Be thankful... you are not a sports fan in Cleveland2007-11-20
By Robert Niles: Today's post is completely off-topic, but indulge me this one. Most theme parks around the country are closed now, for those that remain open, the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving might be the slowest days of the year. Since I am also a math geek and sports fan, I decided to dust off an idea I've had in the back of my mind for some time.
Which city's sports fans have suffered most? I'm sick of hearing Cubs fans, for example, complain even though their city's NBA team racked up championships like Britney racking up referrals from child welfare agents. Or Red Sox fans (before 2004) moaning even though the Pats sported multiple Super Bowl rings and the Boston Garden's roof might as well have collapsed from the weight of NBA banners.
No, truly suffering sports fans live in a city where no team's won squat in recent memory. To figure out which city's fans have suffered the most, I applied a simple formula: Your metro area gets one point for each season it's had a team in the four major team professional sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) since one of those teams last won a title. City with the highest Misery Score has suffered the most.
Here are a couple examples: Denver, which last won when the Avalanche got the Stanley Cup in 2001, gets 24 points -- for the six years since then for the NFL Broncos, NHL Avalanche, NBA Nuggets and MLB Rockies. Salt Lake City, which has never won a title in any league, gets 28 points for the 28 years the NBA Jazz have played there.
I spent some time with Wikipedia and calculated the Misery Score for each metro area with a team in one of the "big four" leagues. I did not give any metro area "double credit" for having two teams in one league, e.g. the Giants and Jets for New York in the NFL. AFAIAK, that's two chances for your city to win a title. If you choose not to root for one or both of those teams, that's your problem. I'm not going to get into this "Well, I live on the north side of Chicago and root for the Cubs, Blackhawks, Packers and Bucks, so I've suffered more than you give Chicago credit for." Hey, if that's who you chose to root for -- sucks to be you.
The 'Which Team Should I Root For' RuleI'm proposing that whenever you're killing time watching a game involving two teams you don't normally follow, you root for the team from the city with the highest Misery Score. Why? A) It's good karma to help out a city that needs the help. B) It'll make the wins that much sweeter, since you're not rooting for teams from cities that win all the damn time (*cough* Boston).
The Sports Fan Misery IndexHere's the list. And, Cleveland... I'm sorry. At least you've got Cedar Point.
- I counted the 2004-5 NHL season, even though it wasn't played, since it was miserable for sports fans.
FWIW, under this system, the Colts' win in Super Bowl 41 was the biggest relief for a city's sports fans since Houston's win in the 1994 NBA Finals. Indy's score under this system before the Colts' win would have been 55, which would have put Indy then in sixth place on the list.
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