If you are a fan of sportswriting and under 40 years old, you probably are familiar on some level with ESPN's Bill Simmons. He is quite literally one of the fathers of modern sports bloggery. Pretty much everyone steals from him on some level, and with good reason. He's sharp, funny and immensely knowlegeable, even if he did lose his fastball about 5 years ago. (See? There I went and did it myself.)
I like your outfit there, guy.
Recently, the Minnesota Vikings lost one of the most historically tragic games in NFL History. Not coincidentally, the Vikings are one of the most historically tragic teams in sport. This prompted Simmons to ruminate on the general topic of which teams in the four major American sports can be considered truly tortured, as opposed to teams that may kind of stink but we shouldn't really feel all that bad about in grand scheme of things.
As is typical of Simmons, he invented a bunch of arbitrary but systematic criteria to sift the purely pitiful from the merely moribund, then he ranked them in order of 1-15. These criteria were based on a column he wrote several years ago where he described the different "Levels of Losing" where level 15 is a sort of rough day and Level 1 is The Worst Moment In Your
But then he went and said this about my beloved Giants:
6. San Francisco Giants
Last Title: Never (unless you count 1954, when the team was in New York).
Last Truly Devastating Defeat: Game 6, 2002 World Series (sadly, no YouTube clip since MLB knocks any footage off YouTube in its never-ending quest to find ways to suck). Arguably a Level 1 loss. No moniker, though.
Rock Bottom: Game 6 again, though I forgot to mention the thundersticks.
Additional Thoughts: You'd think a 66-year title drought, the Bonds/BALCO fallout, a borderline Level 1 loss in 2002 and having its first World Series home game in 27 years postponed by a devastating earthquake during batting practice of the first-ever Bay Area World Series would get the message out that, "Hey, we need to start including these guys in all future Tortured Sports Cities discussions." Can you be underrated/tortured? Apparently so.
OH NO YOU DI'NT! According to Simmons, the worst moment in human history is "arguably" a "borderline" Level 1 loss, and the Giants are "underrated" as being a tortured team. I know I said earlier that it was a little pointless getting worked up about this, but what the fuck is he fucking talking about?!?!?
Charlie Brown was a Giants fan. Seriously.
Naturally, I could not let this aggression stand, man. You could say that I got worked up about it. You could say that. My (emailed) response to Mr. Simmons is below the jump.
WARNING: It is not for the faint of heart.