When I look back at every year in sports, I remember, more than anything else, the champions. I sort of feel bad about this. The totalitarianism of championships, the notion that all that matters is winning, that "second place is last place," can suck the fun out of sports; it's the journey, not the destination, all that.

I still can't help but mark the years by the champions anyway. Throw out 2008 to me, and I can immediately tell you: Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Celtics, Detroit Red Wings. Championships are the final punctuation mark on a season or a year, the ones with all the commemorative editions and championship videos narrated by movie stars, and thus they're the last things we see and the last things that stick with us. In 2014, I'll remember the San Francisco Giants, the Seattle Seahawks, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Kings. This is how it works.

So which teams will we remember in 2015? I thought it might be fun, in one of the last columns of the year, to go through all 122 North American professional sports franchises and rank them, all the way down to 1, on their likelihood of winning a championship in 2015. Obviously, the NFL, NBA and NHL seasons are already well underway; in fact, there will be a tie among several teams for the last spot: those NFL teams who have already been eliminated from the playoffs. This will mean that MLB teams, who haven't even played one game, might end up a little higher on the list, particularly because their playoffs are such a crapshoot. But you get the idea. Remember, too: Priority is given to teams that make the playoffs. All you have to do is get in.

Thus, my entirely subjective, certainly wrong ranking of the teams most likely to win a championship in 2015.

122. Buffalo Bills
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
New York Jets
Oakland Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans
Washington Football Team

106. Philadelphia 76ers

105. Minnesota Timberwolves

104. Edmonton Oilers

103. Carolina Hurricanes

102. Buffalo Sabres

101. Los Angeles Lakers

100. Columbus Blue Jackets

99. Arizona Coyotes

98. Detroit Pistons

97. Utah Jazz

96. New York Knicks

95. Philadelphia Phillies

94. Orlando Magic

93. Minnesota Twins

92. Philadelphia Flyers

91. Charlotte Hornets

90. Colorado Avalanche

89. Colorado Rockies

88. Denver Nuggets

87. New Jersey Devils

86. Cincinnati Reds

85. Sacramento Kings

84. Brooklyn Nets

83. Phoenix Suns

82. Milwaukee Bucks

81. Milwaukee Brewers

80. Dallas Stars

79. Arizona Diamondbacks

78. Indiana Pacers

77. Houston Astros

76. Calgary Flames

75. Atlanta Braves

74. Boston Celtics

73. Florida Panthers

72. Texas Rangers

71. Tampa Bay Rays

70. Miami Marlins

69. Washington Capitals

68. Boston Bruins

67. Houston Texans

66. Cleveland Indians

65. Ottawa Senators

64. Kansas City Chiefs

63. Minnesota Wild

62. New York Mets

61. Chicago White Sox

60. San Diego Chargers

59. Winnipeg Jets

58. Carolina Panthers

57. Oakland Athletics

56. Atlanta Falcons

55. Baltimore Orioles

54. Chicago Cubs

53. Arizona Cardinals

52. Vancouver Canucks

51. Miami Heat

50. San Jose Sharks

49. New York Yankees

48. Washington Wizards

47. Kansas City Royals

46. Toronto Blue Jays

45. San Diego Padres

44. New York Rangers

43. Baltimore Ravens

42. New Orleans Pelicans

41. Atlanta Hawks

40. Detroit Red Wings

39. Seattle Mariners

38. Toronto Maple Leafs

37. Cincinnati Bengals

36. Tampa Bay Lightning

35. Portland Trail Blazers

34. Pittsburgh Pirates

33. Pittsburgh Steelers

32. Indianapolis Colts

31. San Francisco Giants

30. New York Islanders

29. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

28. Houston Rockets

27. Toronto Raptors

26. Detroit Lions

25. Oklahoma City Thunder

24. Memphis Grizzlies

23. Boston Red Sox

22. Montreal Canadiens

21. Detroit Tigers

20. Los Angeles Kings

19. Los Angeles Clippers

18. Dallas Mavericks

17. Nashville Predators

16. Dallas Cowboys

15. St. Louis Cardinals

14. Denver Broncos

13. Los Angeles Dodgers

12. Washington Nationals

11. St. Louis Blues

10. Chicago Bulls

9. San Antonio Spurs

8. Pittsburgh Penguins

7. Golden State Warriors

6. Green Bay Packers

5. Anaheim Ducks

4. Chicago Blackhawks

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

2. New England Patriots

1. Seattle Seahawks

Happy holidays, all.


Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com ; follow me @williamfleitch; or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.