Who am I to say what sports city is good and what sports city is bad? No one! ……but I’m going to do it anyway. I’m sick of this city and that city telling me why they’re the best; I’m sick of this baseball fan base and that baseball fan base telling me why their fan base is the best (ahem Cardinals fans.) I’m sick of front running fan bases getting extreme pleasure out of their “team” winning. But most of all? I’m sick of people having this argument without making the right points – so I did it for you.
5. New York – Shocker shocker, alert the presses – Jonathan Baron ranked New York five out of five on his list of the top five sports cities in America! Well, two things. First off, Jonathan Baron is from New Jersey =). Second, Jonathan Baron writes these blogs to make SENSE, and putting New York any higher than five would not make much sense. Yes, New York has won some championships in the last few years. The Giants have won twice since 2007, and the Yankees won one of their own in 2009. Maybe my discrepancy with New York sports is that the WRONG NY teams (to me) have been winning (a grand total of zero championships have been won between the Rangers, Mets, Jets and Knicks since 1994.) The problem with New York sports? There are just too many damn teams. In hockey, you’ve got three choices to pick from for who to root for. In football, basketball and baseball you have two each. In other cities, just about everyone roots for the home town team. In New York? You go to a baseball game rooting for your favorite team, and wind up getting into a fight with the fan of your same favorite baseball team, because he is an Islanders fan and you root for the Rangers. Too much splitting, not enough winning.
4. Seattle – You can consider this your, “damn, didn’t see that one coming” part of the blog program. Seattle, you ask? Yes, Seattle. We all know about the vaunted 12th man at Century Link Field, tormenting Michael Crabtree and all other visiting NFL players. We may not all remember the Seattle Kingdome, but that’s why I learned how to do all these cheeky blogging technique’s. We all remember the Seattle SuperSonics, Kevin Durant’s first NBA team. The real question to be asked here is, do we all realize just how incredible the Seattle Sounders franchise is, and how the overwhelming support the city of Seattle offers them such incredible financial support? According to this article, the Sounders make over one million dollars every home game. Uhh…what? Yeah. The Sounders are incredibly important, and an example to many of why soccer CAN work in America. Do yourself a favor and tune in to the next Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match, and you won’t be disappointed. From Edgar Martinez to Sean Kemp, Shaun Alexander and even Maclemore, the city of Seattle is as loyal as they get when it comes to sports, and the Mariners have the sweetest jerseys in baseball…and that always helps.
3. Philadelphia – This one pains me, but my motto is that I’m an equal opportunity blogger, and my proof needs to go no further. I’ve had some really bad experiences in Philadelphia – I mean REALLY bad. I’ll never forget August 31, 2007. Mets vs Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. At the time we didn’t know it, but the Mets were on their way to blowing a 7 game lead with 17 games left to play in the season, and his late August series was the start of it. To make a long story short, the Mets went down early, came back, and then Billy Wagner blew the game in the 9th against his former team and their ravenous fans. Walking out of there with my family was no fun given all the vulgar things coming out of peoples mouths (and I was only 15 at the time so this was embarrassing to hear around my family.) Things were way worse since we were all wearing Mets stuff. In the parking lot we spotted bags of urine tied to the side-view mirrors of cars with NY plates (luckily we have NJ plates, and a lot of Phillies fans reside in South Jersey, so we were safe, I guess.) Point is, their fans are lunatics. These are the same people who booed Santa Clause, after all. Still, I kind of have to respect the heck out of the Philadelphia sport fan. Maybe it’s because they’ve sucked for so long (although the Phillies won it all in 2008, they still have lost the most baseball games in baseball history.) The Eagles, who went to and lost three consecutive NFC title games from 2002-2004, finally reached the Super Bowl in ’04-’05, only to lose to New England, and they STILL love them there. The Flyers? As many times as they’ve made the playoffs, they haven’t hoisted Lord Stanley’s cup since 1975-1976, but hockey is still as relevant as any other sport in Philadelphia (always nice to see.) Maybe the difference between Philadelphia and New York is that they all have only one team to root for per sport so the intensity is increased, or maybe they just suffer severely from the “litter brother” syndrome playing in the shadows of NYC. Either way, Philadelphia is a pretty awesome sports city, minus the bags of piss of course.
2. Boston – Boston, or “New England” holds a special place in my heart since I spent five summers there, up in Bridgton, Maine (look at a map.) I was actually at Fenway Park the night Manny Ramirez cut off Johnny Damon’s in short left field (David Newhan inside the park Home Run, and Gabe Kapler hit a home run that night as well. Two jewish ballplayers with home runs in the one time I’ve been to Fenway. Now that’s meant to be.) I will admit, I am a bit of a Red Sox bandwagoner. So, now that we’ve got that out of the way…Boston, yes, Boston – fantastic sports city. Duck boats for championships, overwhelming support, an entire region pulling for their team. Fans doing all they can to disturb the peace of a visiting team (See, Lakers-Celtics in the 80’s for more on that.) They suffered through an 86 year curse, still believed and stuck with their team through thick and thin. The Patriots have been the bench mark for football greatness since the start of the 21st century. Even with a terrible Celtic season, the team still averaged over 18,000 fans a game this season. Boston could have very well been number one on this list, but they’ve been winning way too much, to the point where it takes absolutely no effort to call yourself a Boston sport fan. Trust me though when I tell you…before the Patriots thing started, it wasn’t all fun and games up in New England.
1. Chicago – Yes, yes, I know – you didn’t see it coming. I put Chicago at number one. How could I not? Look, I know as well as ANYONE that wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey these days is as “Yankees of the Midwest” as it gets, but it’s kind of cool. I mean, if I told you ten years ago that the Blackhawks would be as popular as they are, you wouldn’t believe it, even if I told you they’d win two cups in four years. Chicago is an amazing sports city, simply put. They love their Blackhawks, they love their Bears, they love their Bulls, and they love their baseball – oh yes, their baseball. When you think about the fact that there isn’t a single living human being on this earth that was alive to see the Cubs win their last world series, in 1908, you really kind of get the entire reality of that…situation. It has been OVER A HUNDRED FREAKING YEARS. 100. THEY STILL SELL THAT PLACE OUT WITH EASE. Oh, and the “other” Chicago team, the White Sox? Yeah, they went 85 years without winning themselves. Not too shabby, huh? Still, the fine people of the Windy City show up and support their team no matter what (even if beer is one of the bigger motivating factors.) Chicago people have a certain pride in their teams, a pride you don’t get with a lot of these other cities – and how could you not when things like the Derrick Rose injuries happen to you? They root and they root and they root. Classic fans, classic city. Only problem? Their pizza sucks.
Well, that is all i’ve got for you people. It has been fun. I appreciate everyone reading throughout the semester, and encourage you to keep in mind that as Charles Barkley once said…opinions are like…….well, you know – and if you don’t, my mom reads these things, so I’ll leave it at that. Enjoy the summer!