The Most Miserable Sports Cities of the Year

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Think your town has been down on its sports luck this year? Not compared to these cities. Using some brutal methodology, Forbes has narrowed down sports misery to 10 urban locales that can rightly lay claim to having suffered the most acute sports losses.

Special statistical consideration was made for, as writer Tom Van Riper notes, “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.”

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And, this year, Atlanta — home of the Hawks, the Braves, and the now-departed hockey team, the Thrashers — took home the dubious honor. The city edged out Seattle, which is still recovering from its NBA franchise, the SuperSonics, being stripped away only to be resurrected as the Oklahoma City Thunder (aka the “Zombie Sonics“). The Thunder currently stand at #1 in the league’s Western Conference standings.

Before you peruse the full list and argue about it, we’d recommend that any sports fan (miserable or otherwise) read this recent essay by Dan Barry. In it, he recalls a childhood spent obsessing over 11 consecutive seasons of an mediocre underdog baseball team that only showed frustrating “occasional competitive flashes.” Of course, the team Barry was rooting for was the New York Yankees circa 1965.

Here’s to hoping it can get better for these cities, the full Forbes 2012 “miserable” list:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Seattle
  3. Phoenix
  4. Buffalo
  5. San Diego
  6. Houston
  7. Denver
  8. Cleveland
  9. Kansas City
  10. Cincinnati

MORE: What Are America’s ‘Most Miserable’ Cities?