As a website that focuses 100% of its attention on the subject, it pains us to admit that sometimes sports may be taken just a shade too seriously.
Anyone who was near me the night that UCLA’s Tyus Edney went the length of the court in :04.7 seconds to rip out my heart in the second round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament can confirm that I am in no position to criticize how the performance of a local sports team can affect ones mood on a given night. That said, most everyone can agree that there is a reasonable limitation to it.
When ranking the “most miserable cities” in the USA this past week, Forbes Magazine paid no heed to the “reasonable limitation” warnings. In compiling their rankings (an article they could have simply renamed “we think everyone in the Midwest is a fat, depressed slob and if they’re not, here’s why they should be”) Forbes threw together one of their handy formulas which incorporated legit factors such as unemployment, taxes, political corruptness, weather, pollution and obviously violent crime. Right alongside those criteria? How the cities sports teams have fared over the past two years.
And why not? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that when ranking the factors that determine which city you are going to settle down in, the top of your list reads like so:
1A. Does their football team suck?
1B. Is there a significant chance that I will get brutally murdered in the streets while walking my dog?
The two are basically neck and neck.
Missouri was hit particularly hard as the two major cities in the state both made the Top 15 in large part due to their sports franchises.
#7 St. Louis
The Gateway City checks in just outside the Top 5, with the primary reason cited for its misery being the horrific performance of the Rams over the past three years. Pushing sports as the major problem with a city despite the fact that two of the three professional teams in the area made the postseason the previous year just gives you some context as to just how bad the Rams have been the past three seasons. Although the gentlemen they used as a posterboy for the city is probably miserable because he’s middle-aged and is still painting his face blue and gluing Ram horns to his head on Sundays…
#13 Kansas City
Adding to the expanding list of reasons for its inferiority complex with St. Louis, Kansas City just couldn’t quite get up to their neighbors’ level of misery. KC still comes in at a respectable #13, with Forbes conceding that the lowly status of the Chiefs and the Royals was even more of a factor than high crime and taxes. Now that I think about it, if I had to root for the Royals in 2010, I’d be pretty miserable too. I don’t care how many fountains are near my house…
Let’s just all thank Forbes for explaining to us why one thing that is supposed to be an enjoyable experience is really contributing to our miserable lives.