What is sports' most dysfunctional team?

Boston drama never ends

Paul Doyle


Hartford Courant

This one's not even close — the Red Sox are beyond dysfunctional.


Once considered baseball's model franchise after winning two titles in four years, the Red Sox are a mess. The team experienced an epic meltdown in 2011, and management responded by dumping manager Terry Francona before GM Theo Epstein bolted for the Cubs.

The answer? Hire Bobby Valentine, a guy whose skin is too thin for Boston. Valentine accurately said the season has been miserable, as players revolted against their manager and the remnants of last year's "chicken-and-beer" collapse still lingered at Fenway Park.

Management has sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers, but that hasn't ended the drama.

Discontent in Liverpool

Phil Rogers

Chicago Tribune

Red Sox fans can have confidence in one thing: Owner John Henry and his staff know how baseball works. You can't say the same about the fans who follow Henry's team in the English Premier League, Liverpool.


This was one of England's most dominant franchises two decades ago but a few American owners (including former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks) has left fans exasperated to the point of boycott. The recent issue was whether Henry understood what it would have taken to land striker Michael Owen, who instead signed with Manchester United.

But then again, has Liverpool's manager threatened to punch a talk show host in the mouth lately? Bobby Valentine did that. I'll say Liverpool just because the Red Sox are too obvious.

Jets a tabloid team

Baxter Holmes

Los Angeles Times


Blessed be thy New York tabloid back page, for it shall never be found wanting. Its headline writers have upon them a glorious bounty with which to work. And to whom should they be grateful? To whom do they owe? J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

Oh, yes — and not just because The Holy One (Tim Tebow) hit town, though that certainly spices up the most dysfunctional franchise in all of professional sports quite a bit. There's always some hullabaloo there: something about Rex Ryan's wife and foot fetishes, Braylon Edwards charged with drunken driving, sexual harassment claims involving Brett Favre or a TV reporter.

The team is a diva-driven daily soap opera — and the Jets love it.

Media attention-seekers

Keith Groller,


The Morning Call

Accuse me of an East Coast bias, but it's a toss-up between the Red Sox and Jets.

Both have entertaining but flawed leaders and an amusing cast of characters. Mix in vast expectations and underwhelming results and you have the recipe for disaster, or at least disaster-declaring headlines, especially in competitive media markets that crave controversy.

The difference is that the Jets need to stir the pot to garner any attention in the Big Apple because the Super Bowl champs share their stadium, while the Red Sox are always the talk of New England, and frankly, a lion's share of the American League. That's why Bobby Valentine is more expendable than Rex Ryan, because the Red Sox don't need a big mouth to create a roar.