What happens when your beloved baseball team has won one playoff game in 18 years ... and your once-peerless basketball team plays second fiddle to the Clippers ... and you haven’t had an NFL game in 12 years ... and your once-Hollywood-hip hockey team hasn’t gotten out of the second round of the playoffs since trading Wayne Gretzky?
You’re voted second-worst sports city in America by Sportsbook.com.
Los Angeles trailed only Atlanta, according to a “bluish-green-ribbon panel of sportswriters, bloggers and pundits” assembled by the online betting website.
Among the reasons:
* “Lacks an NFL team, despite former commish Paul Tagliabue doing everything within his power to relocate one there, short of luring the Vikings with the promise of a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ cameo.”
* “If the Steve Bartman incident had happened at a Dodgers game, would anybody have bothered to get the guy’s name and ruin his life?”
* “Short-lived infatuation with Gretzky-era Kings fooled the NHL into thinking the West Coast is a sustainable region for hockey.”
* “Everybody sure jumped on the Clippers bandwagon in a hurry.”
* “Not that this is the place to rail about sports’ corporate overlords, but the multi-tiered luxury boxes at the Staples Center elevate the upper-deck seats to an altitude almost entirely devoid of oxygen.”
* “If you lose a team [the Rams] to St. Louis, you’re not even trying, dude.”
What is the Kings’ playoff record since trading Gretzky?
They call it Not-lanta
According to Sportsbook.com, here’s how Atlanta beat us out for No. 1:
* “Thanks to TBS and its countrywide reach, Braves fans were able to bring the tomahawk chop out of the racist basement and into our hearts.”
* “The Hawks last made the playoffs during the Taft administration.”
* "[Fans are] less passionate about their teams than their accents.”
* “Wait -- do they have an NHL team now, or don’t they? Nobody can remember, which might be part of the problem.”
* “The Braves had to sue the Braves Cleaning Service to get the www.braves.com Internet domain -- but in a departure from their usual modus operandi, they actually won that one. Hugs all around!”
doesn’t do Super Bowls
Besides suggesting that the country might not warm to Fox’s coverage of a five-game World Series that will be remembered mostly for a smudge on Kenny Rogers’ hand, the record-low 10.1 average television rating for the St. Louis-Detroit series also helps illustrate how big the NFL is in this country.
The World Series’ rating did not equal one-fourth of Super Bowl XL’s 41.6 rating in February.
Additionally, the combined average ratings for this year’s World Series, NBA Finals (8.5) and Stanley Cup finals (2.3) amount to 20.9 -- barely half the rating for the Pittsburgh-Seattle Super Bowl.
And the Pittsburgh-Seattle Super Bowl did not crack the top 20 of highest-rated Super Bowls. The record rating for a Super Bowl is 49.1 for Super Bowl XVI in 1982, in which the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21.
The Kings have qualified for the playoffs four times since trading Gretzky in February 1996. In five series -- they reached the second round in 2001 -- the Kings have a playoff record of 10-18.
Charles Barkley, on TNT’s “Listen Up,” talking about his Halloween experiences as a youngster growing up in Leeds, Ala.:
“I remember dressing up as a cowboy with the belt and holster and the big hat. But where I grew up, not many people gave out candy.”