Monday, June 01, 2009

Miserable Sports Cities

Just when something good was about to happen to Cleveland, a city that's been waiting for nearly 50 years for something good to happen, along comes Dwight Howard, raining threes and punishing defense to remind Cleveland natives that "good" and "sports" in the same sentence just aren't meant to be.

But Cleveland isn't the only city that's hurting. Here's a look at the top five most miserable sports cities. As always, omissions, thoughts and disagreements welcome in the comments.

5. Atlanta

Hard to consider Atlanta as miserable seeing as the Braves won 14-straight division titles starting in 1991. Yet, they only won one World Series in that span ('95) and have had mediocre attendance since, despite their regular-season success.

Aside from the Hawk's 1958 championship (which actually occurred while in St. Louis), Atlanta's success has been scattered and inconsistent. The Dirty Bird was fun while it last, though.

4. San Diego

Neither the Chargers or Padres have won a Super Bowl or World Series, respectively, though the Chargers did win an AFL title in 1963.

Of the four pro teams to have called San Diego home (the Rockets and Clippers used to play there), none have an overall winning record in the city. This futility has led to the term San Diego sports curse. Nobody really refers to the San Diego sports as a curse because we don't think anybody really cares. Great weather and nice beaches can really go a long way...

3. Buffalo

It's been 44 years since Buffalo has been a championship city. Sure, the Bills tried really, really hard in the 90s, but lost four-straight Super Bowls, which must be some sort of record.

The Sabres have had success, yet have only made it to the Stanley Cup Finals twice, most recently in 1999 losing to the Stars in six.

Pro baseball and basketball isn't really a big deal up there. But Niagara Falls is pretty neat.

2. Seattle

The Emerald City's last professional championship was 30 years ago by a team that no longer plays there (the Sonics). Of course the Seattle Storm captured a WNBA crown in 2004, but nobody really seems to notice that.

The Seahawks made the 2006 Super Bowl and have been a playoff team for much of the decade, yet its history is built on losing.

The Mariners won a record 116 games in 2001, yet remain one of few teams to never reach the World Series.

The Washington Huskies football team captured a co-National Championship with Miami in 1991, but are in the midst of five straight losing seasons and went 0-12 last year which we still can't believe actually happened.

1. Cleveland

The Browns won the NFL Championship in 1964 and that's about all the city's got. Of course Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore in '96 (where the Ravens later won a championship to add to the pain) and the city was without an NFL team for three years. Now they have Brady Quinn. Take that any way you want.

The Indians made the World Series in 1997, yet lost to the Marlins and have the second longest World Series drought behind the Cubs. They're more known for their controversial mascot than anything else.

The Cavs made the NBA Finals in 2007, only to be swept. This latest disappointment will lead to off-season speculation of LeBron James' future in Cleveland. If he leaves, Cleveland could become a ghost town.


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rstiles said...

What happened on Saturday couldn't happen to a better set of fans and city...Cleveland fans are arrogant...I could see if they won all the time, then they have a right to be arrogant...but there is nothing worse than arrogant losers...

And the city is a frekin dump!!!!....

CT Buckeye said...

Also regarding the Browns, former head coach Bill Belichick has gone on to win 3 Super Bowls and has a model franchise with the NE Pats.

The Indians were 3 outs away from a WS in '97 (thanks Jose Mesa).

GMoney said...

As a Cavs fan, it gets really old seeing shitty fanbases from Florida sports teams continue to be rewarded for jumping on the bandwagon once every ten years.

Anonymous said...



JMC said...

Anonymous - more hoes and less sports? I think you might be at the wrong kind of blog.

Chris said...

What about Portland? Not even in the top 5?

Dean in St. Louis said...

Hey numbnuts...The Hawks were in St. Louis when they won in '58, not Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Does the 1958 championship you mentioned for the Atlanta Hawks count when the team was still the St. Louis Hawks in 1958? Nice work...

The Big Picture said...


left portland out mainly because of the sole pro sports franchise. perhaps the lack of getting other pro teams make the city miserable, though.

dean in stl and anonymous, thanks for pointing that out AND being an asshole at the same time.

Anonymous said...

what about the bay?
giants havnt won a championship in 50+ years, lost in '02 on a bad game 6 decision by baker, and the last 2 seasons have had records of 70-90 (or thereabouts).

a's havnt won in 20 years, and are currently have the second worst record in baseball.

raiders havent been good sence their superbowl loss in '02.

niners havent had a winning record in how many years?

the bears in '07 go from the 2nd team in the nation with a 5-0 record to a 7-6 season and lost the ax that year.

the warrioirs had a surpising season last year (or so, i dont really follow bastketball), but for the previous 15 years (and this year) have sucked.

the sabercats were good, but their season got cancelled cuz arena football is too obscure a sport.

and then theres soccer, and nobody really follows american soccer.


brian s. said...

You also left out that Buffalo did have a NBA team in the 70s - the Buffalo Braves led by Bob McAdoo, Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, they left after 1978 for San Diego, and are now the LA Clippers.

Alex said...

New York. Boos its own teams and star players...

Sports Betting Champ said...

Cleveland - so true. Man 1964 was a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Clev fan here,

Browns ring in '64 shouldn't even be considered. The last real championship Clev had was '48. In that time frame, we've gone 137 consecutive franchised seasons without a ring. You'd have to be 62 yrs old as a Clev fan to even have been ALIVE the last time a ring was brought to this town.....more like 70 years old to even REMEMBER it!! I dont understand how there is a debate as to who has the most miserable sports town

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