According to an ESPN methodology, Minnesota is now third in fan misery

ESPN's latest foray into stat creation is a fan misery index that, unfortunately for Minnesota sports fans, has them moving closer to the top of the dubious list once dominated by Cleveland.

Are Minnesota Vikings fans and Minnesota sports fans in general miserable?

If it comes to how long it has been since one of their sports teams has hoisted a championship trophy, the Twin Cities just climbed up a dubious list compiled by ESPN.

With this year’s NBA Championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers, it ended the longest sports drought for a city or region in professional sports – more than half a century without winning a title in any of the four major sports (Cleveland became a three-sport town when the NHL’s Barons were absorbed into the North Stars franchise).

Cleveland’s title drought misery was over – as evidenced by 1.3 million people lining the motorcade route and championship park celebration.

Every team behind the Cavs clicked up a notch higher as a result of the joy in Cleveland.

The metrics of the study, conducted by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, takes into account how many teams a city has and how long it has been since they won a title. As an example, he used a comparison of the franchises in Washington D.C. and Jacksonville. Neither has won a title in the last 21 years, but, because Jacksonville only has one pro sports franchise, they have effectively been 0-for-21, while Washington, with four pro franchises, would be 0-for-84 in the same span.

As things stand, Minnesota is third because, based on the methodology, the closer you get to winning a title and fail, the Doomsday clock starts speeding up.

Minnesota has a ranking of 58 points from the same people who brought the QB rating points on the metric system. Two things are true about Americans – very few have a love for soccer and we learned a system that, unless you’re a drug dealer, doesn’t deal in the metric system. That rant being stated, Minnesota’s 58 is going to climb to 58.5 because the Twins stink like sour milk.

Of the Vikings, it was said, “Minnesota hasn't even made a single trip to the finals in any sport over this time frame, with the Vikings failing three times as favorites in the NFC Championship Game, with two overtime losses and a 41-0 shellacking at the hands of the Giants in 2001. And this doesn't even include any additional points for that breathtakingly painful defeat against Seattle in the playoffs last season.”

Ouch! Even those who espouse to the phantom Minnesota Nice Theory claim that one left a mark.

Minnesota’s ascent from fourth to third is not without its rightful claim of ignobility.

Fortunately for Minnesota sports fans, there is metric misery for two other metroplexes that have made misery an art form.


Buffalo checks in at No. 2 in the unscientific study with 76.5 point. The Bills not only have four straight Super Bowl losses on their resume, but the other pro sports team in town (the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres) have been equally inept. Buffalo’s teams not only don’t win championships, they don’t make the playoffs.

The new misery top spot belongs to San Diego, which hasn’t seen a title come home since the 1963 Chargers. The Chargers have been pedestrian for years, the Padres are among the dregs of MLB and their failed attempts at the NBA never delivered a title.

Championship droughts are something that have come to define a city or region and, for the longest time, Cleveland was the running joke of sports for just that reason. But, with the Cavaliers bringing an end to a half-century of title futility, Minnesotans are getting closer to the rarified air of being the most miserable fans in sports. The good news for Vikings fans is that the team may be as close to winning it all now as it has been since 2009.

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