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Root for the Phillies? Robert's Sports Misery Index, Second Edition

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Published: October 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Off topic, I know, but if you are looking for a team to root for in the World Series, I'm gonna suggest that you pull for the Phillies.

Why?

My Sports Misery Index, of course. In a post last fall, I created a "misery index" for U.S. cities with teams in one of the "big four" major league sports - the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Each city got a point for a season played by its teams in each league since the city's last championship in any. (Cities with two teams in one league do not get double credit.)

I've updated the standings with the 2008 NFL, NBA and NHL results (though not yet the 2008 MLB losers):


City Last title Misery Score
1. Cleveland 1964 (NFL) 126
2. Philadelphia 1983 (NBA) 99
3. Buffalo never 95
4. San Diego never 94
5. Seattle 1979 (NBA) 86
6. Minneapolis 1991 (MLB) 59
7. New Orleans never 52
8. Washington, D.C. 1992 (NFL) 51
9. SF Bay Area 1995 (NFL) 50
10. Atlanta 1995 (MLB) 47
11. Kansas City 1985 (MLB) 45
12 Houston 1995 (NBA) 36
13. Cincinnati 1990 (MLB) 35
Dallas 1999 (NHL) 35
15. Charlotte never 32
Milwaukee 1997 (NFL- Green Bay) 32
17. Portland 1977 (NBA) 31
18. Salt Lake City never 29
19. Denver 2001 (NHL) 27
Phoenix 2001 (MLB) 27
21. Nashville never 21
22. Orlando never 19
24. Baltimore 2001 (NFL) 13
Jacksonville never 13
26. Tampa Bay Area 2004 (NHL) 11
Chicago 2005 (MLB) 11
28. Columbus never 9
Memphis never 9
30. Miami 2006 (NBA) 7
31. Pittsburgh 2006 (NFL) 5
St. Louis 2006 (MLB) 5
33. Los Angeles 2007 (NHL) 3
34. Raleigh 2006 (NHL) 2
Indianapolis 2007 (NFL) 2
36. San Antonio 2007 (NBA) 1
37. Boston 2008 (NBA) 0
New York/NJ 2008 (NFL) 0
Detroit 2008 (NHL) 0

So, if you want to spare a city further misery, ya gotta pull for the Phillies, since Philadelphia comes in a horrific number two on the list. The Tampa Bay, Florida area comes in just 26th.

I know we've got a lot of Central Florida theme park fans on the site, but, folks, ya gotta cut the folks from Philly some slack here, don't ya?

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on October 27, 2008 at 1:31 PM
With a 3 to 1 series lead, and their best pitcher on the mound, you would be foolish to pick anyone other than the Phillies.

However, being in KC, I gotta pull for the small markets, regardless of a city's misery! Go Rays! ;)

From Robert Niles on October 27, 2008 at 2:09 PM
Philly's gonna get this; San Diego's got the great weather. So the Big Three of long-suffering cities after this week are going to be Cleveland, Buffalo and Seattle (with extra sympathy going to Seattle for the loss of the Sonics.)

Maybe the Cavs can get LeBron some backcourt help. Maybe the Bills can close as hot as they started this season. So there is some hope in those towns. But, Seattle, man - I am soooo sorry, Seattle fans. FWIW, I am rooting for the OKC Whatevertheirnameis to go 0-82.

From Joshua Counsil on October 27, 2008 at 3:21 PM
Although I'm pissed at Tampa for taking the '04 Stanley Cup, I would rather them than the Phillies. They're such an underdog in the eastern.

Also, the real misery-sufferer here is Canada, whose teams keep getting taken away and sent to the U.S. (e.g. Montreal Expos to Washington Nationals) due to lack of funding. We should be somewhere near the top of that list.

From Corey Romberg on October 27, 2008 at 4:25 PM
Im Canadian too Joshua, so I agree that Canada has to be up there, especially since as a country, we havent brought home a Stanley Cup in 15 years, which is unacceptable, given how huge hockey is in Canada, and we have 6 teams, not just one like baseball and basketball

However, now I live in Orlando, so I am a huge Rays fan as well, and it hasnt just been this year like is the case for a lot of fans...Im definatley pulling for the Rays, but we have a large hill to climb down 3-1 with Hamels pitching tonight for the Phillies

I do feel somewhat sorry for Philly's championship drought...but remember, these are the fans that booed Santa Claus, so I dont feel that bad for them..

GO RAYS!!

From Alan Puscus on October 27, 2008 at 6:00 PM
I guess I should be rooting for the NL being a Dodgers fan. But ...I want revenge for game 4 of The Ddgrs/Phls series when my heart was ripped out in the eighth. It sure looks like the Rays are done, but as they've gone from worst to first, I hope they can pull it out. For the record, I was rooting for the Sens, Flames and Oilers the last three cup finals, but alas it was not to be. Such is the life of a sports fan. Sigh.

The city of brotherly love booing Santa?! They wouldn't do that, would they? Really? Go Rays!

From Robert Niles on October 27, 2008 at 6:17 PM
FWIW, the Santa was drunk....
From Alan Puscus on October 27, 2008 at 7:03 PM
Didn't know he was sloshed, I would've booed him too. Thanks Robert, but I'm still pulling for TB here, misery and all. As long as we're off topic here, do you Canadians still root for your former teams, like the Jets and Nordiques?. I hesitate to mention the Expos as little support was shown up there. Any thoughts?
From Corey Romberg on October 27, 2008 at 7:39 PM
Well Im from Toronto, so none of my teams have ever left...I do know people from Winnipeg tho that root for the Coyotes (formerly the Jets)
From Robert Niles on October 27, 2008 at 8:17 PM
I thought about putting Canadian cities in, but I couldn't decide whether to sub the CFL for the NFL straight up, or if anyone cared about that league. I felt like things were getting apples-to-oranges, so I bailed.
From Corey Romberg on October 27, 2008 at 8:42 PM
haha no problem Robert. And youre right. Im from Canada and I care about the NFL a lot more than I do the CFL, so I can imagine how Americans feel about it
From Robert Niles on October 28, 2008 at 10:02 AM
Yeah, I suspected that a CFL championship would mean the same to a Canadian city as an MLS championship would mean to a U.S. city. Okay, but ultimately... meh. Doesn't relieve the misery.
From Joshua Counsil on October 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM
Ha ha - yeah, CFL is pretty marginal. I love that classic Simpsons joke:

"And in the 4th, the Rough Riders: 28 have defeated the Roughriders: 7" (in reference to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders).

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