Top 10 Defunct Sports Teams

Suggested by SMS

Nostalgia and sports go hand in hand with homeruns and slam dunks. There is nothing like going back to the yesteryears when teams that do not exist anymore were the rage. We have compiled a list of sports teams you are not likely to see anymore unless you rent a DVD or watch an episode of “classic matches” on ESPN. Of course, not all of these teams are technically defunct. Let us all look back on these teams that have already had their glorious moments under the sun.

10. Seattle Supersonics

The team from the land of grunge, Boeing and Microsoft, the Supersonics frequently dominated the Western Conference. But it is not the same in Emerald City any more. Since it folded in 2008, the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, being rechristened the Oklahoma City Thunders. But hey, Seattle just has so much more character than Oklahoma City. They might have something good going with Durant and Green in Oklahoma, but they are no Kemp and Payton! For someone used to the ‘Supersonics’ single, there is no way he could listen to something else. Who else can match the voice of Kevin Calabro? And the Supersonics’ rivalry with the Trail Blazers will be missed the most. Who can forget the “I-5?” Supersonics’ fans can take heart, though. The all time rivalry record ended at 98-94 in favor of the Emerald City.

9. Brooklyn Dodgers

Remember Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire?” Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team…You got that right! The Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the most successful MLB team, dominated the NL Pennant for much of the 40s and the 50s. It finally won the World Series in 1955, before moving to Los Angeles. The Dodgers featured in the first ever major-league baseball game to be televised on August 26, 1939. For the record, the Dodgers thrashed Cincinnati 6-1 in Ebbets Field. Any Dodgers fan would regale you with the exploits of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Joe Black. “Wait ’til next year!” was the slogan that half of Brooklyn chanted daily to cheer the Boys in Blue. Who can forget the Dodgers-Giants rivalry that had the entire nation glued to the television and radio? How can you forget the ninth-inning home run by Bobby Thompson that broke the hearts of the Dodgers fans? When both the clubs moved to the West Coast in 1957, the rivalry was re-ignited between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But in all fairness, it could not match the excitement generated by the teams in the East Coast.

8. Houston Oilers

There is the Tennessee Titans and then there is a football club in Houston. But nothing can quite match the nostalgia and excitement aroused by the Oilers. You just can’t see the highlights of Earl Campbell and Warren Moon without wishing those uniforms were still around. The Oilers dominated the AFL Eastern Division Championships in the 60s. Lou Rymkus, Wally Lemm and Frank Ivy led the Oilers to their dominance in the Championship. Famous Oilers included Hall of Famers George Blanda, Ken Houston and Earl Campbell. The Oilers moved to Nashville in 1997 and became the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Every Oilers fan fondly remembers the heroics of their team in the 70s and 80s. None summed it better than Mike Jones in his hit single “Houston Oiler.” I’m a Houston Oiler, I’m a Houston Oiler became an anthem of every Texan after the move.

7. New York Cosmos

The team that had Pele in its ranks. What? You mean Pele, the legend? THE Pele? New York Cosmos was a famous soccer team based in the Big Apple from 1971-1984. And it was the strongest and the most well known soccer club in the US. The team jersey was designed by Ralph Lauren himself. The Cosmos won the Eastern Division Soccer Bowl in ’77, ’78, ‘80, ’82 and ’83. Apart from Pele, greats like Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Neeskens donned the Cosmos jersey in the late 70s. The signing of Pele was a high point in the short history of the Cosmos. Well past his prime, Pele gave the club the much needed international exposure. On October 1, 1977, Pele pulled down the curtains on his decorated career in front of a capacity crowd at the Giants Stadium. In the widely televise match, Pele played each half wearing the Cosmos and the Santos colors, respectively. Partly owned by the Warner Bros, the Cosmos became the hottest ticket in the city. The regular attendees of the Cosmos’ games looked like a Who’s Who list in the entertainment business. Robert Redford, Mick Jagger, Barbara Streisand and Steven Spielberg were some of the A-listers who had the Giants Stadium in their “to visit” list every time Cosmos played. The famous Studio 54 in midtown Manhattan was frequented by the Cosmos players in the club’s heydays.

6. Hartford Whalers

Quick quiz – Name arguably the best hockey song ever? You’ve guessed it – “Brass Bonanza,” the theme song of the former Hartford Whalers, as made famous in the NHL 94 on Sega Genesis. Although the Whalers are no more, the Bonanza lives on! If you are someone looking for a new campaign to soup up your hockey team’s image, you have the Bonanza for inspiration. It has been more than a decade since Hartford has last seen a pro team. Formerly known as the New England Whalers, the Hartford Whalers played in the NHL during 1979-97. In 1997, the Whalers moved to Raleigh, where they were rechristened the Carolina Hurricanes. The Whalers were the NHL Division Champions in 1987 and made the playoffs 8 times between 1980 and 1992. Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Gordie Howe, Bobbie Hull, and David Keon were famous Whalers inducted to the Hall of Fame. On April 13, 1997, the Whalers played their last game in Hartford, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2–1. Team Captain Kevin Dineen, who had returned to Hartford after a brief stint in Philadelphia, scored the final goal in Whaler history. The move to Raleigh did some good finally, with the Hurricanes winning their first Stanley Cup in 2006.

5. Wimbledon FC

How can a club, rich in history and tradition in the English football scene, fall from grace the way Wimbledon FC did? Your guess is as good as mine. It isn’t everyday that you see a team that defeated the mighty Liverpool in 1988 to win the FA Cup shut shop a decade and a half later. Dave Beasant, Wimbledon’s goalie sadly looks back on the glorious days, saying, “We collected the trophy, ran around the pitch, all the stuff we’d seen everyone else do on TV in previous years. We were living that dream. But when we got into the dressing room, we were knackered.” Beasant himself played a decisive role in Wimbledon’s triumph, having saved a penalty from John Aldridge in the final. A team that had the likes of Joe Kinnear, Egil Olsen and Dick Graham on its rolls in its heydays gave new meaning to the term “electric atmosphere” at Selhurst Park. Its exit from top flight football was hastened by a string of poor performances and entering into administration. The aftermath – Wimbledon never won another major trophy. For the record, Beasant now coaches at the Glenn Hoddle academy in Spain.

4. Chester City FC

The Chester City FC was one of the many football clubs in the UK that folded up owing to the pressures of financial mismanagement and below-par performances. For the fans, March 10, 2010 was a fateful day in the club’s checkered history. For a club that played home to some great talents like Ian Rush and Kevin Ratcliffe, it was a sad day. Chester had battled financial trouble before and nearly went out of business in the 1998/99 season, when the club was for a time locked out of the grounds and was unable to gain access to any facilities. After being promoted to the football league in the 2003/04 season, the club’s performances went from bad to worse. Chester’s proud 125 year history in English football came to an abrupt end in 2010. Many clubs have gone into oblivion and never returned, while others have fought to regain their reputation. It couldn’t have been worse for Chester. It has ceased to exist as a club and all that remains are memories of the good times provided by the Likes of Rush, Lee Dixon and Terry Owen.

3. Scarborough FC

Scarborough FC was one of the oldest English football clubs, established in 1879, before winding up in 2007, with debts of more than £2.5 million. You might be tempted to think that top flight footballers get ten times more in yearly wages. Not, if you were a Boro supporter. You might also blame the local council having turned its back on the club’s survival plans. The result – liquidation and curtains on the club’s proud 128 year history! For a club that won the FA Trophy thrice in the 70s, the fall from grace was too much too handle for many fans. Who can forget the atmosphere in the McCain Stadium, where thousands of fans from the North of England braved the Yorkshire weather to cheer the exploits of Steve Richards, Tommy Mooney, Gareth Williams, Martin Russell, and Neil Warnock?

2. Kansas City Knights

Kansas City Knights was an American Basketball Association minor league team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The team was established in 2000 and wound up during the 2004/05 season. In the 2001/02 season, the Knights posted the league best 35-5 record under head coach Kevin Pritchard. Soon after winning the title, problems started within the franchise’s management and the team took a year off to reorganize. It took part in the 2003/04 and the 2004/05 season before suspending operations in 2006. The team was scheduled to move to a new arena, but plans have remained in a limbo and nothing substantial had emerged since. The ABA, however, announced that the team would resurface under new management, but for the fans starved of the Knights’ exploits, the only thing they can hope for is hope itself of seeing their team come out of the wilderness.

1. Chicago Stags

Before the Bulls, there were the Stags. The Chicago Stags were an NBA team that was founded in 1946 and folded in 1950. When the Stags folded, their star, Bob Cousy, was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Despite their short existence in top flight basketball, they made their way to the BAA finals, only to lose to the Philadelphia Warriors. While they were never a powerhouse, the Stags compiled an impressive four-year record of 145-92; that 0.612 winning percentage translates to a 50-32 record in an 82-game schedule of today. In addition, while only playing in one championship series in four years, the Stags were in the playoffs every season. After 1948, the Stags’ performance took a nosedive and, coupled with financial mismanagement, led to the end of the team as it existed. The Chicago Bulls wore replicas of the ’46 Stags uniform as a tribute to their illustrious predecessors and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Stags establishment.