Frustrated fan bases can be tough to compare.  Cleveland fans had it rough until the Cavaliers finally got over the hump.  Cubs fans are obviously jubilant after the Cubs ended a 108-year drought.  Imagine being a Buffalo fan.  The sports nerd in me wanted to quantify this as best I can.  So I came up with the Frustration Index.

 

The concept was to come up with a simple method that one can do with just their mind of with nothing more than a 1970’s calculator (or, for those old enough to remember when the Cubs last won the World Series before 2016, an abacas).  You can add or subtract other various things, but the basics are these:

 

  1. When was the last time a team won a championship?
  2. When was the last time a team played in the finals for a championship?
  3. How many championships has a team won in its history?
  4. How long has the team been around?
  5. Did the team relocate?
  6. How many teams does the fan base have to root for/choose between?

 

I wanted this to work in several ways.  One, it can easily work for individual teams.  It can work for cities – which is the basis for this research.  It can work for fans who root for different teams from different cities – for example, I root for the Indians, Cavs, 49ers, and Bruins.  Also, please understand that this is only a discussion starting point, not the end all to the discussion – I’ll explain more later.  I did this at the city/metro area level, so let’s just to do it that way (I promise to provide the other data later on).

 

First, there are 51 cities or metro area fan bases in the four major sports.  For the purposes of this study I included the New Jersey Devils and Brooklyn Nets with New York City because

 

  1. Who cares? It’s New Jersey, and
  2. Brooklyn is a borough of New York.

 

Anyway, here they are, alphabetically:

 

City
Anaheim
Atlanta
Baltimore
Boston
Buffalo
Calgary
Charlotte
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus
Dallas
Denver
Detroit
Edmonton
Green Bay
Houston
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Kansas City
Los Angeles
Memphis
Miami
Milwaukee
Minneapolis
Montreal
Nashville
New Orleans
New York
Oakland
Oklahoma City
Orlando
Ottawa
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
Portland
Raleigh
Sacramento
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
Seattle
St. Louis
Tampa
Toronto
Vancouver
Washington
Winnipeg

 

Now, we need to know how many teams each fan base has.  I won’t list all the teams – sorry for sounding cruel but list them on your own time – but here are the numbers:

 

City Tms
Anaheim 2
Atlanta 3
Baltimore 2
Boston 4
Buffalo 2
Calgary 1
Charlotte 2
Chicago 5
Cincinnati 2
Cleveland 3
Columbus 1
Dallas 4
Denver 4
Detroit 4
Edmonton 1
Green Bay 1
Houston 3
Indianapolis 2
Jacksonville 1
Kansas City 2
Los Angeles 5
Memphis 1
Miami 4
Milwaukee 2
Minneapolis 4
Montreal 1
Nashville 2
New Orleans 2
New York 9
Oakland 3
Oklahoma City 1
Orlando 1
Ottawa 1
Philadelphia 4
Phoenix 4
Pittsburgh 3
Portland 1
Raleigh 1
Sacramento 1
Salt Lake City 1
San Antonio 1
San Diego 2
San Francisco 2
San Jose 1
Seattle 2
St. Louis 2
Tampa 3
Toronto 3
Vancouver 1
Washington 4
Winnipeg 1

 

Now, there are also high moments in team histories, at least to some varying degrees.  In my attempt to keep the formula simple, I figured how many championships a fan base has to celebrate:

 

City Tms Ch
Anaheim 2 2
Atlanta 3 1
Baltimore 2 9
Boston 4 36
Buffalo 2 2
Calgary 1 1
Charlotte 2 0
Chicago 5 26
Cincinnati 2 5
Cleveland 3 11
Columbus 1 0
Dallas 4 8
Denver 4 5
Detroit 4 22
Edmonton 1 5
Green Bay 1 10
Houston 3 6
Indianapolis 2 4
Jacksonville 1 0
Kansas City 2 3
Los Angeles 5 20
Memphis 1 0
Miami 4 7
Milwaukee 2 2
Minneapolis 4 7
Montreal 1 27
Nashville 2 0
New Orleans 2 1
New York 9 58
Oakland 3 10
Oklahoma City 1 0
Orlando 1 0
Ottawa 1 3
Philadelphia 4 14
Phoenix 4 1
Pittsburgh 3 16
Portland 1 1
Raleigh 1 1
Sacramento 1 0
Salt Lake City 1 1
San Antonio 1 5
San Diego 2 1
San Francisco 2 8
San Jose 1 0
Seattle 2 2
St. Louis 2 13
Tampa 3 2
Toronto 3 15
Vancouver 1 0
Washington 4 7
Winnipeg 1 3

 

Of course with triumph comes tragedy; that is what this whole exercise is about.  When was the last time a team for each fan base won a championship, and when was the last time a team played for the championship?  You will see that a team that last made the finals and won it in the same season will have the same year in both columns.  Also, this includes championships won in the AAFC, ABA, AFL, and WHA before the mergers.  Here are those (LCW = Last Championship Won, LFA = Last Finals Appearance):

 

City Tms Ch LCW LFA
Anaheim 2 2 2007 2007
Atlanta 3 1 1995 1999
Baltimore 2 9 2012 2012
Boston 4 36 2013 2013
Buffalo 2 2 1965 1999
Calgary 1 1 1989 2004
Charlotte 2 0 never 2015
Chicago 5 26 2016 2016
Cincinnati 2 5 1990 1990
Cleveland 3 11 2016 2016
Columbus 1 0 never never
Dallas 4 8 2011 2011
Denver 4 5 2016 2016
Detroit 4 22 2008 2012
Edmonton 1 5 1990 2006
Green Bay 1 10 2010 2010
Houston 3 6 1995 2005
Indianapolis 2 4 2006 2009
Jacksonville 1 0 never never
Kansas City 2 3 2015 2015
Los Angeles 5 20 2014 2014
Memphis 1 0 never never
Miami 4 7 2013 2013
Milwaukee 2 2 1971 1982
Minneapolis 4 7 1991 1991
Montreal 1 27 1993 1993
Nashville 2 0 never 1999
New Orleans 2 1 2009 2009
New York 9 58 2011 2014
Oakland 3 10 2015 2016
Oklahoma City 1 0 never never
Orlando 1 0 never 2009
Ottawa 1 3 1927 2007
Philadelphia 4 14 2008 2010
Phoenix 4 1 2001 2008
Pittsburgh 3 16 2016 2016
Portland 1 1 1977 1992
Raleigh 1 1 2006 2006
Sacramento 1 0 never never
Salt Lake City 1 1 1971 1998
San Antonio 1 5 2014 2014
San Diego 2 1 1963 1998
San Francisco 2 8 2014 2014
San Jose 1 0 never 2016
Seattle 2 2 2013 2015
St. Louis 2 13 2011 2013
Tampa 3 2 2004 2014
Toronto 3 15 1993 1993
Vancouver 1 0 never never
Washington 4 7 1991 1998
Winnipeg 1 3 1979 1979

 

The next thing we need to know is how to deal with the “never”’s.  For that I asked “when was the first team founded for each fan base).  Since this only applies to teams of the last 45 or so years, the earliest year you will see is 1901 since for those cities this number won’t apply.  In other words, don’t bother me with the fact that the Boston Braves were founded in 1876 or the New York Giants were founded in the 1880’s.  Those don’t matter for what we are doing here (FTF = First Team Founded):

 

City Tms Ch LCW LFA FTF
Anaheim 2 2 2007 2007 1961
Atlanta 3 1 1995 1999 1965
Baltimore 2 9 2012 2012 1954
Boston 4 36 2013 2013 1901
Buffalo 2 2 1965 1999 1960
Calgary 1 1 1989 2004 1980
Charlotte 2 0 never 2015 1989
Chicago 5 26 2016 2016 1901
Cincinnati 2 5 1990 1990 1901
Cleveland 3 11 2016 2016 1901
Columbus 1 0 never never 2001
Dallas 4 8 2011 2011 1960
Denver 4 5 2016 2016 1960
Detroit 4 22 2008 2012 1901
Edmonton 1 5 1990 2006 1972
Green Bay 1 10 2010 2010 1920
Houston 3 6 1995 2005 1960
Indianapolis 2 4 2006 2009 1967
Jacksonville 1 0 never never 1995
Kansas City 2 3 2015 2015 1960
Los Angeles 5 20 2014 2014 1958
Memphis 1 0 never never 2001
Miami 4 7 2013 2013 1967
Milwaukee 2 2 1971 1982 1968
Minneapolis 4 7 1991 1991 1960
Montreal 1 27 1993 1993 1920
Nashville 2 0 never 1999 1996
New Orleans 2 1 2009 2009 1968
New York 9 58 2011 2014 1901
Oakland 3 10 2015 2016 1960
Oklahoma City 1 0 never never 2008
Orlando 1 0 never 2009 1989
Ottawa 1 3 1927 2007 1992
Philadelphia 4 14 2008 2010 1901
Phoenix 4 1 2001 2008 1970
Pittsburgh 3 16 2016 2016 1901
Portland 1 1 1977 1992 1970
Raleigh 1 1 2006 2006 1996
Sacramento 1 0 never never 1985
Salt Lake City 1 1 1971 1998 1970
San Antonio 1 5 2014 2014 1973
San Diego 2 1 1963 1998 1961
San Francisco 2 8 2014 2014 1946
San Jose 1 0 never 2016 1991
Seattle 2 2 2013 2015 1967
St. Louis 2 13 2011 2013 1901
Tampa 3 2 2004 2014 1976
Toronto 3 15 1993 1993 1920
Vancouver 1 0 never never 1970
Washington 4 7 1991 1998 1901
Winnipeg 1 3 1979 1979 1972

 

 

Next, did any of the franchises since 1970 relocate?  Why 1970?  Because that seems to make the most sense (for another factor I’m looking into).  To put it another way (perhaps cruelly), the Brooklyn Dodgers moved after the 1957 season.  In 2017 it will have been 60 years since they moved.  People in Brooklyn are either too young or too old to remember or care about the Dodgers.  I have to admit that I was surprised at the number of teams that have relocated since then (again, another project coinciding with this and the other I eluded to.  TL = Teams Lost):

 

City Tms Ch LCW LFA FTF TL
Anaheim 2 2 2007 2007 1961 0
Atlanta 3 1 1995 1999 1965 2
Baltimore 2 9 2012 2012 1954 2
Boston 4 36 2013 2013 1901 0
Buffalo 2 2 1965 1999 1960 0
Calgary 1 1 1989 2004 1980 0
Charlotte 2 0 never 2015 1989 0
Chicago 5 26 2016 2016 1901 0
Cincinnati 2 5 1990 1990 1901 0
Cleveland 3 11 2016 2016 1901 1
Columbus 1 0 never never 2001 0
Dallas 4 8 2011 2011 1960 0
Denver 4 5 2016 2016 1960 0
Detroit 4 22 2008 2012 1901 0
Edmonton 1 5 1990 2006 1972 0
Green Bay 1 10 2010 2010 1920 0
Houston 3 6 1995 2005 1960 1
Indianapolis 2 4 2006 2009 1967 0
Jacksonville 1 0 never never 1995 0
Kansas City 2 3 2015 2015 1960 0
Los Angeles 5 20 2014 2014 1958 2
Memphis 1 0 never never 2001 0
Miami 4 7 2013 2013 1967 0
Milwaukee 2 2 1971 1982 1968 1
Minneapolis 4 7 1991 1991 1960 1
Montreal 1 27 1993 1993 1920 1
Nashville 2 0 never 1999 1996 0
New Orleans 2 1 2009 2009 1968 0
New York 9 58 2011 2014 1901 0
Oakland 3 10 2015 2016 1960 1
Oklahoma City 1 0 never never 2008 0
Orlando 1 0 never 2009 1989 0
Ottawa 1 3 1927 2007 1992 0
Philadelphia 4 14 2008 2010 1901 0
Phoenix 4 1 2001 2008 1970 0
Pittsburgh 3 16 2016 2016 1901 0
Portland 1 1 1977 1992 1970 0
Raleigh 1 1 2006 2006 1996 0
Sacramento 1 0 never never 1985 0
Salt Lake City 1 1 1971 1998 1970 0
San Antonio 1 5 2014 2014 1973 0
San Diego 2 1 1963 1998 1961 2
San Francisco 2 8 2014 2014 1946 1
San Jose 1 0 never 2016 1991 0
Seattle 2 2 2013 2015 1967 1
St. Louis 2 13 2011 2013 1901 2
Tampa 3 2 2004 2014 1976 0
Toronto 3 15 1993 1993 1920 0
Vancouver 1 0 never never 1970 1
Washington 4 7 1991 1998 1901 0
Winnipeg 1 3 1979 1979 1972 1

 

Now, how do we compile these into one number to sort them out?  Let’s use five cities as examples:  Minneapolis, Washington, Vancouver, Boston, and Chicago.

 

The last time a team in Minneapolis won a championship was in 1991 when the Twins won the World Series, for Washington it was also 1991 when the Redskins won the Super bowl.  For Chicago it was just this year with the Cubs, and for Boston it was 2014 with the Patriots.  As for Vancouver, the Canucks have never won the Stanley Cup.  So for our starting scores we factor in how it has been since a team won a championship.  Through 2016 we have:

 

City Score
Vancouver 46.0
Minneapolis 25.0
Washington 25.0
Boston 2.0
Chicago 0.0

 

For a team that has never won it all, you figure how many years they have been in existence (the Canucks were founded in 1970)Next, the Twins reaching the World Series coincided with the North Stars reaching the Stanley Cup Finals as the last time a team reached the finals.  For Washington, the Capitals reached the 1998 Cup Finals.  Vancouver reached the Cup Finals last in 2011.  For Boston, it was the Patriots Super Bowl, and we know about the Cubs.  For this we take how long it was and divide that in half:

 

City Score
Vancouver 48.5
Minneapolis 37.5
Washington 34.0
Boston 3.0
Chicago 0.0

 

Next, we factor in how many teams a fan base has to root for.  Vancouver has only the Canucks, Boston, Minneapolis, and Washington each have four, and Chicago has five.  We take the current score and multiply it times the number of teams:

 

City Score
Minneapolis 150.0
Washington 136.0
Vancouver 48.5
Boston 12.0
Chicago 0.0

 

Next, we take the number of championships a fan base has had to celebrate.  This includes all championships from the four major sports, even if the team is no longer there.  We subtract the number of championships from the current score (Minneapolis and Washington, subtract 7, for Vancouver subtract zero, Boston subtract 36, Chicago 26):

 

City Score
Minneapolis 143.0
Washington 129.0
Vancouver 48.5
Boston -24.0
Chicago -26.0

 

Now, how many franchises have moved out of these wonderful cities since 1970?  The North Stars moved south to Dallas after the 1993 season.  The Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis after the 2001 season.  Take the number of teams that moved, multiply that times 2, and add that to the score:

 

City Score
Minneapolis 145.0
Washington 129.0
Vancouver 50.5
Boston -24.0
Chicago -26.0

 

Minneapolis and Washington are the top two most frustrated by this formula.  Boston and Chicago are the bottom two.  Vancouver ranks 16th overall.  The next one to show you is Cleveland.  After 2014 Cleveland had the highest Frustration Index.  They had not won a championship since 1964 (50 points), and they hadn’t reached the finals since LeBron improbably willed the entire Land of Misfit Toys (for all of you Rudolph fans out there ) to the NBA Finals in 2007 (3.5 points).  We had the Browns, Cavs, and Indians to root for (53.5 x 3 = 160.5) and they combined to win 10 championships (150.5), and the original Browns moved in 1995 (152.5; don’t count the Barons – folding is not the same as moving).  Then LeBron came back and led the Cavs to the 2015 Finals, knocking the score down 145.0, which was still in the lead, but not as big of a margin.  Then 2016 happened.  The Cavaliers won the NBA Title, the Indians reached the World Series, the Browns remained the Browns, and Cleveland’s Frustration Index went down to -8.0.  The Frustration Index for each fan base:

 

City FI
Minneapolis 139.0
Washington 129.0
San Diego 127.0
Milwaukee 124.0
Buffalo 117.0
Atlanta 91.5
Ottawa 90.5
Toronto 88.5
Houston 75.5
Phoenix 75.0
Cincinnati 73.0
Vancouver 71.0
Nashville 57.0
Charlotte 55.0
Winnipeg 54.5
Salt Lake City 53.0
Portland 50.0
Sacramento 46.5
Tampa 37.0
Calgary 32.0
Jacksonville 31.5
Orlando 30.5
Philadelphia 30.0
Edmonton 26.0
Anaheim 25.0
San Jose 25.0
Indianapolis 23.0
Columbus 22.5
Memphis 22.5
Dallas 22.0
New Orleans 20.0
Detroit 18.0
Raleigh 14.0
Oklahoma City 12.0
Miami 11.0
Montreal 9.5
Baltimore 7.0
Seattle 7.0
St. Louis 4.0
Kansas City 0.0
San Francisco 0.0
Green Bay -1.0
Los Angeles -1.0
San Antonio -2.0
New York -4.0
Denver -5.0
Oakland -5.0
Cleveland -8.0
Pittsburgh -16.0
Boston -24.0
Chicago -26.0

 

 

Now if you want to argue that San Diego has beautiful weather and Ron Burgundy, therefore do not belong that high, so be it.  This is just to give a start.  How does this work for a fan like me?  Well, the Cavs, Indians, Bruins, and 49ers have won 14 total championships, the last one being the 2016 Cavaliers.  The last finals appearance was the 2016 Indians, and none of my teams moved.  So, my FI is -14.0.  How about fan bases for individual teams?  It’s the same formula just that the multiplier for teams is 1 and the year founded is their first year in that city.  Here are the top five for each of the major sports:

 

MLB FI
Indians 66.0
Brewers 63.0
Astros 59.5
Mariners 58.5
Padres 56.0

 

 

NBA FI
Hawks 72.0
Nuggets 69.0
Bucks 65.0
Suns 64.5
Wizards 55.5

 

 

NBA FI
Lions 84.5
Vikings 75.0
Browns 72.0
Jets 71.0
Chiefs 71.0

 

 

NHL FI
Blues 72.0
Canucks 69.0
Maple Leafs 62.5
Sabres 54.5
Jets 54.5

 

 

Feel free to use it at your own enjoyment.  Thanks for reading.

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