Over the next eight weeks MyHOFS will be hosting a tournament to determine the best sports city in America. The bracket features four regions (East, Midwest, South, West) and 32 cities. The next two weeks will feature first round matchups, seeds one through eight in each region.
Original artwork provided by Dud Lawson of DudLawson.com
To view the entire bracket, head on over to MyHOFS facebook page
#3 - Boston
- Louis C.K.
- Mike Tirone
According to Dictionary.com (because come on, who reads books anymore these days?) the word “tradition” has some key words that are habitually used in its many definitions: beliefs, legends, customs, long-established, continuing pattern, customary or characteristic method or manner. When you throw around such grand terms like these, Boston's sports pedigree ranks in line with its vast history and pride. Let's start with the big shabang: Boston's professional teams had the most successful decade in sports history, winning 7 championships (Patriots 3, Red Sox 2, Celtics and Bruins each with 1). So we've got the present day pretty much solidified. How about the past? The “Gods of the Gahhden” have racked up 17 banners, the most by any NBA franchise, with a sheepish 11 rings in 13 seasons headed by Hall of Famer Bill Russell. Don't forget 1959 to 1966, where there was no NBA team to win a ring BUT the Celtics. Our baseball team still plays in one of the oldest sports venues in the country. Ok, so there's a taste of the past. Let's play the name game: Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Red Auerbach, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, John Havlicek, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Doug Flutie, Rocky Marciano. Boston is dripping with so many sports legends that it's impossible to imagine the city proper without its sports heritage. There is such history in Bean Town that every year, New England Sports Network holds a 64-team-based tournament bracket pinning the greatest Boston sports legends against each other. Try to find 64 legends from Pittsburgh without filling out six spots for the Primanti Brothers and a Head & Shoulders model
who sometimes plays football. Tradition is as synonymous with Boston sports, as western Pennsylvania is to farming
... not sports.
Well aside from currently being Title Town, the Olde Towne is the hub of all things sports. Celtic green, Sox blue, and Bruins gold decorate the city while sports bars liter the streets of Boston. Pedestrian paths line the historic Charles River, which help earn Boston the 'Most Active/Athletic City' in America within numerous publications, with runners and rowers
abound. Baseball's national treasure, Fenway Park (the one which has sold out every game since 2003—another record) stoically rests in the heart of the city, within earshot of the Garden, which houses the most basketball titles in it's rafters. Samuel Adams flows from every tap in town, lobster rolls and baked beans fill every menu, and thick accents
with hard 'ahs' make you question if you're in a Scorsese or Eastwood film. The culture is impressive as its history of being one of the very first cities in America. But when talking athletics in Boston, it's unnecessary to even bring up the fringe sports and teams. The core four will trump any city's best left-and-right combo punches with one swift haymaker from The Brockton Blockbuster Rocky M
Me: “Well you must go to PNC Park to watch the Pirates play a lot, right? I've heard it's a beautiful place to watch a game.” My stepbrother Dave: “Yea, not really to watch the Pirates but mostly to eat the great food. The park is nice though.” I must say, the one time I've made myself go to Pittsburgh was for a sporting event, and sadly even the food was lackluster. But that's not the argument. What has Pittsburgh provided the sports world with other than the hatred of the colors Black and Yellow
being paired together? The “City of Champions” was gifted to the 'Burgh because two sports franchises won some titles in the 70s and they threw in the University of Pittsburgh in for good measure. If driving to Pittsburgh (I recommend not doing this), you'd never even know the city still had a baseball team. Them 'yinzers' who wear their Roethlisberger jerseys to church on Sunday seemed to have forgotten that their Beloved Big Ben has not one, not two, but three sexual assault charges to his name. But 'praise the Lord, he's won us a Super Bowl!' Your city is known for the disgusting, dirty cloths
you bring to every game, while your hockey team's best player
decided to leave after he was “Dying alive in Pittsburgh” to go play for your arch-enemy in Philly. You gain respectability points for Roberto Clemente but then lose it all by destroying a great song like “We Are Family”. You taught Barry Bonds how to inject steroids
and ruin baseball forever. You've destroyed careers of numerous athletes with Heinz Field's awful turf upkeep and at the hands (or head) of cheap-shot, egomaniac linebacker James Harrison. The one guy you should adore for putting your city back on the map for football, Bill “The Chin” Cowher, is who you rank as your city's biggest traitor because the man wanted to spend more time with his family and wife who passed away of cancer shortly after! I thought you were all “family,” Pittsburgh? Shame on you. Lastly, your Penguins tried to find color unity for the city after agreeing that the horrendous stench from your three rivers wasn't unifying enough, by stealing my Bruins gold and black. You can't steal greatest, Pittsburgh, you can only hope to mimic it poorly. Go serve yourself another mixed green salad with french fries and cheese on top while you watch that other sports team in yellow that you care nothing about. At least you can look at the pretty bridges!
#6 - Pittsburgh
- Mario Mendoza
- Devin O'Toole
It starts and ends with America’s game. And we must look no further than America’s team. You would think it were the Cowboys, but Dallas’ bravado, bad boys club
, antiquated cheerleaders and Texas shaped hot-tub
wading owner, make it about as much as America’s team as Mitt Romney is America’s President. They’re old money—Dynasty
-era pomp and circumstance. The Pittsburgh Steelers are as Americana as everyone in this (still) great country proposes to be. The Steelers have played in Superbowls during the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. What other ownership (Rooney family) can boast this level of American dominance? Looks like another amazing coaching signing for years to come in a line of dedicated hires. Art Rooney literally paid for this team in 1933 for a few thousand horse-earned dollars; named the Pirates back then—more on them later. 1940 rolled around and they became the Steelers—thus, the never-changed black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow—as well as the United States Steel emblem on one side of the helmet. You can’t really say that as a Pats fan—should have stayed with old crouching Pat Patriot, the fat kid in dodgeball, picked dead last in a 1959 AFL merge. While you guys were off squandering in years of ineptitude—Steelers kept winning Superbowls, leaving thumbs swollen to this day—littering the gridiron with history. Even when the steel industry went belly-up in the mid 70s, the Steelers came through, winning the Ship, an act of Saintly Katrina proportions. The Immaculate Reception, enshrined in our airport
, mind you, is arguably the greatest play in post-season history. Santonio’s catch a near second. Mean Joe Green enchanted every blossoming bromance with a flip of the jersey and a swig of the Coke
. He should have wiped his brow with a Terrible Towel, the only Rowdy Rag that matters. On the diamond we’ve recently been pathetic. They gotta be one of the only teams to reel off 10 runs in the first inning, only to lose the game. The Pirates are truly puzzling, but fans still show support and when a product is so terrible over the past 15 or so years—doesn’t that show the true nature of Pittsburgh as a sports town? That fans are rabid-enough and willing to watch this team for the hell of it—cheering on the next Bonds in Andrew McCutchen? Not to mention PNC Park is one of the more beautiful parks in the game—launching long balls into the confluence stands as pure nostalgia to the legend’s game. Add the likeable 1979 WC Champs ‘The Family’, behind Willie ‘Pops’ Stargell as well as the greatest 5-Tool Player ever to grace the field, Roberto Clemente, plus Honus Wagner, you have tangible history. The Maz taking down the 1960 Yanks with that walk-off dinger may be the game’s greatest upset
. Some basketball deprived towns go the way of hockey—but few are as successful as the Penguinos. What can I say about the Penguins? We’ve won back-to-back championships in the early 90s- an era where stars were protected. Thanks for that, Super Mario averaged over a point a game, and goes down as the greatest player in hockey history not named the Great One, although a bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a herniated disc sidelined those efforts. His greatest moments may be his breakaway goal in his first shift of his debut game
, or his 3 Hart Trophies or the 88-89 season, where Mario managed an unthinkable 199 points. Add Paul Coffey and Jaromir Jagr to the shortlist. And we’re currently steeped in the unbelievably emerging careers of Hart Trophy Winners, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who also lifted the Cup in 2009.
Famous Fans: Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Brett Michaels.
Nicknames: The Stillers, The Blast Furnace, The Chin
, Pops, Mean Joe Green, The Family.
High Points: Six Superbowls, more than anyone, Polamalu’s hair, Myron Cope
- the dopest announcer in the biz. Pre-steroids Barry Bonds. Dock Ellis pitching a No-hitter on LSD. Marino
. First broadcast of baseball on radio. First all-minority lineup in baseball history, we also signed the first ever Indian players. City unity in uniforms; with Black and Gold acting as the predominant color combination in all of the teams’ digs.
First off, our quarterback allegedly assualted girls, but has a great sandwich of his namesake
—your QB wears UGGs. Not only does he proudly rush Chi-O Line, he promotes hard. No Tommy, I wasn’t really familiar with the classic slippers or sheepskin boots—tell me more
. It wasn’t just poor performances in the AFL for you guys—(loss to the Whale’s Vagina 51-10) but, later the NFL—Da Bears shuffling right over your sad asses 46-10 in 1985. Success came quick and in the form of sideline spies—how Russian of you. You robbed the Eagles of their playbook, got bailed out by your kicker on multiple occasions and when push came to shove, when all eyes were on the magical Hoody, he bent over and took a New York Giant sized- you know what, right up the keister—two times. That truly is stroking your pain with their fingers. That is your brief history. Your plastic fan base—can we call a team slightly interested during the height of TRL a dedicated fan base? All hiding behind a six-state pilgrim stained curtain. Not a Steel Curtain mind you, a curtain of boat-shoe wearing, tea-bagging liberal elitism. You have these ass clowns all the way in New Hampshire and Maine claiming they’re diehards. This is the Best Sports City, not the Best Six-State Revivalist Yacht Community. Another thing- if Terry Bradshaw is your crazy uncle, then Teddy Bruschi is your mean cousin. F*** that guy. Loudmouth Tim Thomas and his 2nd Amendment tirades have led to rumors over a sudden retirement, plus he wants to spend a night wining and dining Glenn Beck. Your 3-0 (up 3-0 in Game 7) meltdown against the Flyers stands as one of the greatest choke jobs in sports history. Take the hardwood wars. I can’t compete with Red, Chief, the Boston 3 Party (so similar to the big 3 in Miami, yet with no backlash-hmm, plus the addition of one slobbering act of bitch-assness
) and Basketball Jesus. You’ve out shot us, out paid us, and out snorted us. But maybe I’m Biased
. Plus, coming from someone who is 100% Irish, I’m absolutely over the cranky Bob Ryan, the petulant Jackie MacMullen, and this goon of a Ginger
Boston easily advances to the Sweet 16? Not so fast, my friend!
This was a heavyweight fight in round one. Even Paul "Fitzy" Fitzgerald
would have to agree. It's like Bill Belichick knows all the plays PGH is trying to run. Pittsburgh goes Bradshaw, Beantown goes Brady. The Steel City sees Bobby Orr and raises them Mario Lemieux. Roberto Clemente stares down Ted Williams. Rocky Marciano? Rocky Marciano?! I'll let the many Eddie Murphys
handle that one. This is close on the scorecards until Larry Legend and Bill Russell come off the bench to close this one out. The Celtics are basketball and the fact that they had two identifiable dynasties pushes the scales in their favor.