[/note]] major sponsors following suit,[[note]]Just in 2015, they had to absorb the loss of Subway to Gibbs with Edwards and the loss of [=3M=] to Hendrick Motorsports[[/note]] and highly touted Young Gun drivers who prove to be epic busts at the Cup level,[[note]]Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won back-to-back championships driving for Roush's Xfinity Series team but is now beginning to get outperformed by his girlfriend Danica Patrick, herself considered a major letdown in Sprint Cup competition; Trevor Bayne gained mountains of hype after taking the part-time Wood Brothers team to Victory Lane in the 2011 Daytona 500 and is now struggling just to maintain a top 30 points position in his first full year of Cup in 2015[[/note]] An owner who seems more concerned with micromanaging every other owner in his manufacturer (Ford) camp than actually overseeing his in-house teams, and is known for embarrassing, even borderline-racist, statements about rival teams and manufacturers, along with unconfirmed reports of cheating? Check. Rebellion against said micromanagement by the out-of-house teams? Check.[[note]]the biggest of these, Roger Penske's team, basically just switched (from Dodge) to save a few million dollars on engine development, and is now busy convincing lower-level Ford teams to defect from Roush's aero and chassis packages to his own, with Wood Brothers (in 2015) and Leavine Family (in 2014) defected from Roush to Penske; though they lost Leavine Family to Chevrolet in 2016 as a result of a merger between them and Chevy-user Circle Sport. The next biggest, Richard Petty, absorbed the Yates team that had co-developed the Roush engine package, but got fed up with lack of results and began doing chassis and aero work independent of either Roush or Penske in 2015. Both still buy engines from Roush, though, and it certainly wouldn't be surprising if the increase in engine failures from both Petty and Penske satellites like the Wood Brothers (who had been a full Roush satellite in 2014) was more than a coincidence.[[/note]] It seems like far longer than the 11 years it's been since Roush was able to post back-to-back championships (with Kenseth in 2003 and Kurt Busch in 2004) and seemed on the verge of knocking off Rick Hendrick and Chevrolet to re-establish Ford as NASCAR's top manufacturer.
* [=MotoGP=]: Valentino Rossi's time in Ducati. It is hyped so much by the public, but turned out to be a massive failure. Zero victories, just 3 podium in 2 seasons, pretty high crash rate (unusual for Valentino), and sometimes battling against ''Aprilia CRT's''[[note]] CRT/Open class bike tend to be slower than even the slowest Factory bikes (right now is the Marc VDS Honda), except if you are Aleix Espargaro[[/note]] is pretty embarrassing for the legend. Fortunately, once he returned to Yamaha, after one year of adapting back, we can say that [[HesBack he's back to the top]].

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*** Too much emphasis on downforce. The continually-rising number amount of downforce in the car led to procession races; i.e. races when one car takes took the lead and stay stayed there until the next pit stop stint, a restart caused by a caution period, or said car finished the race. This get to extreme level went UpToEleven when NASCAR tests tested two new downforce packages (one low, one high) in 2015 after it is apparent that the normal 2015 package (which tend to go to high) is was a mess. The races with the low-downforce package was were met with extremely positive reviews. Those with the high-downforce package? Extremely '''negative''' review. reviews. Despite NASCAR originally insisted to go to insisting on the high-downforce, high-downforce package, they relented and went to the low-downforce package in 2016, which we can say it's has been a ''huge'' success so far. Given NASCAR is now willing to reduce ''even more'' downforce, this might be a starting step for NASCAR to remove themselves from its DorkAge.
** NASCAR teams who that drift into Dork Ages tend not to recover - see Morgan-[=McClure=] Motorsports, for example, rising stars of the early nineties who lost Sterling Marlin after a mediocre 1997 season - and only posted one more top ten points finish before shutting down 10 years later.
** Roush Fenway Racing. Problems include slowly slipping performance through the late 2000's that's become a landslide in the last couple years, major drivers abandoning the team,[[note]]and just to make matters worse, both of the biggest examples, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, fled to the same team, Joe Gibbs Racing[[/note]] major sponsors following suit,[[note]]Just in 2015, they had to absorb the loss of Subway to Gibbs with Edwards and the loss of [=3M=] to Hendrick Motorsports[[/note]] and highly touted Young Gun drivers who prove to be epic busts at the Cup level,[[note]]Ricky level.[[note]]Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won back-to-back championships driving for Roush's Xfinity Series team but is now beginning to get would be outperformed by his now-former girlfriend Danica Patrick, herself considered a major letdown in Sprint Cup competition; Trevor Bayne gained mountains of hype after taking the part-time Wood Brothers team to Victory Lane in the 2011 Daytona 500 and is now struggling but struggled just to maintain a top 30 points position in his first full year of Cup in 2015[[/note]] An owner who seems more concerned with micromanaging every other owner in his manufacturer (Ford) camp than actually overseeing his in-house teams, and is known for embarrassing, even borderline-racist, statements about rival teams and manufacturers, along with unconfirmed reports of cheating? Check. Rebellion against said micromanagement by the out-of-house teams? Check.[[note]]the [[note]]The biggest of these, Roger Penske's team, basically just switched (from Dodge) to save a few million dollars on engine development, and is now busy convincing lower-level Ford teams to defect from Roush's aero and chassis packages to his own, with Wood Brothers (in 2015) and Leavine Family (in 2014) defected defecting from Roush to Penske; though they lost Leavine Family to Chevrolet in 2016 as a result of a merger between them and Chevy-user Circle Sport. The next biggest, Richard Petty, absorbed the Yates team that had co-developed the Roush engine package, but got fed up with lack of results and began doing chassis and aero work independent of either Roush or Penske in 2015. Both still buy engines from Roush, though, and it certainly wouldn't be surprising if the increase in engine failures from both Petty and Penske satellites like the Wood Brothers (who had been a full Roush satellite in 2014) was more than a coincidence.[[/note]] It seems like far longer than the 11 14 years it's been since Roush was able to post back-to-back championships (with Kenseth in 2003 and Kurt Busch in 2004) and seemed on the verge of knocking off Rick Hendrick and Chevrolet to re-establish Ford as NASCAR's top manufacturer.
* [=MotoGP=]: Valentino Rossi's time in with Ducati. It is was hyped so much by the public, but turned out to be a massive failure. Zero victories, just 3 podium podiums in 2 seasons, pretty high crash rate (unusual for Valentino), and sometimes battling against ''Aprilia CRT's''[[note]] CRT/Open class bike tend to be slower than even the slowest Factory bikes (right now is the Marc VDS Honda), except if you are Aleix Espargaro[[/note]] is pretty embarrassing for the legend. Fortunately, once he returned to Yamaha, after one year of adapting back, we can say that [[HesBack he's back to the top]].



*** Fortunately for [=MotoGP=], Ducati's LoopholeAbuse on the Open Class rules in 2014 actually ''helped'' the sport, because this means any manufacturer who participated in [=MotoGP=] can have more freedom in their bike development depending on their results the previous season so they could catch up to the main factory bikes (which many considered to be Yamaha and Honda). In addition, a shake-up in the tires (from Bridgestone to Michelin) as well as a ban on manufacturer-specific [=ECUs=] helped bringing a closer competition as well. The result? Manufacturers are joining one-by-one (Suzuki returned in 2015, Aprilia quietly returned in 2015, and KTM made their debut in 2017); and the 2016 season saw a whooping ''9 different race winners'' and ''4 different manufacturers'' winning at least one race during the season; with some saying 2016 to be one of the best seasons '''ever'''.

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*** Fortunately for [=MotoGP=], Ducati's LoopholeAbuse on the Open Class rules in 2014 actually ''helped'' the sport, because this means any manufacturer who participated in [=MotoGP=] can have more freedom in their bike development depending on their results the previous season so they could catch up to the main factory bikes (which many considered to be Yamaha and Honda). In addition, a shake-up in the tires (from Bridgestone to Michelin) as well as a ban on manufacturer-specific [=ECUs=] helped bringing a closer competition as well. The result? Manufacturers are joining one-by-one (Suzuki returned in 2015, Aprilia quietly returned in 2015, and KTM made their debut in 2017); and the 2016 season saw a whooping whopping ''9 different race winners'' and ''4 different manufacturers'' winning at least one race during the season; with some saying 2016 to be one of the best seasons '''ever'''.



* There was the seismic collapse of the Chicago Bulls after their second threepeat. Michael Jordan retired for the second time. Phil Jackson sat out the next season and resurfaced as the new head coach of the Lakers. Luc Longley, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, and Dennis Rodman all left as well. Chicago wouldn't see the playoffs again until 2005.
* The New York Knicks have been in a Dork Age since 1973, the last year they won the championship, especially since they have only made the NBA Finals twice in the more than 40 years since then. But the years following that last Finals trip in 1999 have been especially lean. The Knicks have only made it past the first round of the playoffs once since 2001, missing the playoffs entirely 10 times in that span. They have brought in the likes of Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas and even Phil Jackson to turn things around, and yet things just seem to get worse and worse. Jackson’s first year as team president saw them hit rock bottom, as their 17 wins in 2014–15 were the fewest in franchise history - for a team that dates back to the NBA’s founding, including the early years where they played at least 20 games fewer in a season than they do now. Not helping is Jackson's BornInTheWrongCentury attitude, who repeatedly made statements on how teams could not win titles if their offense revolves around three-point shooting, even tweeting "how's it goink?" [sic] when big-man-led Memphis was up 2–1 on 3-point shooting Golden State (who promptly won the next three games by double digit margins). Knicks fans facepalmed as four of the top five 3-point shooting teams made the conference finals (with the fifth team, the Clippers, knocked out the previous round) with the title going to Golden State, led by MVP Stephen Curry, who broke his own record for most 3s made in a season, as well as setting a new playoff record.

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* There was the seismic collapse of the Chicago Bulls after their second threepeat.three-peat. Michael Jordan retired for the second time. Phil Jackson sat out the next season and resurfaced as the new head coach of the Lakers. Luc Longley, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, and Dennis Rodman all left as well. Chicago wouldn't see the playoffs again until 2005.
* The New York Knicks have been in a Dork Age since 1973, the last year they won the championship, especially since they have only made the NBA Finals twice in the more than 40 years since then. But the years following that last Finals trip in 1999 have been especially lean. The Knicks have only made it past the first round of the playoffs once since 2001, missing the playoffs entirely 10 times in that span. They have brought in the likes of Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas and even Phil Jackson to turn things around, and yet things just seem to get worse and worse. Jackson’s first year as team president saw them hit rock bottom, as their 17 wins in 2014–15 were the fewest in franchise history - for a team that dates back to the NBA’s founding, including the early years where they played at least 20 games fewer in a season than they do now. Not helping is Jackson's BornInTheWrongCentury attitude, who repeatedly made statements on how teams could not win titles if their offense revolves around three-point shooting, even tweeting "how's it goink?" [sic] when big-man-led Memphis was up 2–1 on 3-point shooting Golden State (who promptly won the next three games by double digit margins). Knicks fans facepalmed as four of the top five 3-point shooting teams made the conference finals (with the fifth team, the Clippers, knocked out the previous round) with the title going to Golden State, led by MVP Stephen Curry, UsefulNotes/StephenCurry, who broke his own record for most 3s made in a season, as well as setting a new playoff record.



* Los Angeles Lakers. After winning 2 championships with the Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol-Phil Jackson core, the Lakers underwent several misfortunes (Early playoff exits, A blocked trade for Chris Paul, aging players, Phil Jackson retiring) that brought them from a contender to a playoff disappointment. To solve these problems and compete in the rough Western Conference, the Lakers brought in superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash through trades in 2012. While the Lakers were expected to dominate and win the Championship with that roster, they ended up doing the opposite: they struggled throughout the season (due to injuries, underperforming players, incompetent coaching, and lack of team chemistry) and ended up barely (with a 42–40 record) making the playoffs, where they were SWEPT by the San Antonio Spurs ([[KickTheDog To make it worse]], longtime owner Jerry Buss died that season). The next season was a lot harsher, as Dwight Howard left for Houston, [[WorfHadTheFlu Kobe and Steve Nash were out for almost the entire season thanks to injuries]], and the Lakers ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The [[HumiliationConga pain train]] just kept chugging on for the Lakers during a later season, as several players (Steve Nash, Pau Gasol etc.) left thru free agency or retirement, Kobe continued playing despite being injured and WAY past his prime, and LA had to put on the floor mediocre players such as Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson, and Ronnie Price. The result? A 21–61 record; the Lakers' worst season since they moved to Los Angeles. Not helping the Lakers right now is their less-than-stellar front office and ownership (current VP of Basketball Operations, Jim Buss (Jerry's son), is commonly seen as the scapegoat of these problems), and their inability to attract top tier free agents. However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as the Lakers have young and promising players (and possible all-stars) such as Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell, and Kobe's retirement will free up a large portion of the team's budget. However, the 2015-16 Lakers ended posting their [[FromBadToWorse worst record in franchise history,]] 17–65, though Kobe went out in style with a season-leading 60-point game. And, even though Kobe's retirement did give the Lakers a huge amount of cap room, his salary comes off the books at the exact time that the league's huge new TV deal kicks in, giving about ''half the league'' cap room at least as large as that of the Lakers.\\
To make matters worse for Lakers fans, the Lakers' decline has coincided with 2 [[TheChewToy perennially]] [[ButtMonkey tortured]] Californian teams, the Los Angeles Clippers (commonly mocked by many as the "other team" in LA) and the Golden State Warriors, [[TookALevelInBadass becoming perennial powerhouses]]. The Clippers, who already had young stars Blake Griffin and [=DeAndre=] Jordan, rose to prominence once they obtained Chris Paul (who was going to be a Laker, had a proposed Lakers-Hornets trade not been blocked by David Stern) and took the league by storm with their high-flying "Lob City" offense. The Warriors quietly built their team thru the draft and free agency, and later became known for their high-scoring perimeter offense (which featured "Splash Brothers" Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) and an underrated yet suffocating defense. They would end up [[DarkHorseVictory upstaging the 2 LA teams]] by utterly DOMINATING the league ([[LightningBruiser they were among the best teams with regards to Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency, and Pace]]) and winning the NBA Championship (their first in 40 years) in 2015!
* Given that the Golden State Warriors have been [[TheAce the NBA's best]] (and most hated) team since the middle of TheNewTens, it's tough to remember that they were a complete joke from 1975 to 2015. The Warriors were actually a decent to good team during their early years (first in Philadelphia until 1962, then in the San Francisco Bay Area since then), boasting three Championships (in 1947 [[note]]The first ever NBA (then known as the BAA) championship[[/note]], 1956, and 1975), and NBA legends such as Joe Fulks, Al Attles, WiltChamberlain, and Rick Barry. In the years following the 1975 Championship, though, it was constant pain for Warriors fans, as the Dubs turned into one of the league's whipping boys thanks to constant playoff misses, bad draft choices (e.g. Joe Barry Carroll and Chris Washburn), and uninspired player transactions (the team let go of Robert Parish, who became a key member of the 80's Celtics' dynasty). There was some respite in the late 80's and early 90's, as the fast-paced Run TMC trio wowed fans with their [[FragileSpeedster lightning-fast play]] and [[GlassCannon high-octane offense]]. Unfortunately, the end of the Run TMC era ushered in an even darker period from 1994 to 2012 when the Dubs missed the playoffs in EVERY SEASON except for a one-off cameo in 2007 (known as the We Believe Warriors). Despite some bright spots (the aforementioned "We Believe" team and their upset of the first-seed Mavericks, the presence of studs such as Antawn Jamison and Jason Richardson), that period was filled with crappy draft picks (Joe Smith over Kevin Garnett, Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant etc.), poor personnel decisions ([[RichInDollarsPoorInSense huge contracts given to scrubs]] like Erick Dampier and Andris Biedrins, signing past-their-prime players like Terry Cummings and John Starks), and several controversies ([[WhatTheHellHero Latrell Sprewell choking his coach]], Monta Ellis [[WhatAnIdiot getting into a moped accident]]). The Warriors fans' suffering would come to a close when that dark period ended, as the Warriors ended up getting a much-needed ownership change, while smartly using key draft picks (mostly earned from near-constant suckitude) on building blocks such as Creator/StephenCurry, [[ImprobableAimingSkills Klay]] [[NumberTwo Thompson]], and [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]]. Such a transition ended up bringing the Dubs back into the playoffs in 2013, and a further coaching change reaped Three NBA finals appearances, Two championships, an NBA regular season record, an NBA playoffs record, AND Kevin Durant, ensuring that the stench of the Dubs' 40-year long Dork age is pretty much dead and gone.

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* Los Angeles Lakers. After winning 2 championships with the Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol-Phil Jackson core, the Lakers underwent several misfortunes (Early playoff exits, A blocked trade for Chris Paul, aging players, Phil Jackson retiring) that brought them from a contender to a playoff disappointment. To solve these problems and compete in the rough Western Conference, the Lakers brought in superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash through trades in 2012. While the Lakers were expected to dominate and win the Championship with that roster, they ended up doing the opposite: they struggled throughout the season (due to injuries, underperforming players, incompetent coaching, and lack of team chemistry) and ended up barely (with a 42–40 record) making the playoffs, where they were SWEPT by the San Antonio Spurs ([[KickTheDog To to make it worse]], longtime owner Jerry Buss died that season). The next season was a lot harsher, as Dwight Howard left for Houston, [[WorfHadTheFlu Kobe and Steve Nash were out for almost the entire season thanks to injuries]], and the Lakers ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The [[HumiliationConga pain train]] just kept chugging on for the Lakers during a later season, as several players (Steve Nash, Pau Gasol etc.) left thru free agency or retirement, Kobe continued playing despite being injured and WAY past his prime, and LA had to put on the floor mediocre players such as Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson, and Ronnie Price. The result? A 21–61 record; the Lakers' worst season since they moved to Los Angeles. Not helping the Lakers right now is their less-than-stellar front office and ownership (current VP of Basketball Operations, Jim Buss (Jerry's son), is commonly seen as the scapegoat of these problems), and their inability to attract top tier free agents. However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as the Lakers have young and promising players (and possible all-stars) such as Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell, and Kobe's retirement will free up a large portion of the team's budget. However, the 2015-16 Lakers ended posting their [[FromBadToWorse worst record in franchise history,]] 17–65, though Kobe went out in style with a season-leading 60-point game in his final game. And, even though Kobe's retirement did give the Lakers a huge amount of cap room, his salary comes came off the books at the exact time that the league's huge new TV deal kicks kicked in, giving about ''half the league'' cap room at least as large as that of the Lakers.\\
To make matters worse for Lakers fans, the Lakers' decline has coincided with 2 [[TheChewToy perennially]] [[ButtMonkey tortured]] Californian teams, the Los Angeles Clippers (commonly mocked by many as the "other team" in LA) and the Golden State Warriors, [[TookALevelInBadass becoming perennial powerhouses]]. The Clippers, who already had young stars Blake Griffin and [=DeAndre=] Jordan, rose to prominence once they obtained Chris Paul (who was going to be a Laker, had a proposed Lakers-Hornets trade not been blocked by David Stern) and took the league by storm with their high-flying "Lob City" offense. The Warriors quietly built their team thru the draft and free agency, and later became known for their high-scoring perimeter offense (which featured "Splash Brothers" Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) and an underrated yet suffocating defense. They would end up [[DarkHorseVictory upstaging the 2 LA teams]] by utterly DOMINATING the league ([[LightningBruiser they were among the best teams with regards to Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency, and Pace]]) and winning the NBA Championship (their first in 40 years) in 2015!
2015! And after picking up Kevin Durant in free agency after losing to UsefulNotes/{{LeBron|James}} and the Cavaliers in the 2016 finals—without having to give up any of their stars to salary cap considerations—the Dubs won it all again in 2017.
* Given that the Golden State Warriors have been [[TheAce the NBA's best]] (and most hated) team since the middle of TheNewTens, it's tough to remember that they were a complete joke from 1975 to 2015. The Warriors were actually a decent to good team during their early years (first in Philadelphia until 1962, then in the San Francisco Bay Area since then), boasting three Championships (in 1947 [[note]]The first ever NBA (then known as the BAA) championship[[/note]], 1956, and 1975), and NBA legends such as Joe Fulks, Al Attles, WiltChamberlain, and Rick Barry. In the years following the 1975 Championship, though, it was constant pain for Warriors fans, as the Dubs turned into one of the league's whipping boys thanks to constant playoff misses, bad draft choices (e.g. Joe Barry Carroll and Chris Washburn), and uninspired player transactions (the team let go of Robert Parish, who became a key member of the 80's Celtics' dynasty). There was some respite in the late 80's and early 90's, as the fast-paced Run TMC trio wowed fans with their [[FragileSpeedster lightning-fast play]] and [[GlassCannon high-octane offense]]. Unfortunately, the end of the Run TMC era ushered in an even darker period from 1994 to 2012 when the Dubs missed the playoffs in EVERY SEASON except for a one-off cameo in 2007 (known as the We Believe Warriors). Despite some bright spots (the aforementioned "We Believe" team and their upset of the first-seed Mavericks, the presence of studs such as Antawn Jamison and Jason Richardson), that period was filled with crappy draft picks (Joe Smith over Kevin Garnett, Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant etc.), poor personnel decisions ([[RichInDollarsPoorInSense huge contracts given to scrubs]] like Erick Dampier and Andris Biedrins, signing past-their-prime players like Terry Cummings and John Starks), and several controversies ([[WhatTheHellHero Latrell Sprewell choking his coach]], Monta Ellis [[WhatAnIdiot getting into a moped accident]]). The Warriors fans' suffering would come to a close when that dark period ended, as the Warriors ended up getting a much-needed ownership change, while smartly using key draft picks (mostly earned from near-constant suckitude) on building blocks such as Creator/StephenCurry, UsefulNotes/StephenCurry, [[ImprobableAimingSkills Klay]] [[NumberTwo Thompson]], and [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]]. Such a transition ended up bringing the Dubs back into the playoffs in 2013, and a further coaching change reaped Three NBA finals appearances, Two championships, an NBA regular season record, an NBA playoffs record, AND Kevin Durant, ensuring that the stench of the Dubs' 40-year long Dork age is pretty much dead and gone.



* The Southwest Conference's breakup in 1995 (which many blame as a result of the SMU Death Penalty) led to Dork Ages for most of the schools that didn't immediately go to the Big 12 Conference. TCU, SMU, Houston and Rice have combined to change conferences 11 times since the SWC's end.[[note]]TCU: Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mountain West Conference, Big 12 (the latter after reneging on an announced move to the Big East); SMU: WAC, C-USA, American Athletic Conference; Houston: C-USA, The American; Rice: WAC, C-USA[[/note]] Only TCU has produced a consistently winning program among those four. Meanwhile, Baylor getting picked for the Big 12 led to that program's Dork Age, as the Bears did not produce a winning season for the first 14 years of the conference's history, including four seasons of going winless in conference (they didn't win more than one conference game in a season until ''2005'') until Art Briles took over in 2008 - Baylor has made a bowl game every year since 2010, winning the conference championship in 2013.

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* The Southwest Conference's breakup in 1995 (which many blame as a result of the SMU Death Penalty) led to Dork Ages for most of the schools that didn't immediately go to the Big 12 Conference. TCU, SMU, Houston and Rice have combined to change conferences 11 times since the SWC's end.[[note]]TCU: Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mountain West Conference, Big 12 (the latter after reneging on an announced move to the Big East); SMU: WAC, C-USA, American Athletic Conference; Houston: C-USA, The American; Rice: WAC, C-USA[[/note]] Only TCU has produced a consistently winning program among those four. Meanwhile, Baylor getting picked for the Big 12 led to that program's Dork Age, as the Bears did not produce a winning season for the first 14 years of the conference's history, including four seasons of going winless in conference (they didn't win more than one conference game in a season until ''2005'') until Art Briles took over in 2008 - 2008. Baylor has made a went on to make bowl game every year since 2010, games in each season from 2010 to 2016, winning the conference championship in 2013. 2013. However, revelations that the school had tried to cover up a long string of sexual assaults by players led to a complete housecleaning after the 2015 season, with Briles being fired and both the athletic director and university president resigning. After a bowl appearance in 2016, the Bears look to be entering a new Dork Age, going ''1–11'' in 2017.



** A 34–10 blowout loss at home against perennial loser Vanderbilt...who hadn't won beaten Florida in Gainesville since ''UsefulNotes/WorldWarII''.
** A 26–20 loss to Georgia Southern -- the first time in school history that Florida had ever lost to a FCS school. It's not exactly unheard of for a FCS school to beat a FBS school, but the way that Georgia Southern did it is important -- Georgia Southern beat Florida '''''without completing a pass'''''.

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** A 34–10 blowout loss at home against perennial loser Vanderbilt... who hadn't won beaten Florida in Gainesville since ''UsefulNotes/WorldWarII''.
** A 26–20 loss to Georgia Southern -- the first time in school history that Florida had ever lost to a FCS school. It's not exactly unheard of for a FCS school to beat a FBS school, but the way that Georgia Southern did it is important -- Georgia Southern beat Florida '''''without completing a pass'''''.[[note]]Granted, Georgia Southern runs a ground-oriented option offense, but even then the Eagles typically complete a few passes each game.[[/note]]



* The Tennessee Volunteers have been hit with this ever since Philip Fullmer left in 2008, and these are just the coaches responsible:

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* The Tennessee Volunteers have been hit with this ever since Philip Fullmer Fulmer left in 2008, and these are just the coaches responsible:



** Derek Dooley brought the Vols three losing seasons, one bowl appearance, and the "Dumbass Miracle" that was the most embarrassing fail UT would suffer in 2010.

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** Derek Dooley brought the Vols three losing seasons, one bowl appearance, and the "Dumbass Miracle" that was the most embarrassing fail UT would suffer in 2010.[[note]]In which LSU totally botched its end-of-game clock management and fumbled on its final play... only to be reprieved when the Vols were caught with ''13 men'' on defense instead of 11. LSU punched it in for the winning TD on the untimed down that followed.[[/note]]



** Things came to a head in the 2017 season, widely seen as Jones' make it or break it season...[[EpicFail and he broke it to a spectacular degree]]. Lowlights include:
*** After a promising start, coming from behind to beat Georgia Tech in the opening game of the season, losing 26-20 to a Florida team widely seen as being the worst in decades and having the most incompetent coach (Jim McElwain, detailed further in Florida's own section) since Ron Zook. Florida ended up going 3-5 in the conference and ended up with just as few wins as the Vols.
*** After struggling to beat doormat UMass the next week, fans booed the team and walked out before the game was over.

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** Things came to a head in the 2017 season, widely seen as Jones' make it or break it season... [[EpicFail and he broke it to a spectacular degree]]. Lowlights include:
*** After a promising start, coming from behind to beat Georgia Tech in the opening game of the season, losing 26-20 to a Florida team widely seen as being the worst in decades and having the most incompetent coach (Jim McElwain, [=McElwain=], detailed further in Florida's own section) since Ron Zook. Florida ended up going 3-5 in the conference and ended up with just as few wins as the Vols.
*** After struggling to beat doormat UMass [=UMass=] the next week, fans booed the team and walked out before the game was over.



*** The only thing keeping fans afloat post-Jones was the hope of an earth-shaking new head coach like Jon Gruden...but the coaching carousel proved fruitless. Jeff Brohm, Mike Gundy, David Cutcliffe, Dave Doeren, and Scott Frost turned Tennessee down, and Dan Mullen ended up going to division rival Florida. Fan ire switched to athletic director John Currie, widely seen as even more incompetent than Jones.
*** An ESPN reporter on the morning of November 26, 2017 tweeted that the Vols had found their new head coach...Greg Schiano, who was a spectacular failure at both Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and to make matters worse, he had been implicated in covering up the Jerry Sandusky scandal when he was an assistant at Penn State. The fanbase was enraged, and everyone from students to ''Tennessee state legislators'' voiced their displeasure. The deal was canceled only a day later.
*** To the relief of most, Currie was finally fired, and Fulmer returned to the program as athletic director...but as the Vols still have no confirmed coach for the following season, and many are dreading the program having to pull an unproven coach from a lower-tier team or hire a coordinator that hasn't been a head coach yet. Many even believe the program has no other choice but to hire Hoke full-time.
* The Pittsburgh Panthers were once a major force in college football. Under coach Johnny Majors, they won their ninth national title in 1976 and consistently reached major bowls throughout the '70s and early '80s with coaches Jackie Sherrill, Foge Fazio, and quarterback Dan Marino. After a Fiesta Bowl loss in 1983, the team went 3–8 the following year, beginning a drastic down-slide. The team made only two minor bowls between 1984 and 1997; Majors' return in the mid-90s did little more than tarnish his reputation. Pitt rebuilt drastically under Walt Harris, reaching several bowls including the 2004 Fiesta Bowl (where [[CurbStompBattle they were crushed by Utah, 35–7]]). As of this writing, they've managed eight consecutive bowl appearances, though still haven't matched their peak in the '70s and '80s.[[/folder]]

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*** The only thing keeping fans afloat post-Jones was the hope of an earth-shaking new head coach like Jon Gruden... but the coaching carousel proved fruitless. Jeff Brohm, Mike Gundy, David Cutcliffe, Dave Doeren, and Scott Frost turned Tennessee down, and Dan Mullen ended up going to division rival Florida. Fan ire switched to athletic director John Currie, widely seen as even more incompetent than Jones.
*** An ESPN reporter on the morning of November 26, 2017 tweeted that the Vols had found their new head coach... Greg Schiano, who was a spectacular failure at both Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and to make matters worse, he had been implicated in covering up the Jerry Sandusky scandal when he was an assistant at Penn State. The fanbase was enraged, and everyone from students to ''Tennessee state legislators'' voiced their displeasure. The deal was canceled only a day later.
*** To the relief of most, Currie was finally fired, and Fulmer returned to the program as athletic director... but as the many Vols still have no confirmed coach for the following season, and many are fans were dreading the program having to pull an unproven coach from a lower-tier team or hire a coordinator that who hasn't been a head coach yet. Many even believe believed the program has had no other choice but to hire Hoke full-time.
full-time. They ended up luring Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, but the jury is definitely out on how that will go.
* The Pittsburgh Panthers were once a major force in college football. Under coach Johnny Majors, they won their ninth national title in 1976 and consistently reached major bowls throughout the '70s and early '80s with coaches Jackie Sherrill, Foge Fazio, and quarterback Dan Marino. After a Fiesta Bowl loss in 1983, the team went 3–8 the following year, beginning a drastic down-slide.downslide. The team made only two minor bowls between 1984 and 1997; Majors' return in the mid-90s did little more than tarnish his reputation. Pitt rebuilt drastically under Walt Harris, reaching several bowls including the 2004 Fiesta Bowl (where [[CurbStompBattle they were crushed by Utah, 35–7]]). As of this writing, writing (January 2018), they've managed eight consecutive to climb back to respectability, going to nine straight bowls from 2008–2016 and missing out on a 2017 bowl appearances, though appearance by one win, but still haven't matched their peak in the '70s and '80s.[[/folder]]



* The San Diego Chargers were in a Dork Age from 1996 through 2003, where they failed to make the playoffs and never won more than half of their games. The Ryan Leaf era (1998 and 2000) deserves a special mention, as he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and became one of the worst draft picks of all time. Leaf's 2000 campaign saw the Chargers go 1-15, they replaced him with Drew Brees at quarterback, and the rest is history.
* The first five years of Jerry Jones owning the Dallas Cowboys netted two Super Bowl championships. Then Jones fired coach Jimmy Johnson for daring to demand credit for the championships, thus establishing Jones as the only man in charge - and the Cowboys have suffered ever since. They had enough talent for one more championship in 1995, but have won two playoff games since, with the wins 13 years apart. Why? As one of the few sole general manager-owners in the league, Jones cannot draft fundamentals (like an offensive line) to save his life, frequently takes chances on players who had injury problems in college like [=DeMarco=] Murray (that have carried over into injury-plagued NFL seasons) and has on at least two occasions traded away multiple draft picks for underachievers like Joey Galloway and Roy Williams. While they eventually found some good skill players like linebacker/defensive end [=DeMarcus=] Ware and wide receiver Dez Bryant, management's inability to draft the basics for a team has cost the Cowboys multiple chances at returning to prominence, especially since the advent of Tony Romo becoming the starting quarterback.

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* The San Diego Chargers were in a Dork Age from 1996 through 2003, where they failed to make the playoffs and never won more than half of their games. The Ryan Leaf era (1998 and 2000) deserves a special mention, as he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and became one of the worst draft picks of all time. Leaf's 2000 campaign saw the Chargers go 1-15, they replaced him with Drew Brees at quarterback, and the rest is history.
history. And they left San Diego for their original home of Los Angeles after the 2016 season.
* The first five years of Jerry Jones owning the Dallas Cowboys netted two Super Bowl championships. Then Jones fired coach Jimmy Johnson for daring to demand credit for the championships, thus establishing Jones as the only man in charge - and the Cowboys have suffered ever since. They had enough talent for one more championship in 1995, but have won two playoff games since, with the wins 13 years apart. Why? As one of the few sole general manager-owners in the league, Jones cannot draft fundamentals (like an offensive line) to save his life, frequently takes chances on players who had injury problems in college like [=DeMarco=] Murray (that have carried over into injury-plagued NFL seasons) and has on at least two occasions traded away multiple draft picks for underachievers like Joey Galloway and Roy Williams. While they eventually found some good skill players like linebacker/defensive end [=DeMarcus=] Ware and wide receiver Dez Bryant, management's inability to draft the basics for a team has cost the Cowboys multiple chances at returning to prominence, especially since the advent of Tony Romo and later Dak Prescott becoming the starting quarterback.



** There was also the infamous trade for star quarterback John Hadl, who was still clearly past his prime when the Packers sent five mostly high future draft picks (two first-rounders, two second-rounders, a third-rounder) to the Los Angeles Rams to acquire his services. Hadl "rewarded" Green Bay with nine TD pases and a whopping 29 interceptions combined in 1974 and 1975.

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** There was also the infamous trade for star quarterback John Hadl, who was still clearly past his prime when the Packers sent five mostly high future draft picks (two first-rounders, two second-rounders, a third-rounder) to the Los Angeles Rams to acquire his services. Hadl "rewarded" Green Bay with nine TD pases passes and a whopping 29 interceptions combined in 1974 and 1975.



** Averted after Brett Favre's "retirement." The departure of a long-time face of the franchise is usually one of the largest causes of DorkAge in sports, but thanks to Aaron Rodgers and company, the Packers had their greatest period of success since the Lombardi years. The Packers defeated the New York Giants (the same team that handed the Packers a loss in Brett Favre's final appearance in Green Bay) on December 26, 2010 and did not lose another game until December 18, 2011, racking up 19 straight wins including Super Bowl XLV, just three years following Favre's departure.

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** Averted after Brett Favre's "retirement." "retirement". The departure of a long-time face of the franchise is usually one of the largest causes of DorkAge in sports, but thanks to Aaron Rodgers and company, the Packers had their greatest period of success since the Lombardi years. The Packers defeated the New York Giants (the same team that handed the Packers a loss in Brett Favre's final appearance in Green Bay) on December 26, 2010 and did not lose another game until December 18, 2011, racking up 19 straight wins including Super Bowl XLV, just three years following Favre's departure.



** And there's the ownership. At the beginning of the Dork Age, polarizing owner Georgia Frontiere was near death and had her son, film producer Chip Rosenbloom, running the team. Once Rosenbloom inherited the team, he more or less was trying to make the team so bad that he could move them back to Los Angeles and sell to the highest bidder. Minority owner Stan Kroenke put a stop to that by putting the NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche up for sale to buy him and his wife's share of the team. Dealing with the fan apathy, however, has been another issue completely, and in 2016, Kroenke moved the team back to Los Angeles.

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** And there's the ownership. At the beginning of the Dork Age, polarizing owner Georgia Frontiere was near death and had her son, film producer Chip Rosenbloom, running the team. Once Rosenbloom inherited the team, he more or less was trying to make the team so bad that he could move them back to Los Angeles and sell to the highest bidder. Minority owner Stan Kroenke put a stop to that by putting the NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche up for sale in his wife's name[[note]]a billionaire in her own right, being a daughter of UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} founder Sam Walton[[/note]] to buy him and his wife's share of the team. Dealing with the fan apathy, however, has been another issue completely, and in 2016, Kroenke moved the team back to Los Angeles.



* The Pittsburgh Steelers' early history. Their first 39 seasons featured only eight winning records, no playoff wins, and no titles. In 1969, they hired Chuck Noll as head coach and he began to build the Steelers into a solid contender. They recorded their first playoff win in 1972 (the famous "Immaculate Reception" Game) and eventually went on to claim four Super Bowl titles before the end of the decade. When the players from the '70s dynasty inevitably retired, the Steelers fell back into another Dork Age in the '80s. After Noll finally stepped down in 1991 and Bill Cowher became head coach, the Steelers returned to their winning ways, but they weren't completely out of the Dork Age due to [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut constantly fizzling out in the playoffs]], the most glaring losses coming in the '94, '97, 2001, and 2004 AFC Championship Games, at home nonetheless, as well as Super Bowl XXX against the Cowboys. Cowher finally won a championship in 2005 before retiring after the 2006 season. With current coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have played in two more Super Bowls with one victory, haven't posted a losing season since 2003, and despite a few speedbumps as key players from the later Super Bowls have retired, continue to remain perennial playoff contenders thanks to fresh talent ably taking their places.[[note]]one example of this would be the trio of receivers who have caught 500+ balls from QB Ben Roethlisberger, making him the only player to pull of that feat - the first two were tight end Heath Miller and wideout Hines Ward, who formed the core of Pittsburgh's passing game throughout the mid-to-late 2000's and early 2010's. The third is current lead wideout Antonio Brown, who was drafted in 2010 and is in the prime of his career as of 2016.[[/note]]

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* The Pittsburgh Steelers' early history. Their first 39 seasons featured only eight winning records, no playoff wins, and no titles. In 1969, they hired Chuck Noll as head coach and he began to build the Steelers into a solid contender. They recorded their first playoff win in 1972 (the famous "Immaculate Reception" Game) and eventually went on to claim four Super Bowl titles before the end of the decade. When the players from the '70s dynasty inevitably retired, the Steelers fell back into another Dork Age in the '80s. After Noll finally stepped down in 1991 and Bill Cowher became head coach, the Steelers returned to their winning ways, but they weren't completely out of the Dork Age due to [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut constantly fizzling out in the playoffs]], the most glaring losses coming in the '94, '97, 2001, and 2004 AFC Championship Games, at home nonetheless, as well as Super Bowl XXX against the Cowboys. Cowher finally won a championship in 2005 before retiring after the 2006 season. With current coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have played in two more Super Bowls with one victory, haven't posted a losing season since 2003, and despite a few speedbumps as key players from the later Super Bowls have retired, continue to remain perennial playoff contenders thanks to fresh talent ably taking their places.[[note]]one example of this would be the trio of receivers who have caught 500+ balls from QB Ben Roethlisberger, making him the only player to pull of that feat - the first two were tight end Heath Miller and wideout Hines Ward, who formed the core of Pittsburgh's passing game throughout the mid-to-late 2000's and early 2010's. The third is current lead wideout Antonio Brown, who was drafted in 2010 and is in the prime of his career as of 2016.2017.[[/note]]



** The quarterback position has been a particularly sore spot for the new Browns, as they've either had draft busts (Tim Couch, and, unless he sorts his life out, Johnny Manziel), nondescript journeymen (Kelly Holcomb, Josh and Luke [=McCown=]), or past-their-prime former studs (Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme) leading the team. As of the 2016 offseason, the team has had 24 starting quarterbacks in 17 seasons. Compare that to the New England Patriots, who have only had ''three'' starting [=QBs=] -- Drew Bledsoe, Creator/TomBrady, and Brady fill-in Matt Cassel -- over the same period of time. And given the woes of all starting Quarterbacks since then "draft bust" Tim Couch (who was not worth a first overall pick, granted, but he was not ''that'' bad) starts to look pretty good for a Browns QB.
** Brady's Deflategate suspension and the injury to his fill-in Jimmy Garoppolo boosted that number to five when rookie Jacoby Brissett started in Garoppolo's place in Week 3 of the 2016 season, now tying with the Green Bay Packers (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien) and the New York Giants (Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Jesse Palmer, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning). Still, five is much less than the Browns' current (as of 2016 season) count of 26!
** The "new" Browns went on to share NFL infamy with the 2008 Lions in 2017, when they cratered all the way to 0-16. Any hope of improvement was dashed, however, when coach Hue Jackson, who has gone 1-31 since taking the helm of the team in 2016, was retained for a third year.[[note]]in contrast, the Lions cut ties with Rod Marinelli after the "Imperfect Season"[[/note]] That, combined with the fact that the current owner (since 2012), Pilot Flying J head Jimmy Haslam, seems more concerned with lining his pockets and/or trying to keep his truck stop chain afloat[[note]]he was raided by an IRS/FBI joint strike team at one point![[/note]] than building a good front office, has led many a Browns fan to consider the current state of the Lions[[note]]an occasional playoff entrant with a capable QB, a few other good pieces and enough holes for any other playoff-caliber team to drive a tractor-trailer through[[/note]] a wistful fantasy.

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** The quarterback position has been a particularly sore spot for the new Browns, as they've either had draft busts (Tim Couch, and, unless he sorts his life out, Johnny Manziel), nondescript journeymen (Kelly Holcomb, Josh and Luke [=McCown=]), or past-their-prime former studs (Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme) leading the team. As of the 2016 2018 offseason, the team has had 24 28 starting quarterbacks in 17 19 seasons. Compare that to the New England Patriots, who have only had ''three'' ''five'' starting [=QBs=] -- Drew Bledsoe, Creator/TomBrady, and Brady fill-in fill-ins Matt Cassel and Jimmy Garoppolo, plus Jacoby Brissett, who filled in when Garoppolo was hurt and Brady suspended for Deflategate -- over the same period of time. And given the woes of all starting Quarterbacks since then "draft bust" Tim Couch (who was not worth a first overall pick, granted, but he was not ''that'' bad) starts to look pretty good for a Browns QB.
** Brady's Deflategate suspension and the injury to his fill-in Jimmy Garoppolo boosted that number to five when rookie Jacoby Brissett started in Garoppolo's place in Week 3 of the 2016 season, now tying with the Green Bay Packers (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien) and the New York Giants (Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Jesse Palmer, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning). Still, five is much less than the Browns' current (as of 2016 season) count of 26!
** The "new" Browns went on to share NFL infamy with the 2008 Lions in 2017, when they cratered all the way to 0-16. Any hope of improvement was dashed, however, when coach Hue Jackson, who has gone 1-31 since taking the helm of the team in 2016, was retained for a third year.[[note]]in contrast, the Lions cut ties with Rod Marinelli after the "Imperfect Season"[[/note]] Season", and had fired general manager Matt Millen during said season[[/note]] That, combined with the fact that the current owner (since 2012), Pilot Flying J head Jimmy Haslam, seems more concerned with lining his pockets and/or trying to keep his truck stop chain afloat[[note]]he was raided by an IRS/FBI joint strike team at one point![[/note]] than building a good front office, has led many a Browns fan to consider the current state of the Lions[[note]]an occasional playoff entrant with a capable QB, a few other good pieces and enough holes for any other playoff-caliber team to drive a tractor-trailer through[[/note]] a wistful fantasy.



** The first Dork Age of Giants football came in 1946, when star quarterback Frank Filchock and fullback Merle Hapes were banned from the NFL for their roles in a betting scandal, where a gambler allegedly paid them off to fix the 1946 championship against the Chicago Bears. Post-betting scandal, the Giants dropped from 7–3–1 in 1946 to 2–8–2 in 1947, and didn't recover until QB Charlie Conerly's rise to stardom in the early-'50s.

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** The first Dork Age of Giants football came in 1946, when star quarterback Frank Filchock and fullback Merle Hapes were banned from the NFL for their roles in a betting scandal, where a gambler allegedly paid them off to fix the 1946 championship against the Chicago Bears. Post-betting scandal, the Giants dropped from 7–3–1 in 1946 to 2–8–2 in 1947, and didn't recover until QB Charlie Conerly's rise to stardom in the early-'50s.early '50s.



** The 49ers under the York family have turned into the NFL's joke, save for a 4-year run (2011-2015) under Jim Harbaugh's tutelage. The Niners' struggles began when the Yorks replaced head coach Steve Mariucci with Dennis Erickson, who proceeded to have two straight losing seasons while coaching practically the same team Mariucci led to the playoffs. Not helping was an increasingly toxic locker-room atmosphere (sparked primarily by the feud between Quarterback Jeff Garcia and Wide Receiver Terrell Owens), the departures of key players like Owens, Garcia, and Garrison Hearst, and the drafting of infamous bust Rashaun Woods. Things seemed to turn around in 2005, when Erickson and GM Terry Donahue were fired and the team selected quarterback Alex Smith with the Number One pick. Unfortunately, Erickson's successor as head coach, Mike Nolan, was no better, and Smith was pretty much an injury-prone bust during his early career. The Niners then replaced Nolan with Mike Singletary, who was a good motivator (a strange example was when he dropped his pants to allude to his team's embarrassing play) but an otherwise mediocre coach, and the Niners kept on losing. However, the Niners' constant losing hid the fact that they were able to draft key building blocks such as Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Andy Lee, Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, NaVorro Bowman, and Colin Kaepernick. Said building blocks (and Alex Smith's improvement) led to the team becoming a powerhouse once Harbaugh arrived. Unfortunately, said success would end once Harbaugh left due to a dispute with management and was replaced by Jim Tomsula, who was just flat-out incompetent. With key players either leaving (like Willis, Smith, Gore etc.), getting injured (Bowman), or just flat-out struggling (Kaepernick), the Niners went from playoff contenders to the NFL's laughingstock, even after Tomsula was replaced by Chip Kelly, who was eventually fired as well. Thankfully, a new GM (John Lynch), a new head coach (Kyle Shanahan), some young prospects (Carlos Hyde, Eric Reid, and [=DeForrest=] Buckner, to name a few), and a host of free-agent signings (e.g. Pierre Garcon, Malcolm Smith and, in a giant coup, former Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garropolo[[note]]believed by many to be the real deal, as opposed to Matt Cassel or Brian Hoyer, who were exposed after taking starting duties with other teams; Garropolo quickly took the Niners on a win streak as soon as he was put in the starting role, although by that time they were out of contention for the '17 playoffs[[/note]]) may mean that the Dork Age might be nearing its end, but the stench of the Yorks' ownership might still keep it going.

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** The 49ers under the York family have turned into the NFL's joke, save for a 4-year run (2011-2015) under Jim Harbaugh's tutelage. The Niners' struggles began when the Yorks replaced head coach Steve Mariucci with Dennis Erickson, who proceeded to have two straight losing seasons while coaching practically the same team Mariucci led to the playoffs. Not helping was an increasingly toxic locker-room atmosphere (sparked primarily by the feud between Quarterback Jeff Garcia and Wide Receiver Terrell Owens), the departures of key players like Owens, Garcia, and Garrison Hearst, and the drafting of infamous bust Rashaun Woods. Things seemed to turn around in 2005, when Erickson and GM Terry Donahue were fired and the team selected quarterback Alex Smith with the Number One pick. Unfortunately, Erickson's successor as head coach, Mike Nolan, was no better, and Smith was pretty much an injury-prone bust during his early career. The Niners then replaced Nolan with Mike Singletary, who was a good motivator (a strange example was when he dropped his pants to allude to his team's embarrassing play) but an otherwise mediocre coach, and the Niners kept on losing. However, the Niners' constant losing hid the fact that they were able to draft key building blocks such as Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Andy Lee, Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, NaVorro Bowman, and Colin Kaepernick. Said building blocks (and Alex Smith's improvement) led to the team becoming a powerhouse once Harbaugh arrived. Unfortunately, said success would end once Harbaugh left due to a dispute with management and was replaced by Jim Tomsula, who was just flat-out incompetent. With key players either leaving (like Willis, Smith, Gore etc.), getting injured (Bowman), or just flat-out struggling (Kaepernick), the Niners went from playoff contenders to the NFL's laughingstock, even after Tomsula was replaced by Chip Kelly, who was eventually fired as well. Thankfully, a new GM (John Lynch), a new head coach (Kyle Shanahan), some young prospects (Carlos Hyde, Eric Reid, and [=DeForrest=] Buckner, to name a few), and a host of free-agent signings (e.g. Pierre Garcon, Malcolm Smith and, in a giant coup, former Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garropolo[[note]]believed Garoppolo[[note]]believed by many to be the real deal, as opposed to Matt Cassel or Brian Hoyer, who were exposed after taking starting duties with other teams; Garropolo Garoppolo quickly took the Niners on a win streak as soon as he was put in the starting role, although by that time they were out of contention for the '17 playoffs[[/note]]) may mean that the Dork Age might be nearing its end, but the stench of the Yorks' ownership might still keep it going.



** While the Ducks were not a bad team, they were never really good either, making the playoffs four times in twelve seasons, and only making the Stanley Cup finals once in 2003. Even with breakout players like Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Andy [=McDonald=] and Steve Rucchin, they could never quite consistently compete for playoff spots until after the ownership changed.

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** While the Ducks were not a bad team, they were never really good either, making the playoffs four times in twelve seasons, and only making the Stanley Cup finals once in 2003. Even with breakout players like Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Selänne, Jean-Sébastien Giguère, Andy [=McDonald=] and Steve Rucchin, they could never quite consistently compete for playoff spots until after the ownership changed.



* In 1995, Montreal Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy demanded a trade after a major falling out with coach Mario Tremblay after Tremblay refused to pull him after allowing five goals in the first period of what ultimately ended up being an 11–1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings (Roy was finally given the yank in the second period after allowing his ninth goal). Roy would end up winning two more Cups with the Colorado Avalanche. Meanwhile, it took 16 years for the Canadiens to find a stable goalie after Carey Price finally took the reins from Jaroslav Halak.
* Many NHL teams hit extreme slumps after success. For example, the Detroit Red Wings were better known as the "Dead Things" after Gordie Howe retired (until Steve Yzerman took over...15 years later), the Chicago Blackhawks took two rebuilds to get back to mediocrity, and the Washington Capitals spent several years as a bottom feeder team before rebounding by drafting Alexander Ovechkin.

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* In 1995, Montreal Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy demanded a trade after a major falling out with coach Mario Tremblay after Tremblay refused to pull him after allowing five goals in the first period of what ultimately ended up being an 11–1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings (Roy was finally given the yank in the second period after allowing his ninth goal). Roy would end up winning two more Cups with the Colorado Avalanche. Meanwhile, it took 16 years for the Canadiens to find a stable goalie after Carey Price finally took the reins from Jaroslav Halak.
Halák.
* Many NHL teams hit extreme slumps after success. For example, the Detroit Red Wings were better known as the "Dead Things" after Gordie Howe retired (until Steve Yzerman took over... 15 years later), the Chicago Blackhawks took two rebuilds to get back to mediocrity, and the Washington Capitals spent several years as a bottom feeder team before rebounding by drafting Alexander Ovechkin.



* Poor, poor Canada, ever since the Vancouver Canucks lost in 1994, Canadian teams have been in a complete DorkAge, unable to win the Cup ever since. Some claimed it was the Riot Curse which was renewed in 2011 when angry fans tore up the town after Vancouver got completely shut out by the Bruins at home. Some think the 2013 Lockout was a nice breather as it gives them something to think about. This got really bad in 2013, the 20th year of the Canadian NHL cup drought was perhaps one of the worst, an early exit at the World Hockey Championship, the Senators being the last to fall while the Vancouver Canucks not only got swept out of the playoffs but had a ''six game skid'' to add salt to the wound. The 2015-16 season then hit a collective nadir for Canada: on March 31, 2016, all 7 Canadian teams missed the playoffs with the Philadelphia Flyers defeating the Washington Capitals in a shootout, mathematically eliminating the Ottawa Senators from clinching the final wild card spot. Now Canadians are forced to watch America take the whole spotlight in the hunt for Lord Stanley's Cup.

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* Poor, poor Canada, ever since the Vancouver Canucks lost in 1994, Canadian teams have been in a complete DorkAge, unable to win the Cup ever since. Some claimed it was the Riot Curse which was renewed in 2011 when angry fans tore up the town after Vancouver got completely shut out by the Bruins at home. Some think the 2013 Lockout was a nice breather as it gives them something to think about. This got really bad in 2013, the 20th year of the Canadian NHL cup drought was perhaps one of the worst, an early exit at the World Hockey Championship, the Senators being the last to fall while the Vancouver Canucks not only got swept out of the playoffs but had a ''six game skid'' to add salt to the wound. The 2015-16 season then hit a collective nadir for Canada: on March 31, 2016, all 7 Canadian teams missed the playoffs with the Philadelphia Flyers defeating the Washington Capitals in a shootout, mathematically eliminating the Ottawa Senators from clinching the final wild card spot. Now Canadians are were forced to watch America take the whole spotlight in the hunt for Lord Stanley's Cup.



*** The second one was during the last season of head coach Todd [=McLellan=] (2014/2015). Following an embarrassing first round choke to the hated Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks ended up stripping Joe Thornton of the captaincy and going the entire season without a captain. They also made some uninspired offseason moves, such as signing John Scott and letting go of the likes of Martin Havlat and Dan Boyle. This ended up with San Jose finishing sixth in the Pacific Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. This was despite the presence of veterans Thornton and Marleau, the strong play of stars Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns, and the development of young studs such a Tomas Hertl, Melker Karlsson, and Chris Tierney. Thankfully, the Sharks' slide was halted when GM Doug Wilson (considered by some a scapegoat of the Sharks' struggles) replaced [=McLellan=] with Frank [=DeBoer=] (who named Pavelski team captain), and made key acquisitions such as Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Joonas Doonskoi, and Paul Martin. These moves ended up not only [[TookALevelInBadass bringing the Sharks]] [[HesBack back to the post-season]], but also led to the Sharks' first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup finals...where they [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut lost to]] [[YankTheDogsChain the Penguins]] [[RunningGag in six games]]. Some things just never change.

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*** The second one was during the last season of head coach Todd [=McLellan=] (2014/2015). Following an embarrassing first round choke to the hated Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks ended up stripping Joe Thornton of the captaincy and going the entire season without a captain. They also made some uninspired offseason moves, such as signing John Scott and letting go of the likes of Martin Havlat Havlát and Dan Boyle. This ended up with San Jose finishing sixth in the Pacific Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. This was despite the presence of veterans Thornton and Marleau, the strong play of stars Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns, and the development of young studs such a Tomas as Tomáš Hertl, Melker Karlsson, and Chris Tierney. Thankfully, the Sharks' slide was halted when GM Doug Wilson (considered by some a scapegoat of the Sharks' struggles) replaced [=McLellan=] with Frank [=DeBoer=] (who named Pavelski team captain), and made key acquisitions such as Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Joonas Doonskoi, Donskoi, and Paul Martin. These moves ended up not only [[TookALevelInBadass bringing the Sharks]] [[HesBack back to the post-season]], but also led to the Sharks' first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup finals...where they [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut lost to]] [[YankTheDogsChain the Penguins]] [[RunningGag in six games]]. Some things just never change.



** 3. Several expansions into Southern markets that are either uninterested or unsupportive of their new hockey teams. The financial situation of the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes has been bad enough at times that the ''league'' itself has stepped in to run them while still insisting that the franchise is viable long-term. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Thrashers drew so poorly, they were uprooted and awarded back to Winnipeg in what could almost be seen as an apology to Canadian fans who'd lost two franchises south to the US. And now there's a team in Las Vegas that will begin play in 2017.

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** 3. Several expansions into Southern markets that are either uninterested or unsupportive of their new hockey teams. The financial situation of the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes has been bad enough at times that the ''league'' itself has stepped in to run them while still insisting that the franchise is viable long-term. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Thrashers drew so poorly, they were uprooted and awarded back to Winnipeg in what could almost be seen as an apology to Canadian fans who'd lost two franchises south to the US. And now there's the 2017–18 season saw a team in new Las Vegas that will begin play in 2017.team start play.



* Ever since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi retired in the early 2000s, American men's UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} has been in a bad slump, with the only true stand-out American male player since 2003 being Andy Roddick who won just one Grand Slam and spent the vast majority of his career being overshadowed by Roger Federer (and Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray...). A couple of other Americans (John Isner, Mardy Fish) have managed to make it into the top 10 at one point or another, but none of them have been able to stay there for a prolonged amount of time or be serious Slam contenders and with Roddick retiring from tennis in 2012, no true candidates to take his place have emerged yet.
* Women's tennis in general has acquired a reputation for inconsistency and underwhelming performances ever since Justine Henin's retirement in 2008, with the World No. 1 spot being frequently occupied by players who hadn't won a single Grand Slam in their careers (Jelena Jankovic in 2008, Dinara Safina in 2009, Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and 2011) and were just a little more consistent than the actual Slam winners who were either sidelined by injuries or had a bad habit of following up their wins with first-round losses to inferior players. It might have started to stabilize lately, though, with the Williams sisters back in serious contention and Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova back at the top of their games.

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* Ever since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi retired in the early 2000s, American men's UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} has been in a bad slump, with the only true stand-out standout American male player since 2003 being Andy Roddick who won just one Grand Slam and spent the vast majority of his career being overshadowed by Roger Federer (and Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray...). A couple of other Americans (John Isner, Mardy Fish) have managed to make it into the top 10 at one point or another, but none of them have been able to stay there for a prolonged amount of time or be serious Slam contenders and with Roddick retiring from tennis in 2012, no true candidates to take his place have emerged yet.
** True on the singles side. However, in doubles, the Bryan brothers (twins Bob and Mike) were the world's top team for most of the period from 2005 to 2016.
* Women's tennis in general has acquired a reputation for inconsistency and underwhelming performances ever since Justine Henin's retirement in 2008, with the World No. 1 spot being frequently occupied by players who hadn't won a single Grand Slam in their careers (Jelena Jankovic in 2008, Dinara Safina in 2009, Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and 2011) and were just a little more consistent than the actual Slam winners who were either sidelined by injuries or had a bad habit of following up their wins with first-round losses to inferior players. It might have started to stabilize lately, though, with the Williams sisters (especially Serena) back in serious contention and Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova back at the top of their games.
19th Jan '18 2:29:42 PM HighCrate
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** Finally, there was the "home run derby" era of the late '90s and early '00s, with players such as Mark [=McGwire=], Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds at the forefront. Initially, this was seen as the ''end'' of baseball's DorkAge, with the sport [[HesBack rising to heights of popularity]] perhaps not seen in decades; millions of people were tuning in to watch superstar athletes race to shatter home-run records. However, things [[DeaderThanDisco turned around quickly]] once it was revealed ''where'' this sudden surge in athleticism was coming from: steroid use so rampant that it triggered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Report a Congressional investigation]]. Everyone in baseball, along with many fans, now treats that era as [[OldShame one of the most disgraceful episodes]] in baseball history due to the fact that many of its biggest stars were revealed to have been either doping or engaging in other forms of cheating (like Sammy Sosa's corked bat), with MLB officials turning a blind eye due to the fact that the sport was popular again.

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** Finally, there was the "home run derby" era of the late '90s and early '00s, with players such as Mark [=McGwire=], Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds at the forefront. Initially, this was seen as the ''end'' of baseball's DorkAge, with the sport [[HesBack rising to heights of popularity]] perhaps not seen in decades; millions of people were tuning in to watch superstar athletes race to shatter home-run records. However, things [[DeaderThanDisco turned around quickly]] quickly once it was revealed ''where'' this sudden surge in athleticism was coming from: steroid use so rampant that it triggered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Report a Congressional investigation]]. Everyone in baseball, along with many fans, now treats that era as [[OldShame one of the most disgraceful episodes]] in baseball history due to the fact that many of its biggest stars were revealed to have been either doping or engaging in other forms of cheating (like Sammy Sosa's corked bat), with MLB officials turning a blind eye due to the fact that the sport was popular again.
15th Jan '18 9:20:34 AM mlsmithca
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** Liverpool is currently experiencing one: Having been a Top 4 team in England (considered by many to have the best league in the world; that is saying something) for a long while, they finished 7th in the 2009 - 10 season and needed a late surge under new manager (and club legend) Kenny Dalglish to finish sixth the following year. That and awful cup performances just made the club's 2005 Champions League victory seem like a distant memory for a lot of supporters; however, the club's second place finish in 2014, just two points behind champion Manchester City, may be a sign that the Dork Age is at an end. Most Liverpool fans will likely blame the decline on owner Tom Hicks, who admitted he bought into the club just to help finance his two American sports clubs, the NHL's Dallas Stars and MLB Texas Rangers. He promised a new stadium at Stanley Park and never delivered; his son had to resign from the board of directors after sending a fan an email with the words "Blow me f*** face." Hicks and his partners were brought before the House of Commons, who claimed the club was being "drained by their greed". Ultimately, Hicks declared bankruptcy and had to sell off all three clubs, dealing the soccer club in 2010 to the ownership group of the Boston Red Sox.
** While Manchester United fans may worry about their fortunes following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, it's doubtful that things will get ''quite'' as bad as they did after their other legendary manager, Sir Matt Busby retired in 1969. His immediate successor, Wilf [=McGuinness=] proved severely out of his depth, and after BuTasby briefly held the fort again for six months, the club appointed the more experienced Frank O'Farrell. However, O'Farrell failed to address the club's ageing squad and instead busied himself quarrelling with George Best, eventually getting sacked after 18 months with the club bottom of the table. The next manager, Tommy Docherty temporarily papered over the problems by filling the squad with experienced journeymen, avoiding relegation that season, but everything finally came crashing down the season after that, resulting in United being relegated just six years after winning the European Cup. In an ironic twist to make matters worse, they were relegated after a loss to Manchester ''City'', with a goal from United legend Denis Law nonetheless. Fortunately, Docherty managed to end the Dork Age immediately after that by jettisoning most of the older players and building a new, youthful squad who took the club straight back up and resulted in a mostly successful rest of the decade.

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** Liverpool is currently experiencing one: Having been a Top 4 team in England (considered by many to have the best league in the world; that is saying something) for a long while, they finished 7th in the 2009 - 10 2009-10 season and needed a late surge under new manager (and club legend) Kenny Dalglish to finish sixth the following year. That and awful cup performances just made the club's 2005 Champions League victory seem like a distant memory for a lot of supporters; however, the club's second place finish in 2014, just two points behind champion Manchester City, may be a sign that the Dork Age is at an end. Most Liverpool fans will likely blame the decline on owner Tom Hicks, who admitted he bought into the club just to help finance his two American sports clubs, the NHL's Dallas Stars and MLB Texas Rangers. He promised a new stadium at Stanley Park and never delivered; his son had to resign from the board of directors after sending a fan an email with the words "Blow me f*** face." Hicks and his partners were brought before the House of Commons, who claimed the club was being "drained by their greed". Ultimately, Hicks declared bankruptcy and had to sell off all three clubs, dealing the soccer club in 2010 to the ownership group of the Boston Red Sox.
** While Manchester United fans may worry about their fortunes following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, it's doubtful that things will get ''quite'' as bad as they did after their other legendary manager, Sir Matt Busby retired in 1969. His immediate successor, Wilf [=McGuinness=] proved severely out of his depth, and after BuTasby Busby briefly held the fort again for six months, the club appointed the more experienced Frank O'Farrell. However, O'Farrell failed to address the club's ageing squad and instead busied himself quarrelling with George Best, eventually getting sacked after 18 months with the club bottom of the table. The next manager, Tommy Docherty temporarily papered over the problems by filling the squad with experienced journeymen, avoiding relegation that season, but everything finally came crashing down the season after that, resulting in United being relegated just six years after winning the European Cup. In an ironic twist to make matters worse, they were relegated after a loss to Manchester ''City'', with a goal from United legend Denis Law nonetheless. Fortunately, Docherty managed to end the Dork Age immediately after that by jettisoning most of the older players and building a new, youthful squad who took the club straight back up and resulted in a mostly successful rest of the decade.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=DorkAge.Sports