LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title Sunday night, ending the city’s 52-year championship drought and allowing it to vacate the unofficial title of America’s most tormented sports city.
Which city takes over that unfortunate distinction? Buffalonians may not like the answer.
With Cleveland’s “Years without title” clock set back to zero, New York Times on Monday put Buffalo atop its list of “most cursed” sports cities. But at least it wasn’t unanimous.
“San Diego is the new home of sports futility,” NBC Sports declared. “Is D.C. now the most cursed sports city?” the Washington Post asked. Others in Minneapolis and Atlanta pondered their merit for the title.
Well, which city is it?
There isn’t more consensus here is because trying to determine which city is the “most cursed” is a fool’s errand. There is no right answer. You can’t win.
That's not a very hot take, Internet man. How did the New York Times decide it was Buffalo?
Good question. The Times story that put Buffalo No. 1 seems to have weighed “last major title” against subjective measures like “agony” and “mitigating factors,” which for Buffalo included the WNY Flash winning their league, as if that makes the rest of it more bearable.
Interestingly, the Times took a much more in-depth look at this question last year and counted, among other factors, the number of seasons – not just years, but seasons played by teams in the four major professional sports – each city had gone with a title. That list ranked Buffalo third, behind Cleveland and Atlanta. San Diego was fourth, Washington fifth and Minneapolis-St. Paul sixth.
Well that sounds like a decent method.
Yeah, except you get stuff like this…
Seasons without major pro sport title
San Diego 109 (52 Chargers, 47 Padres, 6 Clippers, 4 Rockets)
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) June 20, 2016
… where San Diego starts counting not one, but two NBA teams that don’t even play there anymore. Take those out and Buffalo has the most seasons without a title.
But if you were really trying to determine which city is the most tormented, there would be a number of other factors you’d have to consider.
- How would you weigh the agony of extreme losing seasons?
- What about the threat of relocation?
- What about successful college teams in the area?
- How do you factor in making lousy trades and/or draft picks?
- Do deep playoff runs that fall short make you more tormented or less?
- And really, you have to ask, are losing teams that cities simply don’t care as much about worth less than teams they are highly invested in?
We don’t have answers for any of these questions. Plus, curses aren’t even real. Stop wasting your time worrying about this.
I’d like to, but I can’t. We never win anything so these rankings are all I have.
…............ Geez, dude.
That was really sad, I know. It felt something the most cursed sports city would say.
You said it, not me.