Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sports/Decade Countdown: #9

We continue now with our #9 city/decade on our list of the top 10 cities and decades of the past 110 years. For an overview/explanation of the rankings, and the system used to get them, click here.

So far:
#10: Boston, 1970s

The idea of these lists is to spark debate--there's no one formula that could ever solve for "happiness" of fans in a particular city, so at the end of the day you have to get as close as possible and then have a discussion about the particularities. For instance, is making the finals (but losing) better than not making it at all? That question is a critical one to our city/decade that we find at #9:

9) Boston, 1980s (Score: 234.48)—4 MVPs/ 3 Titles/ 9 Finals / 25 Playoffs / 58.7 W%

Just a decade later, and a decade better for Bostonians. Larry Bird was the star of the decade here, winning 3 MVP titles (Roger Clemens won the other, the last pitcher to win an MVP award) and leading his Celtics to the only three titles the city saw these ten years. The problem was, that was the only team that managed to bring home a trophy, with the Bruins, Red Sox, and Patriots all falling short in their title appearances. Every team did finish the decade above .500, however, and that kept this town in it with the 2nd-highest winning percentage of the finalists. Having Boston again at #9 gives us an interesting chance to compare this entry to the #10 decade (Boston, 1970s) and see how well our formula works. It's true that the 1970s saw 3 more MVP trophies handed out in Beantown than the 1980s, but is that really something that's worth being higher on the list for? The 1970s had 5 extra playoff appearances, 2 extra finals apperances (with the same amount of titles), and a winning percentage that along with the prior Bostonian decade was the only one on my master list with a winning percentage over .567. So, with that all considered, is this really a "better" decade? 3/9 in finals is admittedly a worse percentage than 3/7, but looking back on a year, would you rather a team go to the finals and lose, or not make it there at all? I think while it's painful losing a championship match, after a few years it becomes easy to look back on those successes and realize that it sure beat having a team that did not even have a chance at bringing home the trophies. And in sports, that's all that matters. Check back later today for #8 on our list!

The Countdown Continues Here: #8

No comments:

Post a Comment