True Detective and Other One Season Wonders
This time, the victim on True Detective is...itself.
Despite having high hopes that a 3rd season of the crime drama would indeed come forth, HBO announced that any further installments would be unlikely, as creator Nic Pizzolatto has opted to instead work on a new project at the network.
Premiering in the winter of 2014, True Detective blew audiences away with its spectacular rookie season, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, which many critics labeling it as one of the best seasons of television ever made. Continuing as an anthology series, the success was not to be duplicated in Season 2, which operated under a new cast and story. Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn, sophomore year was not kind to the series, garnering mixed review for its tedious and confusing plot, as well as subpar performances (though, to be fair, it was going to be impossible to top Mr. Alrite, Alrite, Alrite...though Farrell tries his best).
The show now presumably ends with many remembering it for its later sins, despite great glory in its first season. The trend is nothing new in sports, so let's take a look at some of the greatest rookies, one from each major sport, who fizzled out after solid debuts...
Robert Griffin III
Washington traded up a good majority of their draft to draft the electrifying Griffin with the 2nd overall pick in 2012, and in year one, the picks were well worth the sacrifice. He tallied a 102.4 passer rating, 3rd in the league behind Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, as well as 27 total touchdowns en route to Rookie of the Year honors and Washington's first NFC East crown since 1999. However, the complete mishandling of Griffin's injuries suffered in the eventual reward, a Wild Card date with Seattle, ruined the speedy young QB's momentum. After going 9-6 as Washington's starter, Griffin went 5-15 over the next two seasons, struggling to stay healthy and publicly clashing with coaches and management before mercifully being granted his released this past offseason after missing the 2015 slate entirely. Griffin is currently looking to resurrect his career in Cleveland, a sentence normally written before quarterbacks are never heard from again.
Yes, America, the Royals used to be really bad! During their playoff drought that began after their 1985 World Series title and ended with their first of back-to-back trips to the Fall Classic in 2014, the Royals endured a stretch from 1995 through 2012 in which they had one winning season. That lone outlier was in 2003, when KC went 83-79, energized partially by the play of Berroa, who would beat out Hideki Matsui and Mark Teixeira for the AL Rookie of the Year. The success did not carry further, as Berroa's numbers went down in each subsequent year. His fielding was the biggest victim in his downfall; in his first 3 seasons (2003-05), Berroa's 77 errors were the most among AL shortstops. He left Kansas City after 2007.
For the success-starved hockey fans of Columbus, OH, Steve Mason was a godsend in his rookie year. Mason was the driving force behind the first ever playoff season in Columbus Blue Jackets history. Mason took the league by storm, leading the way with a whopping 10 shutouts. He also ranked 2nd amongst qualifying goaltenders with a 2.29 GAA. However, it was downhill for Mason shortly after that. Only once after '09 has he ever posted a GAA under 2.50, and he has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs. He never returned to the playoffs as a member of the Jackets, and in two trips with the Flyers, he is 2-5, including an 0-3 mark this postseason in which he was yanked.
Immediately after the Timberwolves selected the Syracuse alum Flynn with the 6th overall pick of the 2009 Draft, the Golden State Warriors took some bum out of Davidson named Stephen Curry...not like we'd ever hear his name again, right? Well, despite that, Flynn actually posted respectable numbers in his debut year, as in 81 games he put up 13.5 points per, and 4.4 assists. However, his numbers declined dramatically after, all the way down to 5.3 PPG. Two and a half seasons later, Flynn was out of Minnesota, exiled via a trade to Portland, and shortly after, he was out of the NBA entirely. No word on what that Steve Curry fella ever did though...
Who are your favorite one-year wonders? Sound off in the comments!
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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