Part of the enjoyment of professional sports is the excitement that they bring to those who attend events and to those who follow via television broadcasts and the Internet. Take the PGA as an example. The days of Tiger Woods being in the top-100 golfers in the world let alone being the best in the business at what he does may be long gone, but the fact remains that people tune in by the millions whenever Woods is, no pun intended, in the hunt on tournament Sundays. People root for him to succeed and they root for him to fail.
At the other end of the spectrum are the organizations that are largely missable for casual fans and for people who have zero associations with those teams. Those clubs do not pull monster ratings on local television, nor do they make for fascinating segments on sports talk radio. Outside of postseason play or one-and-done contests, fans go literally months without even mentioning those teams outside of the occasional one-off. That is not always, as you will see by the list of teams that are showcased in this piece, a sign of disrespect. Teams can win and still bore us to sleep in the process.
Take the club that tops this list as an example. It has a diehard and rabid fanbase that follows it despite the fact that it rarely wins anything of merit. The two teams that follow in the list are two of the most dominant sides on the continent where they play, but that fact alone that does not make them worth following outside of a handful of games that they play per season. Fans like intrigue and they yearn for superstar athletes who make news on and off of playing surfaces. Teams that cannot deliver that may win games, but the majority of us won't even notice.
15 West Ham United
Everything about West Ham United as of the spring of 2015 is “blah.” The club routinely sits in the middle of the Premier League table, avoiding relegation battles but also not being nearly good enough to be in the hunt for Champions League spots. One would struggle to remember the last time that West Ham were rumored to be in for superstar footballer. There are, of course, worse scenarios to be in than where West Ham are, but that truth does not erase the fact that West Ham are one of the more boring Premier League teams in the English first division.
14 Kansas City Chiefs
The National Football League is supposed to be a league that allows different clubs to turn things around and become true Super Bowl contenders in less than one year. Not only have the Kansas City Chiefs not gotten the memo on that subject. The Chiefs are often afterthoughts during the NFL regular season. The team's quarterback, Alex Smith, is good but not great. The Kansas City defense is fine but it is not good enough to carry the team to a championship. Nothing about the Chiefs is special during his offseason, and I don't see KC changing those perceptions about the team anytime soon.
13 Detroit Pistons
I miss the days of the old “Bad Boys” of the Detroit Pistons even though those Pistons literally beat up my favorite team (the Chicago Bulls) whenever those two sides met on the court. The Pistons are now a struggling side that has been rebuilding since the middle of the 2008-09 National Basketball Association regular season, and the Pistons have gotten little right over the past seven years. Detroit won just five of its first 28 games to open up the 2014-15 campaign, but the Pistons have not even tanked properly in that they are not the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
12 Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies have become so boring that the team is more known for the atmosphere at its ballpark than it is for the players that are on its squad. Other than watching to see how many seemingly routine hits become home runs due to the thin air in Colorado, there are not many reasons for those who are not fans of the Rockies to tune in and watch the club play whenever it is featured on national television. That does not happen often, and it is no accident that FOX and ESPN pass on the Rockies throughout the spring and summer months.
11 San Antonio Spurs
No team in the National Basketball Association has been a modern-day dynasty as have been the San Antonio Spurs. The club does not have superstar name such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Chris Paul, though, and the Spurs are notorious for phoning in regular season games, even contests that are featured on national television, just because the season really does not start for the club until its first playoff series. One absolutely must respect San Antonio for all that the club has achieved during its reign of dominance over the NBA, but the successes the Spurs have achieved do not make the club any less boring.
10 Inter Milan
Inter Milan were last the champions of and top club in all of Europe for the 2009-10 season. That was only five years ago, but those days seem as if they occurred in a different lifetime. Inter are now middle-of-the-table fodder in Serie A, and they are not a side worthy of playing in the Champions League. They do not even have the intrigue of an AC Milan side that are seemingly falling apart in the spring of 2015. Inter are just there anymore, a team that will maybe qualify for the Europa League before eventually getting bounced out of that competition.
9 Jacksonville Jaguars
Just how boring are the Jacksonville Jaguars these days? The club continues to be linked with a move overseas to London, and I am not entirely sure that those in Florida would really miss the Jags all that much. Jacksonville is not even a loveable loser in 2015, as the team fails to draw impressive crowds for home games unless a big-name opponent happens to be in town that National Football League Sunday. The only reason that the NFL features the Jaguars on prime-time television is because the league is contractually obligated to do so, a burden for the league and for us watching.
8 New Jersey Devils
Even when the New Jersey Devils were contenders to win the Stanley Cup just about each and every spring, the team was seen as being boring because of the club's “trap” style of play that lulled both opponents and fans to sleep. The Devils are now an afterthought even in their own city, and rumors continue to swirl about that it will be a matter of when and not if the team is either moved or simply eliminated via National Hockey League contraction. That is a real shame, as the Prudential Center is one of the nicer indoor venues in all of North American pro sports.
7 St. Louis Cardinals
The truth of the matter is that there is no more ideal club in all of Major League Baseball than the St. Louis Cardinals, and the team more often than not is playing October baseball. It is in the club's successes where their boring nature originates. The Cardinals do not, as do the likes of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, splash massive amounts of cash on free agent players during the winter months, nor does the team generate a massive amount of conversation among fans and on sports talk radio until the fall months and postseason play arrive.
6 Stoke City
“Yeah, but he could he do it on a cold night in Stoke?” is one of my favorite jokes in the sports world, one that gets tossed out there from time to time whenever a footballer does something positive of note during a match. Stoke are not going to win you the Premier League, nor is the club going to hoist a trophy of merit. They also are not going to be involved in any scandals. The club will merely win some games, lose some matches and provide a rather boring brand of football that is hard to watch unless your favorite club happens to be playing against them on a Saturday or Sunday.
5 Minnesota Twins
Without looking it up, go ahead and name the starting lineup of the 2015 Minnesota Twins. Now that you have been unable to accomplish that mission, attempt to name 10 staring players on the clubs current roster. Unless you are a fan of the Twins who casually stumbled upon this title by accident, I am willing to bet that you could not successfully complete this task. It is not your fault. The Twins play in a small market, they may be responsible for the worst overall roster in the American League Central, and they are thus a boring team even for lifelong fans.
4 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are unquestionably one of the classiest organizations in all of the National Football League, one that has been run by the same family seemingly since forever and one that rarely makes headlines for reasons that do not have to do with football. It has also been over a decade since the roster of the Steelers have required a significant makeover. They have one of the largest fan bases in all of North American professional sports and their fans travel well all around the country, but the Steelers are more boring than not because they just go about their business and do so successfully. Yawn.
3 Bayern Munich
It honestly does not matter all that much when you are reading this piece. Odds are that Bayern are in first place in the Bundesliga table, and they have probably also clinched the league championship even if it is August or September. The truth of the matter is that Bayern being where the club is in this list has more to do with the state of German football than it has to do with the team that won the Champions League not all that long ago. Nevertheless, Bayern are essentially forgettable outside of those rare Tuesday and Wednesday Champions League evenings.
Say whatever you will about the scandal that saw Juventus get relegated and which also cost the club multiple titles. At least the club was interesting in those days. Juventus are now the undisputed kings of Serie A that are seemingly guaranteed to win the league title each and every season, and yet the club is not recognized as one of the best in all of Europe and with good reason. Acquiring Carlos Tevez was admittedly a massive get for the club, but Juve have to do more for the team to make a return as favorites to win the Champions League.
When Arsenal are not selling their best players to a club that is capable of winning a league championship in whatever country, the Gunners are, minus the occasional FA Cup victory, failing to win trophies. It has been some time since Arsenal have had the goods to contend for a Premier League title, and no expert or objective fan expects the club to be there at the end of the season even though Arsenal are technically in reach of the top spot of the Premier League table as of the posting of this piece. Add in that the Gunners are whipping boys of the Champions League, and they are rather boring these days.