Ask an Atlanta sports fan – there’s absolutely no doubt that this city is snake-bitten when it comes to our athletic franchises. Some might even call it cursed.
The New York Times certainly did.
On Thursday, the Times released a fresh list of the most cursed sports towns in America, and guess which city was ranked No. 2? The good ol’ A-T-L!
(Probably because our sports teams are number two, if you know what I mean.)
To make their list, your city has to not only be good at not winning titles, but it also has to be good at losing them. For example, the report notes that the average city loses about three semifinal matchups for every one it wins.
But Atlanta? We win just one title for every 14 semifinals in which we screw up.
The city has hosted two semifinals in the last three years: the 2013 NFC Championship game (NFL) and the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals (NBA). The Falcons and Hawks combined for an 0-5 record in those semifinal matchups.
There’s always college sports, the Times notes: “Many Atlanta fans take some solace in caring more about college sports than pro sports. But it’s not as if Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia have been winning many titles lately, at least not in the sports with the largest fan followings,” they said.
Yeah, zero college football titles from the Yellow Jackets or Bulldogs since 1990 doesn’t exactly give the locals much solace.
The countdown lists Atlanta’s most heartbreaking defeat as the Falcons’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys at home in the 1981 NFL Playoffs, in which the Falcons blew a 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff. I wasn’t alive in 1981, but I can’t imagine that stung more than a few recent playoff heartbreaks doled out by our fair city’s franchises.
I’d say that meltdown to the 49ers in the Dome with the Super Bowl on the line hurt pretty bad. Watching Juan Uribe launch that baseball into the Los Angeles night in the 2013 MLB Playoffs was pretty awful as well.
And as for the only team ranked above us in this Cursed Cities Countdown? They could be hoisting a trophy in less than two weeks if they knock off the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
So don’t let us down, Cleveland. We need you (to remain a bigger embarrassment than us on the field of play).
Photo: AP/Ron Schwane