When looking at the success of a sports franchise, the key talking point is usually consistency. As fans, all we can hope for is that our favorite team competes year in and year out for a playoff spot. Winning a championship is the number one goal, but only one team reaches the ultimate prize each season and it’s a very difficult thing to do.
So if our team is at least among the contenders, that should be enough to placate a fan-base.
In the NFL, we look to the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts as a few recent teams that are always in the postseason hunt. Those four teams have won eight Super Bowl titles since the 2001 season, but more importantly, those four franchises have only missed the playoffs a combined 13 times in the last 15 years. They’ve only failed to have a winning season a combined 10 times during that span.
It’s that incredible consistency that keeps the fans tuning in and supporting their franchise. Losing wears on a team, it wears on a fan-base and it weighs on a city.
I tweeted this info out last night while thinking about how much the Chicago Bears have lacked consistency as a franchise.
- Did you realize that the Bears haven't had a winning season since 2012 and they haven't had consecutive winning seasons since 2005 and 2006.
- In fact you have to go all the way back to 1986, 1987 and 1988 (The Ditka era!) for the last time the Bears have had 3 consecutive winning seasons.
Us Bears’ fans haven’t cheered a consistent winner in almost 30 years.
Someone tweeted at me that the Bears aren’t much better that the Cleveland Browns, the NFL team most affiliated with futility, but Cleveland actually has a more recent 3 season winning streak than do the Bears, although not by much (87, 88, 89).
I thought I’d look up a few more historically bad franchise three year winning streaks, to see if the Bears were the worst.
The Detroit Lions had their last 3 year over .500 streak in 93, 94 and 95.
The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers won for 3 seasons in a row in 91, 92, and 93.
The Jacksonville Jaguars last did it in 97, 98 and 99.
The Washington Redskins had one in 90, 91, and 92.
Only the Houston Texans haven’t had a 3 consecutive winning seasons, but they’ve only been a franchise since 2002.
One could argue that the Bears are the least consistent team in the entire NFL. If you think about it, us Bears’ fans may be cheering for the worst run franchise in the NFL.
Hell, we may be cheering for the worst run franchise in sports.