The five most miserable sports cities in America
The "Rock and Roll Capital of the World" gets a lot of attention for being a depressed sports city, in part because the Cavs were victimized by Michael Jordan during his ascension. Then the city was embarassed on national television by the player that was responsible for the only on-court success that they had seen in years. Now, with the emergence of Kyrie Iriving, hope is returning but the squad is very much still in rebuilding mode.
The Indians have made the playoffs twice in the last 13 years and one of those times is remembered more for the 10 Plagues-esque sworm of insects than the for fact that the Tribe won the series.
And then there's the Browns. Is Phil Dawson the best player the new version of the Browns has ever had? Well, even if he was, he's a 49er now, so Browns fan are going to have to hope Trent Richardson is the real deal.
For Cleveland sports fans, recent history has been unkind. For this reason, they often top lists of worst sports cities, but they have something that dozens of other sports cities want: historical significance. Jim Brown is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time and Bob Feller is an American hero as well as a legendary pitcher. Lebron and Eric "Mangenius" Mangini may represent recent Cleveland sports history, but the city has other, albeit historic, reasons for sports pride.
2. Kansas City
Most of the cities on this list have something to fall back on. Maybe it's a franchise player to build around or historic successes to take pride in. Kansas City has neither. Sure, George Brett led them to a World Series title in 1985 and they got to watch the tail end of Joe Montana's career, but the rest has been pretty gruesome.
The Royals haven't even made the playoffs since that '85 season and have had only two winning seasons since joining the AL Central in 1994 (one of which was shortened due to the strike). The team has been stocked with top prospects for a few years now but cannot find a way to put the pieces together. They are one of several teams that follow the model of trying to compete with cheap, young talent, but for whatever reason, they are always the worst at it. And when their players do pan out - Carlos Beltran and Zach Greinke, for example - they don't even try to seize the moment, opting instead to save some cash and rebuild some more.
The Chiefs have been slightly more exciting, making the playoffs a whopping two times in the last ten years. They haven't won a playoff game since 1993 but they have seen some interesting and competetive teams in recent history. In 2003, the team started 9-0 and finished the year 13-3 behind the incredible play of Priest Holmes. Every few years since then, the Chiefs will have a season where they win nine or ten games and mislead the city into thinking that they have a chance to change their luck, only to falter again the next year. Now, two years after a 10-win season, the Chiefs are about to pick first in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Stay strong, Kansa City. Eventually these two franchises will put a consistent product out there. Until then, Sporting Kansas City and barbecue will have to suffice.