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
#4 - New Orleans
- Ignatius J. Reilly of "Confederacy of Dunces
- Mike Calabrese
The Superdome has played host to six Super Bowls, and will host the big game again in 2013. The Big Easy, on the whole, has hosted the Sugar Bowl since 1935, five Final Fours, four BCS National Championship games, two ArenaBowls, the PGA's Zurich Classic and the NBA All-Star Game. They've had an on-again, off-again relationship with the NBA since the early 1970s. They supported the aptly named New Orleans Jazz from 1974 to 1979, only to see them move to Salt Lake City. Twenty-three years later, pro basketball returned to New Orleans. The N.O. Hornets now own the number one overall pick
in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Saints have called New Orleans home since 1967 and have recently shaken their "Aints" persona, winning Super Bowl XLIV. Their quarterback, Drew Brees, holds the NFL's single season passing record for yardage.
For years the Saints' winning percentage, much like the city itself, was below sea level. But the fans kept showing up, bags on their heads and all. And now that they are winners, they treat their players like royalty. Brees
could run for Governor of Louisiana, and I'm sure Bobby Jindal would give him a ringing endorsement. But now "The Era of Good Feelings" has an edge to it. The NFL league office has exposed a bounty program that was put into place to hurt other players. The high flying Saints, at their heart, were vicious dogs let off the leash. With the Super Bowl set to be played in New Orleans at the conclusion of the upcoming season, an "us against the world" mentality has strong roots up and down the Bayou. The fans are angry, the players are angry and an exiled coach has inspired a brand new fashion line
. The Saints have sex appeal, ya heard?
In good times and bad the N.O. knows what it is. From blowouts on Bourbon Street to shootouts on the Superdome carpet, the Big Easy sells excitement. The ATL can't even decide on a downtown. Their prize jewel of a franchise was a perennial runner-up
, their Super Bowl squad was one of the worst in history
and the fruit their city and state are known for isn't even a top five fruit! Lil' Wayne does a better job reppin' his city than T.I., and half the time Lil' Tunechi is either high or in jail. New Orleans has just as many championships in the modern era (1) as Atlanta, despite fielding just one professional team for the majority of those years. If you're trying to trash the Big Easy on the record, you better check your facts. And if you're trying to say it isn't the preeminent championship venue, well, let's just say we can't hear you over the band
#5 - Atlanta
- The 1996 Olympic Mascot
- MIke Houston
Hawks since 1968, Falcons since 1966, Braves since 1966 (title in 1995), Thrashers 1999-2010. Michael Vick, Dominique Wilkins, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddox
, John Smoltz, The Dirty Bird
, Jamal Anderson, Joe Johnson, ’96 Olympics, Spud Webb
, Tom Glavine, The Georgia Dome.
One of only four cities on this list to host an Olympics games, we’ll remember Atlanta ’96 for the bomber, Kerri Strug, Michael Johnson’s gold shoes, and Muhammad Ali’s torch lighting. The Falcons of the late 90s and Vick’s early 2000 birds provided playoff thrills and high octane excitement. The Braves of the 90s could be argued as the team of the decade and their 14 straight division titles will never ever be broken. TBS broadcasts always keep the Braves in the National consciousness. The Hawks of the 80s were always stuck behind the Celtics and Pistons, but the Wilkins vs Jordon dunk contest
in 1985 and 1990 are NBA lore.
Both the ATL and the Big Easy are popular destinations for college sports with the Georgia Dome and the Superdome, but New Orleans’ trashy is replaced with Atlanta classy when fans visiting gentile Georgia are encouraged not to puke on each other or expose their genitals
. The sad Hornets can’t hold a candle to the history of the Hawks. New Orleans can’t even be bothered with America’s pastime, which the Braves have proudly represented for 46 years. And the Saints lone Championship was followed by an unprecedented bounty scandal that has cost N.O. players, coaches and management. Congrats. Sorry but Atlanta wins this one in a 1996 Chipper Jones walk-off (no need to call in Smoltz for the save).
It's easy to confuse championship games with championship rings. New Orleans knows how to play host, but with the exception of the 2009 Saints squad, they've been a laughing stock since Andrew Jackson netted them a victory over the British in 1812. Toss in the fact that Atlanta has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to superstars (Dominique, Vick, Maddox), and it appears Hotlanta has the Big Easy beat. It didn't hurt that Scott Van Pelt referenced Wilkins' sneakers
this week on his radio show. Way to stay culturally relevant, Atlanta.