Misery’s Hometown

The Braves have much to do with Atlanta being named Forbes' "Most Miserable Sports City". But so do the Falcons, Hawks, Thrashers...

In case the nasty weather, Republican primaries, spiraling deficit or the Oscars didn’t already make you feel like a snail’s slime trail, the good editors at Forbes have a little something to help you completely over the edge of the cliff.

Behold, Atlanta – the most miserable sports city in the United States.

That’s right, as if our private shame weren’t enough, Forbes has compounded the humiliation by dragging our futility on the field into the national spotlight. Just when the eternal hope of Spring Training and the NFL Draft were coming into sight, the magazine that’s all about money drags us backward into the horrific past: the Braves’ epic September collapse; the Falcons flop in New York; the Thrashers “relocation” to some fictional Canadian town; and the Hawks…well, the Hawks in general.

So just how is misery calculated?

“Our unique sports misery methodology isn’t focused on long-term futility… This is about misery as defined by heartbreak — teams good enough to win a lot of games and advance through the post-season, only to disappoint fans in the end by falling short of a championship. Which cities have endured that the most?  No one tops Atlanta, a combined 1-5 in World Series and Super Bowl play, not to mention numerous post-season flops in earlier rounds.”

Oh. Well, then, yeah – that’s us.

But that’s not all that’s miserable about Atlanta, right? I mean, if we’re going to pile on, let’s really pile it on. To wit:

  • Horrible traffic. On the level of Greek tragedy horrible, sort of a combo-platter of Prometheus in a Prius.
  • Air quality. My daughter is asthmatic. So are almost 80% of her friends it seems. When I was a kid we had one asthmatic in the entire school, and he only had an attack once every five years. Now, my kid barely makes it two months without some sort of pulmonary emergency, and a large part of that has to do with being number 10 on this list.
  • Transplants. Not the save-your-life-because-someone-was-kind-enough-to-donate-their-organs kind, but the kind that can be frequently overheard complaining about how “backwards”, “redneck”, “stupid”, or “hillbilly” we are “down here.” Nothing kills the simple joy of an overpriced coffee drink like some transplant wishing they’d stayed in whatever city they came from.
  • Georgia Tech. Not really, but the UGA alum in me can’t resist.
  • Road construction. As the late Lewis Grizzard once said, it’s like Sherman came back from the dead and brought jackhammers and bulldozers with him.
  • Gnats. And their insipid cousin the mosquito.
  • Local TV weather reporters. Just because someone in McCaysville saw a snowflake, it doesn’t mean we 23 news vans canvassing the state, looking for another frozen raindrop to fall. Plus, you just look silly standing out there in your hats.

I suppose I could go on, but to do so would mean further running down the place I call home. So we don’t have a Super Bowl title yet, or an NBA title, or even an NHL franchise. We still get Augusta National in the Spring, plus SEC football in the fall, the natives are still polite if not quite politically correct, and the rest of the modern world is starting to catch up on the fact that there are other Southern cooks besides Paula Deen. Plus, we’re home to the wonderful nectar that is Co-Coler.

So keep your sports titles Boston, New York, L.A., Dallas and St. Louis. That’s about all you’ve got going for you anyway.

Well, not really. But it feels better to say that.

Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s