It's that time of year, where sports pundits and bloggers look back on the year that was and compile a slew of best/worst of lists, rankings and other compilations. This phenomenon is compounded by the approaching end of a decade, and we all know that there'snothing more meaningful than judging a team by an arbitrary 10 year snapshot of their performance without regard for an infinite number of variables. The problem with these lists is that all the attention is focused on the extremes like the biggest "winners" and "losers." In the NFL for example, all the chatter centers around the Pats/Lions, Colts/Browns, Steelers/Chiefs and Rams/Rams. But what about the teams that spent the decade mired in mediocrity...achieving neither greatness, nor spectacular failure? Where is the appreciation for the teams that make the sports world go round, the vast middle of the pack. Who are the decade's C+ students that spent the last 10 years flying under the radar...not showing off or falling behind but left a track record that leaves the casual observer thinking "that team is nothing special, but at least they aren't the Lions".
Without further delay, and with lukewarm enthusiasm, I present the award for the most mediocre team of the decade to...(average drumroll)... the Jacksonville Jaguars. I'll admit, that his pronouncement is 100% subjective and based on little more than 10 years of casual observation, during which I may have watched 5 full Jags games tops, but I defy you to find a more middle of the road squad for the past decade. A bit about my process...
I eliminated from consideration any teams that appeared in a Superbowl, as well as any teams that achieved or seriously flirted with a win-less season, which eliminated the ordinarily tepid and almost perfectly .500 for the decade Dolphins.
This left a handful of teams including the Vikes, Packers, Broncos, Chargers and a couple others. The Broncos won a few too many games, and the Vikings evaded the award because of their potential this year...same goes for the Chargers, along with LT providing fans some milestones along the way. Along these lines, Brett Favre single-handedly kept the Packers off the par train by breaking a few records and providing endless off the field drama.
So here's to you Jacksonville Jaguars! You have failed to bring your fans the momentary bliss of greatness, but you haven't driven them to wear paper bags over their heads either. You've produced some very good, but not quite superstar caliber players like Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith. If that's not mediocrity, then I don't know what is...so congrats Jaguars, treat yourselves to an Applebees steak and a glass of rail champagne and pat yourselves on the back for a job
Am I off the mark? Is there a more deserving team of this lofty award? Let us know in the comments and submit early nominees for NBA mediocrity.