Friday, August 29, 2014

The Worst Boston Sports Years Ever: Where Does 2014 Rank?

Unlike recent years, 2014 has not been kind to Boston sports fans. Where does it rank among the worst sports years in the city's history?
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

Since we turned the page to the most recent millennium, Boston’s four major professional sports teams have tasted a ton of success, but 2014 has been a different story thus far.

With this season’s version of the Red Sox all but eliminated from the postseason, we are now on pace for one of the five worst years in Boston sports history. Even with the Bruins’ terrific 2013-14 regular season, the overwhelmingly subpar seasons from the Celtics and Red Sox have brought the group record down to historic lows.

In the above graphic you are seeing the 10 worst years in Boston sports history, based on each regular season having equal importance. For example, a Patriots game equals approximately 10 Red Sox games. When giving the same importance to each of the teams’ respective seasons, we see that we are on pace for the fourth-worst year in Boston sports history. If you just count the total number of wins and losses from the 2013-14 seasons of the Celtics, Bruins and the 2014 Red Sox season, this year’s win percentage remains in the fourth position overall in terms of the worst years for professional sports in Boston.

Since we are still less than three-fourths the way through Boston’s annual professional sports calendar, there is room for improvement, but let us first see where this year stands without the Patriots. If we take the AFC East juggernaut out of the group of records, the result is still the fourth-worst year of regular seasons in Boston sports history.

Interestingly, 1997 is the only year in the top three between the four-sport worst records and the three-sport worst records. It is the worst year for both rankings, but the second and third-worst years for the Celtics-Bruins-Red Sox combo were 2006 and 2007, which were the two years before the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. It makes sense that 2007 was much worse when excluding the Patriots because, well, all I need to say is 18-1.

However, let us bring back in the city’s most consistent regular-season franchise over the last decade. On a positive note, the Patriots need to win just five games in order to avoid making 2014 the worst year in Boston sports history. A double-digit win season for New England, which is still under the Las Vegas projection, would push this year out of the Top-10 in terms of the worst years. Most likely, we will see another terrific Tom Brady/Bill Belichick season, but it will be interesting to see how the team responds to the Logan Mankins trade.

Overall, this has been an ugly year thus far for each of the three Boston sports teams, but for different reasons. The Celtics were in the first year of their official rebuild, the Bruins had an earlier than expected exit from the playoffs and the Red Sox underachieved and traded away almost their entire pitching staff.

Fans of the Boston sports teams certainly hope that the 2014 Patriots do not fall on hard times like their Boston brethren have, or we could be in the midst of a historically dismal year.

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