As a whole, 2013 has been as lean a year in Philadelphia sports as one can remember. While the final quarter of the year appears to show signs of hope moving forward, the utter misery enshrouding the sports-starved city has been like a perpetual storm cloud hovering over Broad Street. To think that, just three years ago one could make a legitimate argument that the city had three potential title contenders is made all the more painful considering the rapid fall from grace of the Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies. Perhaps no statement rings more true in relation to the area’s sports teams than, ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’ when discussing the agonizing display put on by once proud, promising teams. Although a recent run of success and an increasing level of optimism has brought energy back to the fanbase, to make an argument that 2013 was a success in Philadelphia sports is nearly impossible to justify. We have had to say good-bye to fan-favorites, both players and coaches alike. Injuries, injustice, and inconsistency have taken us on a roller-coaster ride more often ending in despair than delight. Just when things appeared as if they were straightening out, another dose of reality would set in and exacerbate matters to a new low.
What Philadelphians know, however, is that the disappointments make the success that much sweeter. Would we have closed down Broad Street in the most dramatic fashion in 2008 when the Phillies broke the championship curse had we not suffered through the years of following the losingest franchise in sports? Disappointment tests the mettle of even the strongest of sports fans. Loyalty, pride, hope, and faith are put through the grinder when one has to experience the types of lows that have marred Philadelphia sports over the decades. 2013 was a year that dealt out disappointment like a blackjack shoe on a fight night in Vegas. As members of as proud a sports city as there is in the country, it is important to register the disappointment along with the elation to realize what it takes to follow teams like a true fan. Here are my picks for top five disappointments in Philadelphia sports for the last 12 months.