Earlier this month, the Web site of Travel+Leisure declared Seattle America’s fifth most snobbiest city. Now, another indignity. Forbes.com this morning said that Seattle was No. 1 on its new annual list of “Americas most miserable sports cities.”
“Let us count the ways to misery,” wrote staffer Tom Van Riper. “The Sonics are now one of the NBA’s elite teams–in Oklahoma City. A push to get basketball back via Sacramento didn’t make it. The 116-win Mariners of 2001 couldn’t finish the job. And a controversial call in the 2005 Super Bowl helped ensure a Seahawks loss to Pittsburgh.”
The Forbes methodology looked primarily at the post-season track records of four pro sports: baseball, football, basketball and hockey. The inclusion of soccer and the successful Seattle Sounders probably would have gotten the Emerald City out of the penalty box. Seattle topped the list in 2011 but fell to No. 2 last year.
By the reckoning of Forbes, a total of 115 Seattle sports seasons stretching back long before I became New To Seattle have produced exactly one championship, by the 1979 Sonics. No. 2 this year was Atlanta, with one 1995 championship in 159 seasons, followed by Phoenix, with one 2001 championship in 101 seasons.
The dreadful Seattle showing on a sports list keyed to championships might not be all that surprising given the official position of Seattle Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln. “The goal of the Mariners is not to win the World Series,” he once said. “We absolutely have to make money … We will not do a deal just so we can say to fans or players, ‘Look at us, we did a deal.’ This is not the way I operate a business.”
While I don’t see Seattle as a snobby town at all, its sad overall record in pro sports is objectively out there for all to see and stick up their noses at.