With the Nationals posting baseball’s worst record, the Skins sliding from 6-2 to 8-8 and the ass dropping out of the Wizards’ season, I’ve been meaning to measure Washington’s professional sporting success — or lack thereof — against that of other American cities with teams in each of the four major pro sports. I finally got around to it, and the results aren’t pretty:
Thank god for those ice-breaking, goal-shaking Washington Capitals.
The samples used here are a) the most recent NFL season b) the most recent MLB season c) last NBA season and this NBA season and d) last NHL season and this NHL season. For NBA and NHL, I weighted the two seasons equally, which seems fair and really helps the Wizards out.
Playoff appearances and performance trump regular season records (i.e. the 9-7 Super Bowl-bound Cardinals give Phoenix a higher NFL rating than the 11-5 Patriots give Boston. For cities with two teams in one league, the average of those two teams is used (this is messy, but I couldn’t figure out a better way, and it doesn’t effect the rankings significantly).
You could probably use this approach at any point on the calendar, but now is a good time as the NFL and MLB are hibernating and the NBA and NHL are at the midpoint. A better time may be early summer, once the NBA and NHL seasons are complete and baseball is at its midpoint. Maybe I’ll revisit this then, though Washington doesn’t figure to improve a whole lot.
For D.C. fans, the added kick in the pants is that Philadelphia is tied atop the rankings with Boston. This should delight Philly fans to no end, and, should they mention it, just ask about their last Super Bowl championship.
Adding even more salt to the wound is that this could be D.C.’s worst college basketball season in 30 years. So, yeah, it’s a particularly cold winter. I recommend rooting for the Caps, and praying for Blake Griffin.
Update: Steinz did something similar in the fall of ’06, concluding that D.C. was 11th out of the 12 cities. So, while nford2 points out that ’07 wasn’t so bad, Washington pro sports teams have been awful for at least two of the past three years. I’d be interested to see where they rank historically, if anyone’s taken the time to figure that out.