Seattle’s most famous sports streak is over — kaput. After reigning at the nadir of professional sports for three consecutive years (2008-10), Atlanta out-feebled Seattle as America’s Most Miserable Sports City, for 2011, as defined by Forbes magazine, dropping the Emerald City to an unfulfilling No. 2.
Darn, if not drat.
You can blame Seattles tumble to No. 2 primarily on the fact that the National Hockey League Thrashers bolted Atlanta for Winnipeg, where the No. 1 sport had been ice fishing. Seattle simply had nothing in its 2011 boobery arsenal with which to counter such a wanton jilt.
In addition to the Thrashers quitting on Atlanta, the Braves botched a near-lock playoff spot on the final day of the regular season, and the NBA Hawks and NFL Falcons got bounced out of their respective postseasons early.
The Mariners didnt even reach the postseason in 2011 (and not since 2001), but Forbes awards misery points to cities whose teams tantalize, then disappoint. The 2011 Mariners never even titillated, much less tantalized.
As for the Seahawks, despite a nice second half to their season, they were never a serious threat to accomplish anything in the postseason even if theyd made it. So Seattle lost serious misery points right there.
If Forbes focused its sports misery methodology on long-term ineptitude, Seattle would have been named Americas Most Miserable Sports City for the fourth consecutive year, thus, in our view, retiring the trophy.
A fourth consecutive Most Miserable Sports City win would have been a major development since, before Seattle completed its terrible trifecta in 2010, no other city had ever been designated most miserable more than two times in a row.
But the Forbes rankings dont work that way. They consider only annual agony in their misery calculations, paying never mind to cumulative and historic sporting angst.
Forbes misery methodology also does not include collegiate sports, although they are amateur in name only. Thus, the fact that the University of Washington football program, for example, is the only one in major college history to have 12-0 (1991) and 0-12 (2008) records in its resume, isnt factored into the misery equation.
If Forbes counted college sports, Seattle would have gained valuable misery points on the basis of the Husky football team scoring 56 points in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor and losing by 11.
More misery points could have been added to Seattles total when the UW basketball team got hosed by 19 at home by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Such an incredible defeat could still keep the Huskies out of the NCAA Tournament, barring a win in the Pac-12 tournament.
Seattle would have received bonus misery points for such a development. But those, too, are misery points Seattle will never know, owing to Forbes’ flawed misery methodology.
Forbes further discounts Major League Soccer (the only sport at which Seattle is any good), so Seattle failed to receive any critical misery points for another early Sounders FC playoff ouster.
It stings to lose the only title Seattle sports seems capable winning. The consolation is that Seattle is still a more miserable sports city than Phoenix, Buffalo and San Diego, the Nos. 3-5 cities on the 2011 Forbes list.
But its not much consolation.