The funny thing is, Hurricane Irene is being blamed for this iconic photograph. Apparently, attendance at a Marlins game can get a little bit worse. It just takes a hurricane bearing down on Florida to get rid of the last few thousands souls who make it out for each game. The unofficial headcount of 347 for the opening game of the doubleheader is beyond laughable, hurricane or no hurricane. The fact that the Marlins are getting a new stadium to reward this juggernaut of a fan base drives me insane. If I was a betting man, I’d say they won’t sell out game 2 in the new yard. Of course, with a new stadium about to open, there’s no way the Marlins’ days are numbered, but they should be. All over the professional sports landscape, we need to trim the fat. Scalpel!
MLB: 30 teams. Ideal Number: 26. Contracted Teams: Florida, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Oakland.
I think the Florida teams are a n0-brainer. Tampa plays in the worst stadium ever constructed. They’re constantly cutting payroll. They do a great job with what they have, but people still don’t go to the games. The Marlins have won two World Series. No one cares. Professional sports barely, and I mean barely work in Florida. The NFL hags in there, but other than that, it’s a bandwagon paradise. Wait for the year after the Heat finish this Wade/Bron thing, they’ll average 8,000 people. As for Arizona, professional sports don’t really work there either. Great place for a Super Bowl, but that’s about it. If people retire to your state…you’re in danger. And, Oakland? Well, it’s either Oakland or Toronto and personally, I’m kind of tired of seeing Oakland scuffle along. Moneyball, blah, blah, blah. See ya!
NBA: 30 Teams. Ideal Number: 24. Contracted Teams: Minnesota, Sacramento, New Orleans, Toronto, Charlotte, and Orlando.
I could pare the NBA down to 16 teams. I really could. My first thought when I looked at the NBA was, holy sh*t, they have 30 teams? That’s ridiculous. Thank god for the lockout. For the record, teams that barely dodged the bullet: Atlanta, the Clip Show, and Memphis. Where to start, where to start…
No one actually thinks the NBA will work in New Orleans long-term, right? I mean, Chris Paul will leave, the team will stink, and the Hornets are looking for a new home…again. How about Seattle? Minnesota is a mercy killing. I just feel bad if there are any actual Timberwolves fans out there. Minnesota also doesn’t have the greatest track record with professional sports. They lost the Lakers. The Stars left. The Vikings are always threatening to leave. But, at least they built Target Field. I don’t know how the Kings are going to make payroll when/if the NBA starts back up, so obviously they’re out. Sorry. The Raptors? Come on, we corrected the Vancouver mistake, let’s not hesitate. If the Charlotte NBA team could play in the ACC then maybe they’d have a chance, but unfortunately, no one cares. It happened once, it’ll happen twice. And, Orlando, I’m guessing in about six years they’ll be dead last in the league in attendance. Florida strikes again.
The NHL: 30 Teams. Ideal Number: 26. Contracted Teams: Florida, Phoenix, Columbus, New York Islanders.
Is this all Wayne Gretzky’s fault? If he’d stayed in Edmonton would we still be playing in the quaint, little 24-team NHL? I wanted to go to 24 teams here, but for some reason I couldn’t pull the trigger on Nashville and Tampa Bay. Maybe I’ll get them during a second wave of cuts.
I don’t think I need to beat a dead horse with the Panthers. Hockey in Miami? Negative. Cute thought, but no. And, we’re piling on Phoenix as well, but the team isn’t financially viable. Get Hartford on the horn. Or one of those other mysterious cities in Ontario. Columbus, that just seems like a mistake from the outset. I imagine the Ohio State hockey team is more popular. The Islanders? They say that Long Island is a proven market. Back when the Islanders won 4 straight cups the Islanders were the hottest thing in NY (not really). But, my gut feeling is, the Islanders aren’t going to win 4 straight Cups again. They can’t get a new arena, it’s a disaster. Maybe they just need a relocation, Brooklyn anyone? But, for the time being, they’re cut.
The NFL: 32 Teams. Ideal Number: 30. Contracted Teams: Jacksonville, Arizona.
Here’s what I don’t understand. The NFL is unquestionably the biggest thing in American sports. They are probably pushing their luck with 32 teams. So, you’ve got the biggest attraction and all of 8 regular season home dates. What makes these other leagues think they can sustain 30 teams for 40 or 80 home dates? It’s insane.
So, why does the NFL need to be contracted? Mostly because there aren’t enough good players to go around. If the talent pool was deep enough, I think the NFL the could sustain 32 teams, but it isn’t. Not even close. So, when picking which team to contract, I’ve got to weigh in historical factors, how bad the team is, etc. Jacksonville just doesn’t seem like a big enough city to support a team. I’m sure if the Jags are good, things will be fine, but I’m not seeing any sustained excellence. I almost picked Oakland over Arizona, because that situation is a total mess and Oakland trailed the league in attendance last year, but in the end, I wanted to get in one more shot against Arizona. I think all things equal, stadium, team, etc., the NFL would be better off in Oakland.
So, there you go, just a little bad news on a Thursday for sixteen fan bases.