When you think of the least successful sports city in America, there’s a good chance Cleveland comes to mind. It does for me, at least.
Cleveland has gone over 50 years without a championship in any major professional sport, and has seen multiple teams -- most notably the Browns -- leave town in the process. LeBron and Kevin Love give the city more hope than it’s had in years, but let’s be honest: life as a Cleveland sports fan is a slow, lifelong form of torture.
Well, take (a little bit of) heart, Cleveland fans. According to one new ranking, you don’t root for the worst sports city in America. That honor belongs to the people of San Diego, California.
Sam Greenspan over at 11points.com published a ranking of the 11 Most Tortured Sports Cities in America this week. Unlike most “Worst [Fill in the Blank]” lists, Greenspan actually uses some reasonable criteria for his rankings.
Here, from his article, are the factors he considered:
- Total championships per capita (bigger cities require more championships to be satisfied)
- Years since last championship (or, for cities that have never won, years since the oldest current franchise was founded)
- Modern success: Championships since 2000 (starting with the St. Louis Rams Super Bowl win in 1/2000) World Series, Super Bowl/NFL Championship, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals losses (since the only moments I've ever cried after sporting events are after championship losses, I think it's fair to say it's worse to get there and lose than never get there at all)
- Franchises that have skipped town in the last 50 years
All things considered, San Diego turns out to be the most tortured sports city. As Greenspan points out, the city has never won a single championship despite having multiple professional sports teams for the last 40+ years. Cleveland came in at number two, and the collective sports failures of Washington D.C. over the last 20+ years earned it the third spot.
Here’s the full list:
5. Kansas City
3. Washinton D.C.
1. San Diego