Sports can be one’s livelihood. They are universal. They prompt conversation, bring enemies together and push lovers apart. From the youngest of children to our oldest citizens, it is hard to escape the grasp of sports (which is a good or bad thing, depending on who you ask). And while the East Coast dominates national television programming, from your New York teams to Boston and New England, there are still the hapless, sad, and yet hopeful cities elsewhere. Note: New York and Boston teams always have high expectations. Let’s take a look at teams that cannot justify their high hopes with anything but bloated argument.
Here are the Top 5 Hopeful Sports Cities:
5) Cleveland, Ohio
No sports city has been stabbed in the back quite like Cleveland. LeBron’s “The Decision” took the breath out of Cleveland like a fat kid running up stairs. No, that doesn’t do it justice. The new measuring stick for horrible things happening is Clevelanding somebody.
“Man, I was in a hit and run today, this dude totally Clevelanded me.”
Yeah, that’s it there. A year ago, Cleveland was the most hopeful sports city, now they attempt to pretend that they care about the Indians.
4) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa. They boo their own coaches, needless of the situation. But despite irrefutable negativity, Philly fanatics constantly expect greatness from their less-than-great teams. All of this coming from a city that has been represented in movies anywhere from Invincible with Markie-Mark to The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon with Tony Danza. Philadelphia is such an awful sports city they booed Donovan McNabb and ran him out of town.
3) Kansas City, MO/KS
Personal bias may enter here, but hopes in Kansas City are at an all time high. The city hasn’t fielded a winning baseball team more than once since the 80s, but has accumulated a mass of talent at the upper minor league level. Numerous reports say the Royals have the best farm system in baseball. Not to mention, the Chiefs became AFC West Champions last year, just in time for football to get potentially canceled. The best baseball Kansas City may see for the next few years is in 2012, when they host the All-Star game.
2) Norman, Oklahoma
The only college town on this list. College towns are perennially inflated towards their own, but Norman is different. If things go poorly for Oklahoma football, not only is their football team bad, but they also have to live in Oklahoma. No other city has more at stake. Living in Oklahoma with a bad football team? Makes me shudder.
1) Chicago, Illinois
The Cubs haven’t won a world series in over one hundred years, yet every year is their year. They are currently in last place on Earth. The Bulls were deemed a failure this year because they lost to the conspiring all-star trio in Miami. The Blackhawks immediately went from first to last in Chicago, old news, after not repeating their Stanley Cup run. Despite fantastic, consistent results, the Windy City expects nothing less than championship after championship, a handicap created by the one they call MJ. If teams don’t deliver, it was fault of referees, fans interfering, curses or rigged games, not the teams themselves.
Kyle Ayers is an astronaut and craft-fair attendee who hopes someday he won’t have to lie in his byline. Follow him @kyleayers on twitter
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