Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Winningest Sports Cities?

The Toronto Star produced the following map (accompanying this article) showing the "winningest sports cities" in North America:



Now I fully expected Boston to rank at the top -- I could not even think of a city that would come close. So how to explain the methodology, and therefore the results, whereby Indianapolis (with exactly one championship during the time period under discussion, the period since 2000) ranks number one and three Canadian cities are in the top ten? (With Vancouver being ranked #3 -- do they count the Grizzlies, who did not leave town until after the 200-2001 season, in which the Grizz had a .280 winning percentage? Or the second half of a 1999-2000 season when they were slightly worse?)


First, they are going solely by winning percentage. Which is just inane -- in the time that Indy has won one title between its two teams that count (the Pacers and the Colts) the Boston teams IN THOSE SAME TWO SPORTS have won four championships. And the Red Sox have added two. Winning percentages in sports with actual championships are fairly meaningless as anything other than a rough aggregate. North America isn't the freaking British Premier League. And thank God for that, though relegation in our sports leagues would be awesome.


But how to explain the Canadian presence? Well, despite not counting Major League Soccer -- an exclusion I can live with, though why include the NHL in that case? -- the survey counts THE CANADIAN FUCKING FOOTBALL LEAGUE! That's right -- Vancouver's football team counts as much as the Cleveland Browns just because they are in the position every year of winning their Gray Cup. Any of the worst Cleveland Browns teams of any one of the last ten years (which provides a bevy of options) would take an all star team drawn from the best Canadian Football League team of the last ten years and would rape, pillage, plunder, and rape that team again. This is not even an argument I will have. I am simply right.


Look -- no argument drives me insane more than when some nimrod claims that a great college sports team in any given year would beat the worst professional team in that sport. The best team will have ten to twenty guys become professionals, not all of whom will pan out. The worst professional team still consists of much more talented players all of whom, tautologically enough, managed to become professional football players. Last season's historically woeful Detroit Lions would beat last year's Florida Gators by fifty every time out. But I will make the claim that the collegiate "national champion" (fuck the BCS) in any given year would easily be able to compete in the CFL, which draws its talent from a pool that does not include the 250+ new players drafted into the NFL. The talent disparity so clear between even the worst (real) professional team and the best college team in that same sport is fully mitigated when talking about the talent level in the CFL.


Anyhow, the upshot: The Toronto Star sports section is clearly populated by ridge-browed asstards.


This is why we should probably just take over Canada.

5 comments:

Mark said...

"The Toronto Star sports section is clearly populated by ridge-browed asstards."

Guess what, the Sports section is the best section in that newspaper. Trust me.

dcat said...

Mark --
Thanks for popping by.
I actually am basing my whole argument on being annoyed by this article/map. So I might have some methodological issues of my own!

dcat

Slicer said...

I wish you'd just really tell us how you feel.

Ken said...

"Any of the worst Cleveland Browns teams of any one of the last ten years (which provides a bevy of options) would take an all star team drawn from the best Canadian Football League team of the last ten years and would rape, pillage, plunder, and rape that team again. This is not even an argument I will have. I am simply right."

Hear, hear! And wittily expressed to boot.

In defence of the Toronto Star sports pages, I had a correspondence via email with the Deputy Sports Editor a couple of years ago (he used to write quite a readable sports blog) and he is a thoroughly nice bloke. Though, clearly, not taking championships into account more is stupid. And I say this as a Colts fan.

dcat said...

Slicer --
You know me -- I try to keep it subtle, measured, and objective.

Ken --
Yeah, and also, surely if winning percentage is the key factor, they would have to balance out the number of games teams play in various leagues. Does an NFL game count as much as one MLB game? Do they simply average winning percentages? It's a silly endeavor, but in this silly endeavor, I want accountability, dammit!

dcat