For the second consecutive year, the Orlando Magic dipped in popularity among voters in Orlando Weekly's annual Best of Orlando balloting. The 2014 results, posted Wednesday, show the Magic trailing Orlando City Soccer and the UCF Knights among local sports teams. The Magic fell to Orlando City Soccer in the 2013 voting, marking the first time since 2006 that Orlando's NBA club didn't win that category.
The Magic are coming off a second straight rebuilding season, and their lack of success on the court helps to explain their slippage in the Best of Orlando voting, though they did improve their win-loss record by three games. The rising popularity of Orlando City, which will join Major League Soccer in 2015, coupled with the Knights' success on the gridiron, also worked against the Magic. UCF finished the 2013 season ranked 15th in the nation and upset the sixth-ranked Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl.
Even considering the Magic's poor play since trading Dwight Howard in August 2012, it comes as a mild surprise that the team, Orlando's only entry in the four major North American pro leagues, can't clean up the voting in a poll like this one.