Forbes just recently released its list of the 10-most miserable sports cities in the United States. And the findings were extremely interesting. In order for a city to be considered for this distinction, it has to have 75 accumulative years of professional sports teams in the four major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL).
Sadly, the city of Atlanta topped this list with Philadelphia rounding it out.
Let’s take a gander at the list for a second here.
1. Atlanta: The last championship for this city came in 1995 when the Braves earned their first World Series title since 1957 over the Cleveland Indians. As Forbes points out, the Falcons have yet to win a title, while Atlanta has seen two NHL teams bolt from the city. Outside of a solid run with Dominique Wilkins some quarter century ago, the Hawks have been irrelevant around the basketball world.
2. Phoenix: The greatest sports memory for this city came in 2001 when the Diamondbacks defeated Mariano Rivera and the New York Yankees in an historic World Series matchup. Outside of that, it’s been a whole lot of nothing. Sure the Cardinals earned a Super Bowl trip a few seasons ago and seem to be on the upswing, but they have yet to hoist the Lombardi. The Suns were consistent contenders during the Charles Barkley years and appear to be on the upswing as well. Outside of that, the Coyotes are about as irrelevant as any team in the NHL.
3. Cleveland: Don’t expect Cleveland to be on similar lists in the future. The addition of LeBron James and Johnny Manziel to what had been a downtrodden sports city promises to help Cleveland become relevant once again. This city still hasn’t seen a championship since 1964. And the Mistake by the Lake, while since destroyed, remains a black eye in the memory of all Cleveland fans.
4. San Diego: Most people focus on the fact that Cleveland hasn’t won a professional sports title since 1964, but San Diego’s last championship came a year earlier when the Chargers won the AFL championship behind the play of Tobin Rote and Lance Alworth. Yeah, that was a LONG time ago. Despite currently having only two professional sports teams, San Diego was once the home of the Rockets and Clippers. Neither had success in the Southern California city.
5. Buffalo: Cue Jon Bon Jovi and a potential move to Los Angeles. Aren’t you glad that entire saga is over with? In any event, Buffalo has been an extremely unsuccesful sports city. Its biggest claim to fame were the four consecutive trips that the Bills made to the Super Bowl in the 1990’s. Still without a title since 1965, Buffalo has Scott Norwood to blame for all of its failures.
6. Houston: I am not too sure why Houston finds itself on this list. The Rockets won a title back in 1995 and the Texans were a strong playoff team in the NFL for years prior to the 2013 season. In addition to that, the Astros had a strong run with the Killer B’s back in the 1990’s and even made a World Series appearance back in 2005. Sure the Oilers bolting for Tennessee was bad, but there are more miserable sports cities not named here.
7. Denver: Again, I am at a loss here. The Denver Broncos have made SEVEN trips to the Super Bowl and earned two consecutive Lombardi Trophies back in the 1990’s. They are also the defending AFC champions. The Rockies also made a surprise trip to the World Series within the last decade. While the Nuggets haven’t had much success, they did earn 10 consecutive trips to the playoffs before struggling last season. And the Avalanche have won two Stanley Cups since 1995.
8. Kansas City: Now here is a city that definitely belongs on this list. As Forbes pointed out, three of the five professional sports teams in Kansas City’s history have bolted from the city. The Kansas City Athletics, who left for Oakland in 1968, were nothing more than the New York Yankees farm team. They finished with a losing record in all 13 seasons in Kansas City. The Chiefs last won a championship in 1969 when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Meanwhile, their brutal loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs last season still haunts fans everywhere.
9. Minnesota: Poor Minnesota. A
city state that has boasted the likes of Kirby Puckett and Kevin Garnett deservingly finds itself on this list. Its last championship came when the Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves in the 1991 World Series. Since, it has been a whole lot of nothing. Forbes pointed out that the Vikings were 0-4 in the Super Bowl long before the Bills were. That’s reason enough for Minnesota to be on this list. Let’s not even get started about the Minnesota North Stars, who bolted for Dallas in 1993 and were replaced by the Minnesota Wild. A franchise that has made the NHL playoffs just five times in their 15 years of existence.
10. Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love is that in name only. Philadelphia has among the most passionate fan bases in the entire sports world, but sometimes it has gone way over the top in support of its teams. The 76ers were consistent contenders with Allen Iverson at the point for a good decade, but failed in their only NBA Finals appearance. They are also coming off the worst season in franchise history. The Phillies are an absolute joke right now, mainly because general manager Ruben Amaro Jr fails to realize his team looks more like a retirement facility than a baseball team. And the Eagles…well they’ve consistently broken the hearts of the fan base through the years.