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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Atlanta named most miserable sports city

Oh, the misery of having to endure 89 wins!

Fueled by the Braves’ late-season collapse and the Thrashers leaving town, Atlanta has reclaimed the top spot on Forbes’ annual list of most miserable sports cities.

Some people just can’t enjoy a game without getting involved. Here are a few such spectators.
Last year’s “winner,” Seattle, came in second on the list, followed by Phoenix, Buffalo and San Diego.

Also contributing to Atlanta’s sports woes in 2011 were the Falcons and Hawks making early-round playoff exits, pushing the city’s championship drought to 17 years.

The magazine explained that it ranks the cities based not only on losing over a long period, but also on the amount of heartbreak a city’s fans endure in a given year.

To be considered, sports cities must have “at least 75 total seasons of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB play,” Forbes said.

“Over the past year, Atlanta fans have watched their hockey team leave for Winnipeg, their baseball team blow the playoffs on the final day, and their football and basketball teams bow out early in the playoffs. It’s enough to nudge the city past Seattle back into the top spot,” according to Forbes.

The Braves were up 8.5 games in the wild-card race in early September, only to blow the lead to the eventual champion St. Louis Cardinals, losing five straight to end the season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:17 PM | 131 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, braves

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   1. Mike A Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4071498)
Woo-hoo! We're number one! We're number one!

Atlanta is up there in heartbreak, I must admit...in the sense that the teams are generally pretty good but never win it all. Those crushing defeats have been hard to take, particularly on the Braves side where a few breaks would have meant 3 or 4 titles. Still, isn't it better to be in the hunt than to have no chance?

The hockey thing was ownership and the NHL being a bunch of jerkoffs, though. I guess that counts against Atlanta, but it wasn't really the city's fault.
   2. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4071503)
I don't know, I'm fairly happy. But I don't root for most of those teams.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4071508)
Can you imagine what would come out of New York or Boston fans if they'd had the Braves' history of post-season non-championship winning?
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4071517)
I can only guess Cleveland doesn't win this award every year in the same way it got boring to give Jordan MVP every year, so they gave it to Karl Malone once.
   5. Jick Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4071527)
My theory (can you guess when I grew up?) is that the natural order of things involves the Braves being great, the Hawks mediocre, the Falcons terrible, and the Thrashers nonexistent. Now that that last team has moved to Winnipeg, we're one step closer to another Braves championship.
   6. Booey Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4071529)
I can only guess Cleveland doesn't win this award every year in the same way it got boring to give Jordan MVP every year, so they gave it to Karl Malone once.

While I agree that being bored with Jordan was the reason Malone won in '97 (and Barkley in '93), he actually wasn't a bad choice statistically. Certainly nowhere near the travesty Bill Simmons and others have tried to make it out in the years since.
   7. MM1f Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4071542)
I'm not sure the Thrashers leaving really counts towards Atlanta's sports misery. The city's reaction to their departure was a collective "who?"
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4071543)

I'm not sure the Thrashers leaving really counts towards Atlanta's sports misery. The city's reaction to their departure was a collective "who?"


But I thought having African-American players would really ignite the African-American fanbase.
   9. hokieneer Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4071545)
The answer is still Cleveland
   10. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4071548)
I was on a flight home from Toronto that was ferrying a cheer-squad from Winnipeg to a competition in Atlanta. One of the mom-chaperones made a point of apologizing for the Thrashers, to which I said "seriously, you guys need that team way more than we do."

With that said, I'm seriously hoping Matt Ryan does that "Peyton Manning when he turned 27" thing next year.
   11. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4071550)
I'm not sure the Thrashers leaving really counts towards Atlanta's sports misery.


Depends. I can't see the team I root for come to town and kick their ass.
   12. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4071557)
I'm not sure the Thrashers leaving really counts towards Atlanta's sports misery. The city's reaction to their departure was a collective "who?"

Exactly. And now Winnipegers got to enjoy their beloved Jets.*

Don't forget Atlanta lost TWO NHL teams. The Thrashers and the Flames! Loosing two franchises of the same league twice in 30 years is quite a feat. Interestingly enough, both the Flames and Thrashers moved "back" to Canada...

* Want a proof Canadians love hockey? Read this (from Wikipedia):
Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. The number of season tickets sold jumped to 4,170 on June 2 and 7,158 on June 3. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in just 17 minutes. Once the 'Drive to 13,000' was completed, TNSE started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people had signed up in two hours. In July 2011, tickets for the Oct 9 home opener versus the Montreal Canadiens were listed for an average price of $1,711 on Stubhub, with an average selling price of $713


[Edited to add: they had to buy season tickets for three seasons, not one, which makes this above paragraph even more impressive].
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4071562)
* Want a proof Canadians love hockey? Read this (from Wikipedia):


Why doesn't the NHL move the Coyotes to Quebec or Hamilton?
   14. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4071567)
Why doesn't the NHL move the Coyotes to Quebec or Hamilton?


Because the city of Glendale is subsidizing the team as justification for building the arena there.
   15. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4071569)
Why doesn't the NHL move the Coyotes to Quebec or Hamilton?

I'm praying every night to get the Nords back. It's in the book and people are hopeful, but I'll believe it when it happens. That said, the league won't move a team to Hamilton. Toronto won't allow it (there won't be a MLB team in New Jersey for the same reasons). And Bettman's plan has been to open the US market. Moving too many teams back to Canada would just prove he was wrong (which he was, of course), so I doubt he'll do it. I'm still praying anyway.
   16. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4071574)
Because the city of Glendale is subsidizing the team as justification for building the arena there.

That. But the team has an $35M annual deficit and Glendale itself is broke and the Goldwater Institute is raising he** over this. But there are supposedly three onership groups interested in buying the team and leaving it there.
   17. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4071580)
Today in French class our teacher (Quebecois) told us about how the people of QC pray for Les Nordiques every night.
   18. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4071588)
Also was the Lindros trade to Philly one of the greatest ever or what?
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4071589)
So give it to me straight - does KC even have a shot of landing an NHL club? We feel like we're getting dicked around. Nice new arena, no tenant.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4071591)
The world becomes a little better when a hockey team moves to Canada. Especially from the Sun Belt.
   21. TerpNats Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4071594)
That said, the league won't move a team to Hamilton. Toronto won't allow it (there won't be a MLB team in New Jersey for the same reasons).
Hamilton -- the Milwaukee of Canada! (With the Hawks in the role of the Leafs.)
   22. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4071595)
Nice new arena, no tenant.

You did it wrong.
   23. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4071596)
That's interesting. It never occurred to me that it's strange that Wisconsin has no NHL team.
   24. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4071597)
It also occurs to me now that an NHL team in one of the Dakotas would probably draw really well too.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4071598)

That's interesting. It never occurred to me that it's strange that Wisconsin has no NHL team.


Or Seattle. Although there are some plans proposed to build an arena to lure an NBA or NHL team.

You did it wrong.


Well, technically the tenant they built if for was the Big 12. Which nearly disbanded. So yes, we did it wrong. Although ultimately I am glad they built it.
   26. TerpNats Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4071604)
Well, technically the tenant they built if for was the Big 12. Which nearly disbanded.
And, come July 1, will have no member in that arena's home state. Perhaps the SEC might hold a tourney there one year to placate Mizzou fans, but more likely it would go to St. Louis, which is closer to (the states of) Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
   27. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4071605)
Hell, the Fighting Sioux(!) play to capacity 11,000+ crowds. I think the NHL's Dakota Custers could outdraw the Islanders.
   28. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4071606)
That. But the team has an $35M annual deficit and Glendale itself is broke and the Goldwater Institute is raising he** over this.


As well they should. The city is broke and is bleeding money into the team, which they will never get back.

But there are supposedly three onership groups interested in buying the team and leaving it there.


I've got some beach property to sell you down the street from the arena if you actually believe that, because this road has been heavily traveled by many people. If there was a viable ownership group that would keep the team there, they'd own the team by now. The NHL is incredibly desperate to sell the team to a group that will keep them there. The last guy to almost buy the team was going to get a loan from the city that was more than the amount he had to pay the NHL for the team. And that didn't work either.
   29. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4071607)
Also was the Lindros trade to Philly one of the greatest ever or what?


The funny thing is the Rangers had a better deal, but the Nordiques screwed that up.
   30. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4071608)
That's ok. I have no idea what happens at the Izod Center anymore either. The Circus? Ice Capades?
   31. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4071613)
The funny thing is the Rangers had a better deal, but the Nordiques screwed that up.

I don't think. I remember the NYR deal included Kovalev, Mike Richter and?
Philly gave Peter Forsberg (who was superior to Lindros) + Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) and $15 Million cash.
   32. Craig in MN Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4071637)
What does Minneapolis have to do to get an honorable mention? Last place and injury riddled baseball team, last place football team, a few years of last place basketball team, consistently below average hockey team, terrible university teams for high profile sports, a couple terrible stadiums to counteract the good ones, and a constant threat of the Vikings moving. I guess the World Champion Minnesota Lynx ruined our chances somehow.
   33. Copronymus Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4071641)
The Rangers trade was Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck, 3 firsts, and $12 million. I'd give the edge to the Flyers' group since you get an extra NHL player (and, uh, also Kerry Huffman) and also the best player overall, but it's pretty close.
   34. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4071642)
I don't think. I remember the NYR deal included Kovalev, Mike Richter and?

Philly gave Peter Forsberg (who was superior to Lindros) + Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) and $15 Million cash.


The Rangers offered Alexi Kovalev, Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, John Vanbiesbrouck, $12 million and three 1st rounders. Which the Nordiques accepted... after they agreed to a trade with the Flyers. Todd Bertuzzi's uncle was the arbitrator.

I'd give the edge to the Flyers' group since you get an extra NHL player


The Flyers wound up giving up the best player, the Rangers would have wound up giving up the best package IMO. Extra players doesn't matter when it's Duschene and Huffman, and the extra picks make up for it.
   35. TerpNats Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4071649)
It would make more sense for the NHL to flee Phoenix, where it will always be #4 at best, and move the franchise to Kansas City, which has no winter pro tenant (heck, Cincinnati doesn't, either, but KC is a slightly bigger market). You wouldn't even have to change the team name, though I'd alter the pronunciation to "ki-oats" (as in University of South Dakota teams) rather than "ki-oat-ees" (as in Wile E.). Flows better with "Kansas City."
   36. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4071652)
What does Minneapolis have to do to get an honorable mention?

Minneapolis doesn't have an NHL team.

/St. Paul Pride
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4071653)
Atlanta named most miserable sports city


Fixed.
   38. hokieneer Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4071660)
The world becomes a little better when a hockey team moves to Canada. Especially from the Sun Belt.


I watch what accumulates to 4 periods of NHL hockey a year, and can maybe name a half dozen or so current players, and even I completely agree with this. Professional hockey should not be played in Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Miami, etc over Canadian or northern US cities.
   39. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4071661)
Atlanta named most miserable city


Fixed.


It was nearly 70 degrees today. Absolutely miserable. I can't go on like this.
   40. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 01, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4071679)
It would make more sense for the NHL to flee Phoenix, where it will always be #4 at best, and move the franchise to Kansas City, which has no winter pro tenant (heck, Cincinnati doesn't, either, but KC is a slightly bigger market).
Cincinnati somehow has (count 'em!) four arenas that seat 10,000+, yet they don't have a building that's appropriate for major league sports.

Cincy is also ~100 miles from both Columbus and Indianapolis, which makes it an unlikely future home for any NBA or NHL team.
   41. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4071682)
I was on a flight home from Toronto that was ferrying a cheer-squad from Winnipeg to a competition in Atlanta. One of the mom-chaperones made a point of apologizing for the Thrashers, to which I said "seriously, you guys need that team way more than we do."


Did you bang her?
   42. Baldrick Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4071685)
Seattle has only won one thing ever - a couple NBA titles before I was born. And the team that won them was stolen from us a few years ago. And then there is Cleveland. WTF does Atlanta have to complain about--a team that made the playoffs like a billion straight years? C'mon.
   43. Shock Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:40 AM (#4071687)
I guess they have no NFL team so they don't count but otherwise Toronto should be up there. I know, back-to-back blah blah but Brett Lawrie plays for the team and he wasn't alive when they last made the playoffs. The Leafs have been a national punchline forever and I don't follow the NBA but I'm pretty sure the Raptors suck too. And they don't even have an NFL team.
   44. Tuque Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:41 AM (#4071688)
Did you bang her?

I love this site sometimes.
   45. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:47 AM (#4071690)
Seattle has only won one thing ever - a couple NBA titles before I was born.


One NBA title and one Stanley Cup. (Plus two WNBA titles, if you count those.)
   46. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4071694)
Brett Lawrie plays for the team and he wasn't alive when they last made the playoffs

Maybe I missed the sarcasm, but Brett Lawrie was born in 1990. Jays won the Series in 1992 and 1993.

Philly gave Peter Forsberg (who was superior to Lindros) + Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) and $15 Million cash.

Remember when Eric Lindros was so valued that they made a baseball card for him?
   47. Shock Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:10 AM (#4071696)
I was being hyperbolic. Being three years old is basically the same thing.
   48. Sweatpants Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:32 AM (#4071702)
Seattle has only won one thing ever - a couple NBA titles before I was born. And the team that won them was stolen from us a few years ago. And then there is Cleveland. WTF does Atlanta have to complain about--a team that made the playoffs like a billion straight years? C'mon.
Atlanta has just one championship. That said, the city had two playoff teams and one that just missed. There's probably some city out there that has it worse than three very good teams.
   49. rlc Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:55 AM (#4071707)
I have no idea what happens at the Izod Center anymore either.


I have no idea where the Izod Center is, but I have to assume that alligator wrestling happens there.
   50. Mike A Posted: March 01, 2012 at 05:51 AM (#4071715)
I know this article focuses on the Atlanta pro teams, but one could note that Georgia Tech is pretty competitive across a host of sports (and has 4 football national titles).

One could also argue Atlanta sports improved when hockey left town. In 19 years the Flames and Thrashers won 2 playoff games. That's games, not series.
   51. Flynn Posted: March 01, 2012 at 05:58 AM (#4071716)
I think the Nordiques are all but certain to return next year. I'm looking forward to it. Even as a young Habs fan I knew that was a top-shelf rivalry, though the political aspect is unpleasant. The Nords were cast as a sort of Quebec sovereigntist, francophone outfit while the Canadiens were a federalist team. Which is horsesh... but those were the times.

Glendale is tapped, the Goldwater Institute is looking over their shoulder and Pierre-Karl Peladeau has the money to outbid anybody looking for a discount hockey team. A new arena is coming and the Colisee is already being updated to meet NHL standards to serve as a temporary home.
   52. Randy Jones Posted: March 01, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4071724)
I have no idea where the Izod Center is, but I have to assume that alligator wrestling happens there.


It's in the Meadowlands. Used to be Continental Airlines Arena and pre-corporate naming rights, Brendan Byrne Arena. It was built for the Devils and Nets, but both have moved to the Prudential Center.
   53. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: March 01, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4071729)
Extra players doesn't matter when it's Duschene and Huffman, and the extra picks make up for it.


Well, Duchesne, a defenceman, had 82 pts in 82 games with the Nords. Not bad. He had 752 points during his 16 season career, which is a lot, even when you account for the period he played in. Besides, he was always smiling and having fun. He left the team after a bitter fight with management.

Hextall loved the city but had to be left unprotected following the 1992-93 season because of the expansion draft (the Nords wanted to protect Fiset because he was younger). So instead of loosing him for nothing, he was traded to the Ilses.

Ricci had his best season in Quebec, Simon became a good enforcer. Only Hoffman was really a throw in.

Forsberg was the gem and he played an instrumental role in both Colorado cups.
   54. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 01, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4071732)
Is Roller Hockey Intnernational still around?
   55. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 01, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4071738)
I can only guess Cleveland doesn't win this award every year in the same way it got boring to give Jordan MVP every year, so they gave it to Karl Malone once.
Seems like Buffalo should be the Mailman to Cleveland's Air Jordan.
   56. TerpNats Posted: March 01, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4071739)
I think the Nordiques are all but certain to return next year. I'm looking forward to it. Even as a young Habs fan I knew that was a top-shelf rivalry, though the political aspect is unpleasant. The Nords were cast as a sort of Quebec sovereigntist, francophone outfit while the Canadiens were a federalist team.
If the Nords return, they must revive their logo and team colors. That shade of blue on their sweaters was always reminiscent of what you'd see on children's pajamas.
   57. TerpNats Posted: March 01, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4071742)
Seems like Buffalo should be the Mailman to Cleveland's Air Jordan.
Both have football heartbreak (along with pro football titles in 1964, FWIW), but to the world, hoop heartbreak > hockey heartbreak (1999 Cup finals and that mysterious Dallas Stars goal).
   58. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4071752)
Atlanta has just one championship. That said, the city had two playoff teams and one that just missed. There's probably some city out there that has it worse than three very good teams.


I think the key here is that bad teams at least have hope that one day they'll be good. Atlanta essentially is trapped with an extended case of blue balls that at this point no one even bothers to think will go away.
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4071783)

I think the key here is that bad teams at least have hope that one day they'll be good. Atlanta essentially is trapped with an extended case of blue balls that at this point no one even bothers to think will go away.


I think that's silly. If you are good most years, you should have hope that one day you'll eventually win it all unless you believe in some stupid magical hex. If you are the fan of a team that is just bad every year, what hope do you have to win it all? I envy Atlanta. I became a sports fan around 1988. That was right after we lost our NBA team. And I have never seen my teams compete in a championship game, and only once did they even compete in league/conference finals. The Royals have never made the playoffs over that time and the Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since 1997. I don't think you can be the most "miserable" sports city when other fans envy you.
   60. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4071794)
Well, Duchesne, a defenceman, had 82 pts in 82 games with the Nords. Not bad.


No, that's not. They sold high trading him after that season. He was a better player than I remember.

I don't think you can be the most "miserable" sports city when other fans envy you.


Agreed. The city has 3 teams and they're all playoff teams. You can do worse.
   61. hokieneer Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4071805)
the Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since 1997.

1993 season, divisional round game over the Oilers in Houston.
   62. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4071807)
I feel the need to point out that Atlanta has one of the most successful and competitive Roller Derby leagues in the nation, and the all-star squad of Atlanta Rollergirls competes against the highest competition nationally and wins.

And the Rollergirls and the derby league draw far more fans than the NHL ever did.
   63. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4071813)
If you google "Indians 2012 projections" you get a bunch of sites about the end of the world.

Fact.
   64. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4071823)
The Flyers wound up giving up the best player, the Rangers would have wound up giving up the best package IMO. Extra players doesn't matter when it's Duschene and Huffman, and the extra picks make up for it.


Peter Forsberg is so clearly a cut above all of the players in the NYR deal (some very, very, good players themselves) that the Flyers offer was richer.

BTW, Steve Duchesne was a pretty useful player.
   65. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4071824)
And the Rollergirls and the derby league draw far more fans than the NHL ever did.

This is heresy!

If you google "Indians 2012 projections" you get a bunch of sites about the end of the world.
Fact.


"Please welcome your 2012 Cleveland Mayans!"
   66. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4071829)
While I agree that being bored with Jordan was the reason Malone won in '97 (and Barkley in '93), he actually wasn't a bad choice statistically. Certainly nowhere near the travesty Bill Simmons and others have tried to make it out in the years since.


Malone led the league in PER that year, if you believe in PER.
   67. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4071832)
They sold high trading him after that season. He was a better player than I remember.

True, they traded Duchesne. He was traded during the mid-season because he refused to report. Why had I forgotten that? I would not say they sold high, however. Ron Sutter despised Quebec and the other two (Garth Butcher and Bob Bassen) were below replacement-level (I would think). Both Butcher and Sutter were dumped in June of that year.
   68. zack Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4071841)
I watch what accumulates to 4 periods of NHL hockey a year, and can maybe name a half dozen or so current players, and even I completely agree with this. Professional hockey should not be played in Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Miami, etc over Canadian or northern US cities.


There are ~34 million people in Canada. ~1.5 million of them live in the Winnipeg and QC metropolitan areas. ~4 million live in the 'peg, QC, London, Hamilton, Kitchener, Niagara and Halifax areas combined.

There are ~5.2 million people in Atlanta alone. There are ~27 million people in the "southern strategy" cities, not including the California teams. (Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa, Nashville, Raleigh). What's more, nearly all of the people in those Canadian cities are already hockey fans, and are monetized whether there is a local team or not (most of that ~4 million population is within driving distance of Buffalo or Toronto).

It was destined that hockey would fail in some of the southern cities, but it would be absolutely insane not to try. You know that huge national TV contract the NHL just signed this summer? That came from having nationwide coverage, which you don't get by abandoning 3/4 of the country completely. TV is where the money is. And over time, you might just develop new hockey fans in places where the sport is not endemic, like we see now with players coming out of Texas and California.

Southern expansion did not fail. The Thrashers failed because the ownership group deliberately tanked the franchise.

#### the Jets and their literal AHL arena. Make it six.
   69. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4071842)
How do you beat the Redskins-Wizards for a misery combo? DC must have been saved by our own Rollergirls, especially team Scare Force One.
   70. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4071843)
I think an adjustment for defense (which I apply to PER for questions like this) would put Jordan back on top, but not by much. Jordan also also topped Malone in WS and WS/48, but not but a lot. So, I vote MJ, but this isn't a terrible outcome.
(Caveat: I actually had a giant Malone poster up on my wall at that time in my life. And I always, always hated Jordan.)

As for Atlanta, this outcome makes sense if you don't factor in to degree to which people care.
   71. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4071844)
If the Nordiques come back, they would become the closest professional sports team to my house!
   72. Booey Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4071851)
While I agree that being bored with Jordan was the reason Malone won in '97 (and Barkley in '93), he actually wasn't a bad choice statistically. Certainly nowhere near the travesty Bill Simmons and others have tried to make it out in the years since.

Malone led the league in PER that year, if you believe in PER.



Exactly. Maybe I'm more than a little biased since I'm a lifelong Utahn and such a diehard Jazz fan that I'd probably tattoo their logo across my face if I thought it would help them win a championship, but it bugs me that so many people talk about the 1997 MVP voting as being such a blatant travesty and no one even makes any attempt to prove it using you know, actual statistics. I've looked at the numbers many times, and Jordan would have been a fine choice. But so was Malone.
   73. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4071857)
All of a sudden I'm really excited about Les Nordiques. I live one hour from the Quebec border, 3 hours from QC. Someone break down for me the Habs/Nordiques territorial divide. I'm planning to become a Nords fan as soon as the news is official. It sure as #### beats rooting for the Bruins.
   74. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4071868)
I would not say they sold high, however.


He was a 50 point defenseman who had an 80 point season. Trading a guy after a career year is the definition of selling high.
   75. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4071869)
And the Rollergirls and the derby league draw far more fans than the NHL ever did.


I admit I have been to a Rollergirl derby and unlike the Thrashers they packed the house. Granted it was a small house, but it was packed.
   76. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4071873)

Southern expansion did not fail. The Thrashers failed because the ownership group deliberately tanked the franchise.


I don't blame Bettman at all either. Also, at the time, wasn't the Canadian economy at a worse position vs. the American economy? Wasn't there a problem with Canadian teams selling tickets and taking in Canadian dollars, but paying out salaries in American dollars? I can see why they'd want to mitigate that problem and have more American teams. And the south is a huge potential market. And FWIW, I'm betting the presence of an NHL team has exposed more kids to hockey in the south and there are more kids playing than there used to be. From what I understand, Dallas has become a decent youth hockey market when they had very few ice rinks before the Stars moved there.

The Thrashers failed, and other south teams are struggling, but weren't teams rather successful in Dallas and San Jose?
   77. DL from MN Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4071888)
Milwaukee could only handle the NHL if they lost the NBA. Seattle is wide open - much better market than Phoenix with a natural rivalry in Vancouver.
   78. Flynn Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4071889)
There are ~5.2 million people in Atlanta alone. There are ~27 million people in the "southern strategy" cities, not including the California teams. (Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa, Nashville, Raleigh). What's more, nearly all of the people in those Canadian cities are already hockey fans, and are monetized whether there is a local team or not (most of that ~4 million population is within driving distance of Buffalo or Toronto).

It was destined that hockey would fail in some of the southern cities, but it would be absolutely insane not to try. You know that huge national TV contract the NHL just signed this summer? That came from having nationwide coverage, which you don't get by abandoning 3/4 of the country completely. TV is where the money is. And over time, you might just develop new hockey fans in places where the sport is not endemic, like we see now with players coming out of Texas and California.

Southern expansion did not fail. The Thrashers failed because the ownership group deliberately tanked the franchise.

#### the Jets and their literal AHL arena. Make it six.


That huge NHL TV contract is a fifth of what the NBA gets. Wow, congratulations on getting 20% of the NBA's TV money. You know what? It's also the first time, EVER, that American TV money outstripped Canadian TV money, but that may no longer be true once CBC renegotiates the Hockey Night in Canada. So in a year or two's time, this amazing awesome TV contract that was no doubt due to Phoenix and Atlanta (even though NBC would rather die than show those two teams over Philly, Boston, Detroit, New York or Chicago) will be outstripped by the new round of Canadian TV contracts.

It is 20 years and over that period the NHL has developed some fans in California and Texas, but not very many. Almost all of the Sun Belt teams struggle to turn a profit and most are in the bottom half of revenue. With the Canadian economy buoyant, it makes cents to return the game to places who care, like Winnipeg, whose team will probably outstrip every Sun Belt team in revenue except for LA.

And sorry, the idea all Canadian hockey fans are monetized is absurd. Winnipeg proved that, in the 8 minutes where they sold more season tickets than Atlanta would sell in a year.
   79. zack Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4071894)
The Thrashers failed, and other south teams are struggling, but weren't teams rather successful in Dallas and San Jose?


Yes, though Dallas is struggling currently due to some Hicks-related ownership shenanigans. Nashville and Florida have both picked up nicely lately, though. The only moribund NHL franchises are the Coyotes and the Islanders. The Islanders are saveable, although I wonder about the resource allocation of having 3 NHL teams in the NYC area. The Coyotes should have been the Jets rather than the Thrashers for so many reasons. It sucks that ownership, which should be nothing to sports fandom, is the driving factor behind franchise stability. I love the Nords but I also love the acid trip-Coyotoes (hate the Tippett-Coyotes), and nobody should lose their team.

I may have an irrational soft-spot for the Thrashers because the one time I showed up at Phillips' Arena, an on-duty APD officer handed me a free ticket to the lower bowl. That's the other sucky thing, Phillip's was a beautiful new arena literally at the intersection of the 2 lines of the rail system in a huge city, could not have a better stadium situation.
   80. Flynn Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4071895)
Someone break down for me the Habs/Nordiques territorial divide.


Roughly north of Trois-Rivieres and east of Drummondville, though there will be Canadiens fans everywhere. They're the most famous French-Canadian institution on the planet after Cirque du Soleil. Even in the 80s there were always thousands of Canadiens fans in the Colisee for rivalry games.
   81. zack Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4071899)
So in a year or two's time, this amazing awesome TV contract that was no doubt due to Phoenix and Atlanta


But it wasn't just Phoenix and Atlanta. Statistically, some of these teams would fail (ever notice that in every league, regardless of perceived suitability of the location, the majority of expansion teams remain second-class decades after their expansion?), and the lottery ended up in those places because of terrible ownership and terrible planning (Glendale? Really?). Would the NHL be better off today and in ten years if it were 18 teams in the NE, Midwest and Canada?

Besides, short-term profit chasing is what got the Jets out of Winnipeg and the Nords out of QC in the first place.
   82. Gamingboy Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4071917)
########
-Buffalo
   83. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4071918)
1. Regarding the NHL in Milwaukee- former Blackhawk owner Bill Wirtz killed any attempt to get an NHL hockey team in Milwaukee.

2. I appreciated Bettman's attempt to move the NHL into the southern US, though I think he was a little overzealous (Florida didn't really need to 2 teams, nor did Raleigh). Dallas & Atlanta are huge markets, it would've been silly *not* to try teams out there. Also, I hate the "it's always warm down there so they shouldn't have an ice hockey team!" argument.

3. This is kind of a minor point, but over the last few years several top American draft picks have come from the western & southern US (specifically California). I'm not sure if these kids would be playing hockey if the NHL was limited to 10-12 teams in Canada/northern US.
   84. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4071919)
Dallas stands out as an example of what the "southern strategy" for the NHL should have been like in other places.
It's a good hockey town now, with lots of youth leagues, and the team (until recently) had been competitive and popular.
The rise of the Mavericks and Rangers is going to hurt the Stars a bit, though it helps that the Cowboys are just as frustrating.

The return of the Nordiques would be great for the NHL.
As a Leafs fan (save your pity, I'm also a Buffalo Bills fan, so I know misery quite intimately), the Nordiques would provide another awesome Saturday night Canadian match-up for TV:

Habs vs Nords (provincial pride)
Leafs vs Sens (provincial pride)
Oilers vs Flames (provincial pride)
Canucks vs Jets (uh...sure!)

Side note:
If the Leafs don't make the playoffs (again!), I'm really hoping the Jets make it. That arena will be absolutely jumping (and blindingly white).
   85. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4071924)
Even in the 80s there were always thousands of Canadiens fans in the Colisee for rivalry games.

It's like Leafs fans in English-speaking Canada. They are a virus that infect the Vancouver/Winnipeg/Edmonton/Calgary arenas, with large pockets throughout. In Montreal, it's mutual, as the Habs fans flood Toronto, and vice versa.

In Ottawa, it's ridiculous, as the Toronto fans almost outnumber the Ottawa fans.
The only reason you can tell it's an Ottawa home goal is that the foghorn goes off. Otherwise, the cheering is LOUDER for the Leafs goals. Hell, the "Go Leafs Go" chants easily overpower the "Go Sens Go" chants.
   86. Flynn Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4071926)
But it wasn't just Phoenix and Atlanta. Statistically, some of these teams would fail (ever notice that in every league, regardless of perceived suitability of the location, the majority of expansion teams remain second-class decades after their expansion?), and the lottery ended up in those places because of terrible ownership and terrible planning (Glendale? Really?). Would the NHL be better off today and in ten years if it were 18 teams in the NE, Midwest and Canada?

Besides, short-term profit chasing is what got the Jets out of Winnipeg and the Nords out of QC in the first place.


It wasn't any of the Sun Belt teams, I'd argue.

The NBC is paying that money because of the revival in interest in Boston, Philly, NYC, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Look at how little West Coast or Sun Belt teams make NBC. They get play on Versus, but that's because Versus tries to show everybody.

Would the NHL be better off today and in ten years if it were 18 teams in the NE, Midwest and Canada?

Besides, short-term profit chasing is what got the Jets out of Winnipeg and the Nords out of QC in the first place.


I suspect the league would be more profitable, but I'm not really suggesting no NHL team should exist in the Sun Belt, just where it makes sense. The league clearly got addicted to expansion fees and thought the very short-term surge in popularity was going to continue indefinitely, otherwise nobody would have a team in Columbus, Nashville, Anaheim, or both Tampa Bay AND Miami.

Edit: I'll put Raleigh in there too, because my parents are from CT and my aunt was a season ticket holder. F you Karmanos! But there is little economic argument for the Whalers other than if somebody thinks they can make it happen then good for them.
   87. dlf Posted: March 01, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4071930)
Any time Atlanta sports and hockey are mentioned, I remember watching Tom Glavine suit up for the ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX17yd7hQk0
   88. bachslunch Posted: March 01, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4071984)
Re #19: "So give it to me straight - does KC even have a shot of landing an NHL club? We feel like we're getting dicked around. Nice new arena, no tenant."

There was indeed an NHL team in Kansas City at one time -- the Kansas City Scouts, an expansion team that was established in 1974. They lasted two seasons there, moving to Denver and becoming the Colorado Rockies in 1976, then the New Jersey Devils since 1982.

Given this track record, I would doubt another such franchise will happen there again.
   89. PepTech Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4072021)
nobody should lose their team


Which makes Seattle an interesting case. The only way Seattle can get either an NHL or NBA team is to take one from someone else, and many Seattleites are pretty angsty* about that idea. A month ago it was "95% certain" that the Kings and Coyotes would be coming to town, and now it's pretty clear that neither one is... local fans were pretty much OK with either franchise, as the perception here is that neither local fanbase cares, but now that they're looking at both teams staying put and having to poach some existing team, interest is waning a bit on the new arena

Seattle is, depending on how you count such things, the largest market to not have all Four sports. However, they do have the Sounders drawing at 36K twenty times a year. It's pretty unclear whether Seattle could also support BOTH NBA and NHL. I highly doubt there's enough suite buyers to go around.

*So, speaking of angsty, or karma, or whatever, I have a barely related question. Just flew for a business trip and they call for "1st class and club members". No less than 50 people went through. When I finally got on, I counted 20 first class seats. Are there seriously 30+ "club members" on a random flight? Do a good percentage of people ignore these announcements and gate attendants don't stop them? Are these the same people who think HOV restrictions don't apply to them? Anecdotally, it seems that the vast majority obey handicapped parking restrictions, but no one saves the handicapped bathroom stall for last. Why do I sound like Andy Rooney?
   90. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4072047)
Just flew for a business trip and they call for "1st class and club members". No less than 50 people went through. When I finally got on, I counted 20 first class seats. Are there seriously 30+ "club members" on a random flight?

The question I have is, other than 1st/business class seats*, why are people in such a rush to get on the plane? When they call my section, I usually ignore it. I wait until they call the last regular section, and then get into the last spot in line. I'm in no rush to sit in coach for 20 minutes while they load the plane. I'd rather relax in the waiting area instead of being crammed in like sardines.

*1st class / business class seats with the individual pods, plus pre-flight drink service, makes it worth it to sit in your seat before the flight.
   91. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4072058)

There was indeed an NHL team in Kansas City at one time -- the Kansas City Scouts, an expansion team that was established in 1974. They lasted two seasons there, moving to Denver and becoming the Colorado Rockies in 1976, then the New Jersey Devils since 1982.

Given this track record, I would doubt another such franchise will happen there again.


The Scouts were woefully undercapitalized and terribly managed. They won 27 games in two seasons. That was back when the NHL over-expanded to markets like San Fran and Cleveland despite not having nationwide notoriety yet. I don't see how that has anything to do with landing a franchise now, especially considering the NHL has re-entered markets before (like Atlanta, Winnipeg and Minneapolis).
   92. zack Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4072059)

The question I have is, other than 1st/business class seats*, why are people in such a rush to get on the plane? When they call my section, I usually ignore it. I wait until they call the last regular section, and then get into the last spot in line. I'm in no rush to sit in coach for 20 minutes while they load the plane. I'd rather relax in the waiting area instead of being crammed in like sardines.


Because ######## with their rollybags take up all the carry-on luggage space. If you're in the last 20%, good luck finding a place to put a bag now that airlines charge for checked luggage.
   93. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4072061)
Because ######## with their rollybags take up all the carry-on luggage space. If you're in the last 20%, good luck finding a place to put a bag now that airlines charge for checked luggage.


It perplexes me how, on one hand, airlines are charging you extra for any checked-in baggage, while allowing passengers to haul in half their bedroom closet in three enormous carry-on bags.

   94. Kurt Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4072064)
The question I have is, other than 1st/business class seats*, why are people in such a rush to get on the plane?

To stuff their giant rolley suitcases into the overhead bins before they fill up.

I'm with you, though.

Edit: Cokes. The solution is to travel light.
   95. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4072066)
Because ######## with their rollybags take up all the carry-on luggage space. If you're in the last 20%, good luck finding a place to put a bag now that airlines charge for checked luggage.


They don't charge to check your bag at the gate because they're booked.

It always amuses me that people rush to get on the plane like that. It's assigned seats, everyone just relax.
   96. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4072081)
I like to get on early so I can mentally plug into whatever I'm gonna do on the flight (normally reading or puzzles), but I'm not in that big a hurry or anything.

I don't think Bettman should get criticized for Raleigh - that's on Karmanos, right? (Mind you, I didn't and don't think it made any sense - they're the only pro game in town but not the subject of that much discussion among my peer groups.)
   97. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4072089)
If you're in the last 20%, good luck finding a place to put a bag now that airlines charge for checked luggage.

I tend to travel light, so I have a small backpack with my airplane essentials (ipod, couple of small books, a magazine, small snack, cold pop I grabbed at the gate) that fits under the seat in front of me without cramping my legs.

   98. Graham Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4072094)
If you google "Indians 2012 projections" you get a bunch of sites about the end of the world.

Fact.


This is funny in at least two ways, maybe three.
   99. DL from MN Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4072099)
It's pretty unclear whether Seattle could also support BOTH NBA and NHL. I highly doubt there's enough suite buyers to go around.


I think NHL is probably a better fit with the Blazers close by.
   100. Randy Jones Posted: March 01, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4072106)
I think NHL is probably a better fit with the Blazers close by.


Except the Canucks are even closer.
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