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Thursday (Twin Cities ahead of Green Bay, Milwaukee in Top Sports Cities of 2011 list) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, College football, Professional football Updated: October 6, 2011 - 9:30 AM

Sports

publications often put out "best" lists, designed for quick reading, page views and perhaps even some good old-fashioned debates. For our money, these lists can be effective when they are well-reasoned, carefully considered and probably even a little subjective -- like, say, a list of the top 100 athletes of all time. You can look at quantifiable data, but in the end that kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder. No magic formula can tell you Michael Jordan was better than Babe Ruth.

A couple of days ago, though, The Sporting News seems to have failed at a "best of" task. in putting together a list of the best sports cities in the U.S. based on summer 2010 through summer 2011, the publication chose "point values assigned to various categories, including but not limited to, won-lost records, postseason appearances, applicable power ratings, number of teams and attendance."

That might have seemed reasonable to the powers that be. Sometimes, though, you just don't know how flawed a method is until you see the results (for another example, see: Forbes' GM rankings from 2007). We say this as someone who follows Minnesota sports intensely and who tends to loathe -- as most local sports fans do -- any success Wisconsin teams have: There is no way these cities should have the following rankings if common sense is going to come into play:

14. Minneapolis-St. Paul

33. Green Bay

38. Milwaukee

51. Madison

Not ranked among 271 markets: Duluth

The Twin Cities -- a fun summer of baseball in 2010 and the current Lynx run being the primary exceptions -- are in the midst of a terrible sports drought. Green Bay won a Super Bowl. The Brewers were great this summer. The Badgers went to the Rose Bowl in football and the Sweet 16 in men's basketball. UMD won two NCAA titles.

This was not a good sports year here. Not even close to No. 14 in the country. No amount of number-twisting will ever convince us of that.

Bonus: Using that image means we get to link to "I Want a New Drug."

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