With cities like Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle, I had stopped taking Forbes seriously when reading about the most miserable sports cities in America. Seattle doesn’t even have an NHL team for crying out loud! Coming from a city that lost its only professional sports team, the Hartford Whalers in 1997, I can feel Seattle pain when the Seattle Supersonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008, but the Mariners and the Seahawks have experienced recent success and the City’s WNBA and MLS teams have both enjoyed popularity within their own leagues.
How can a list of most depressing sports cities not be headed by Cleveland?
1. The city’s only NHL team, the Cleveland Barons, was merged out of existence in the 1970’s because the owner didn’t want the team in Cleveland anymore.
2. The NFL team, which was the victim of not only “the Fumble,” but also the “Drive,” was moved out by its owner in 1995, only to see a franchise reinstalled a couple of years later and has been lackluster at best since its “reinception.”
3. The Cavaliers are only known for two things – LeBron James villainry and Michael Jordan’s iconic shot in the playoffs.
4. Ah the Indians. They were the butt of jokes for years, culminating in a tour de force by Corbin Bernstein and Charlie Sheen in Major League and Major League II. The team’s best chance of redemption, the 1997 World Series, was ended on an unfortunate groundball single by Edgar Renteria. And now the team is undergoing a series of changes as it retools with younger and cheaper players.
I’ve spent time in both cities, Seattle has that advantage over Cleveland too. It’s really no contest.