Top 10 Cities in a Sports Slump
The Bengals' off-field issues have been embarrassing for the city, and now the team is losing, making for a long fall in the Queen City. The Reds haven't provided much relief, wallowing near the bottom of the NL Central for a few years now.
The Sonics are threatening to move if they don't get a new franchise, and the way they're playing these days, that might not be a bad thing. The Seahawks came close to winning a Super Bowl, but haven't looked like contenders the last two years. The Mariners are also good, but can't seem to take it to the next level.
They still don't have an NFL team, but that's not the problem. The Lakers have become a bit of a joke because of the Kobe Bryant soap opera. The Clippers' recent promise has evaporated, with Elton Brand out for the season. The Dodgers seem to be stuck being good but not great. And the city's crown jewel, the USC football program, has finally shown signs of vulnerability this season.
The Nationals and Capitals are bad, and the Wizards haven't been a championship contender since Wes Unseld retired. None of that matters that much in D.C., where the sports world revolves around the Redskins. And ever since Daniel Snyder took over, `Skins faithful have been disappointed by big offseason spending and in-season let-downs.
New York City
Even though there are some winning teams, the headlines are filled with the Knicks' front-office issues and the Yankees' bloated payroll and their recent split with Joe Torre. The Mets had a historic collapse this season, the Rangers are struggling despite spending lots of money in the offseason, and the Jets' collapse balances out any success the Giants are having.
Even though Kevin Garnett was never going to lead the Timberwolves to a title, fans are taking his loss hard, since there's little reason to follow hoops right now. That leaves the Vikings, who have quickly developed into an NFL also-ran, and the Twins, who are always good but can't muster the payroll to keep their talented players.
Finally, the Indians were about to go back to the World Series for the first time since 1997, but they couldn't hold on against the Red Sox. But fans' expect that from this team, which hasn't won a championship since 1948. The Browns haven't been any better. Since they returned to Cleveland in 1999, they've had just one winning season. That leaves the city's sports' hopes on Lebron James' shoulders. All Cleveland fans pray he'll never leave the Cavs for the bright lights of a bigger city.
The Bills used to break everyone's heart by reaching the Super Bowl and losing. Now, they simply disappoint fans year in and year out. To add insult to injury, the team wants to move one home game a year to Toronto. At least they have the Sabres, who last won a Stanley cup ... never.
The city's biggest sports hero, Michael Vick, is facing jail time for dogfighting and his Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Braves have failed to make the postseason two straight years after 14 trips to the playoffs. And the Hawks' only luck has come in the lottery, but they consistently take the wrong guy at the top of the draft.
No four-professional-team city has gone as long as Philly without winning a title. There hasn't been a championship parade on Broad Street since Moses Malone led the Sixers to the 1982-83 title. The Eagles came close in 2004, but fell to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Phillies reached the postseason this year for the first time since 1993. And the Flyers have been consistent regular-season performers who instantly melt down in the playoffs. Local hero Smarty Jones almost won the Triple Crown, but like the pro teams, couldn't seal the deal, finishing second in the Belmont Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.