Misery Loves These Cities’ Company: Does Forbes Magazine’s List of the Most Miserable Sports Cities Fall Short?

1 Mar

Forbes Magazine published its list of the 10 most miserable cities for sports in all of America, using criteria such as postseason heartbreak in addition to overall championship futility to determine which city truly is most miserable (view the article here).  Below is Forbes’ top 5 most miserable cities, with The Floor Seats take on this list, followed by our own top 5 List.  After you compare the two lists, tell us which one you think is more accurate and why.  And if you can make a case for a city that isn’t on either list, let us know that as well.  After all, misery does love company.

Forbes Top 5:


1.   Seattle:  Any list comprised of downtrodden sports cities must certainly include Seattle.  Having the Sonics franchise relocated to another market due to incompetent ownership, a baseball team that has been largely irrelevant the past half decade after some successful seasons during the Ken Griffey Jr era, and a football team that only made the playoffs this past season due to a historically bad division after losing Super Bowl XL to the Steelers because of some questionable officiating would make even the most optimistic sports fan depressed.  And that just covers the past 10 years.  But is it really more depressing than some other cities across America?


2.   Atlanta:  OK, the Hawks have ranged from irrelevant to pointless to laughingstock to NBA playoffs doormat for a long time, and the Thrashers have been trying to thrash their way out of the NHL’s cellar since their inception, but this is also a city that has enjoyed a consistently successful baseball franchise (even though its captured only one World Series despite making the postseason the past 74 years in a row) and a football team that made the Super Bowl in 1999 and appears to be poised for continued success with an exciting young core of talent.  That doesn’t even count the fact that Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 1996, which helped modernize and transform the downtown area and brought in millions of dollars in revenue to the city. 

Take solace, Phoenix fans: at least the Coyotes are still in existence.

3.  Phoenix:   Yes, all four of Phoenix’s franchises have had their awful stretches of ineptitude, but this is also a city that has experienced two championship appearances in the past 10 years (the D’backs won the World Series in 2001, and the Cardinals lost Super Bowl XLIII in 2009), a fun and entertaining Suns team until this year (Steve Nash deserves a better end to his career than this rebuilding team), and a Coyotes team that has managed to avoid relocation/contraction.  Combine that with an idyllic year-round climate, and it doesn’t sound all that bad to be a Phoenix sports fan.

4.   Buffalo:  Very deserving of top 5 status; more below.

5.   San Diego:  It’s a city that is in danger of possibly losing the Chargers franchise and that has already lost the Clippers franchise (a blessing in disguise?).  The baseball team has been to 2 World Series (losing by a combined 8 games to 1) and just recently traded away its star first baseman for prospects, but they contended for the postseason last year and have a beautiful stadium in which to lose baseball games in.  Come on, we’re talking about San Diego here, a city that has remained classy irregardless of the sports futility it has experienced over the years.  It’s sparkling blue waters, beautiful beaches and temperate climate (we conveniently left out its high cost of living and proximity to violence stricken Mexico) permanently guarantee its exclusion from any Top 5 Misery List.


Floor Seats Top 5:

Yes, this Browns fan has plenty to be sad and embarrassed about, not including the fact he's wearing a dog bone on his head.


1.   Cleveland:  Cleveland and Buffalo will always be at the top of any miserable list, but a few factors give Cleveland the (dis)honor of the most miserable sports city in America.  We all know about how Cleveland lost its only certifiable star athlete via a tasteless and public breakup on national television.  But before LeBron came to the city by the lake, who was the biggest star in town?  Sorry to say that Omar Vizquel, Terrell Brandon, and Chris Gardocki don’t count.  Let’s go back further.  Bernie Kosar?  Yeah, he was a local hero, but he only made 1 Pro Bowl and never made it to the Super Bowl.  Brad Daugherty?  He was a solid player, but never catapulted the Cavs to league champions.  As for the Indians….dare we say Charlie Sheen’s “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn character from Major League?  You have to go all the way back to Jim Brown to find a truly revolutionary and famous sports athlete hailing from Cleveland.  And anytime your sports franchise is defined by two words (“The Fumble”, “The Drive”) that immediately trigger sympathy and jeering by fellow sports fans, you know you’ve experienced more than your fair share of heartbreak and failure.  Finally, if you had to bet your life savings, mortgage, and two major bodily organs on one of Cleveland’s three franchises winning a championship in the next 5 years, who would you pick?  The Indians, a team that is breaking in a lot of minor league talent that has to contend with the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox every year?  The Browns, who have less team speed than a senior citizen bocce ball team that has to face Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice a year?  Or how about the Cavs, who are eagerly trying to rebuild by buying as many first round draft picks for the upcoming 2011 draft as possible, considered by many experts to be the worst draft class in many years?  How does a core of Eyenga-Varejao-Erden-2 years of soon to be obese Baron Davis-Hickson sound to you?

2.   Buffalo:   Which is worse:  losing 4 straight Super Bowls, or never having been to one at all?  At least the Bills gave their fans reasons for optimism during the early 1990’s, and almost delivered on that promise not once, not twice, but four times.  Heartbreaking, yes.  Devastating, sure.  But as the famous quote goes:  it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.  Buffalo Bills fans have loved.  They’ve been to the altar.  They’ve said their vows.  Unfortunately, those vows weren’t returned.  But at least they got to play dress up and be the center of attention four straight years.  Now it appears they may never get to stand at another altar based on the last 10 years of failure they’re currently going through.  This upcoming NFL Draft will be vital for the franchise.  Do you select a high risk/high reward prospect in Cam Newton, assuming he’s even there at #3, or do you play it safe and try to build your team through the trenches (as long as you don’t select a defensive lineman from Penn State or an offensive lineman from Texas, you should be ok Bills fans).  And we think that Buffalo has a hockey team, but aren’t quite sure.  Are the Sabres relevant?  It poses another question:  is it better to toil in relative obscurity or infamy?  We’ll let Sabres fans decide that.  Actually, Brett Hull’s triple overtime Stanley Cup winning goal back in 1999 has made that decision for us.

3.   Seattle:   See above.


4.   Minneapolis:   The Timberwolves appear content to accumulate point guards and small forwards to ensure a permanent spot in the NBA draft lottery, the North Stars/Wild franchise is as relevant as the acting career of Jake Busey, and the Vikings haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1977 thanks in part to an epic postseason collapse during their 15-1 season and an epic brain fart by Brett Favre last season.  At least the Twin Cities have the Twins, who have a couple of World Series titles over the past twenty some odd years and a beautiful stadium in which to lose postseason games in.

5.   Kansas City:    Royals fans remember what it’s like to cheer for a winning team, don’t they?  We hope so, since it doesn’t look like this year’s version of the Royals will offer fans much to cheer for.  But GM Dayton Moore appears to have the franchise heading in the right direction with an elite farm system and $18 stadium BBQ ribs that will provide enough revenue to allow the Royals to vastly overpay free agents for years to come.  The Chiefs also appear to have a bright future, assuming they ultimately figure out that handing the ball off to RB Jamaal Charles is something worth repeating 20 times per game.


One Response to “Misery Loves These Cities’ Company: Does Forbes Magazine’s List of the Most Miserable Sports Cities Fall Short?”

  1. andysmovieblog March 1, 2011 at 12:34 PM #

    I made a similar list. I agree with yours. Seattle sure the 2005 Super Bowl was rigged against them. Seahawks though dominated that division for a couple years and just recently upset the previous Superb Bowl champ(Saints) in the playoffs. People have short term memory when it comes to baseball. Mariners have been bad recently but were a power in the AL earlier in the decade. Then the Sonics would be good if they weren’t moved, look at the Thunder now. Cleveland has a baseball team that is made of young guys. They stand no chance against the Twins or White Sox. The football team has been rebuilding since it returned. The Cavs were hood winked by LeBron James and are starting from scratch. Cleveland wins. Buffalo and Kansas City have it rough too.

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