The question came up at dinner the other day, "What city, based solely on the mascots of its major sports teams, should most rightfully be feared?" Facing down a Grizzly, a Warrior, or a Hurricane is quite a formidable task, while the predations of Red Sox, Dolphins or Spurs are easily countered.
I made a list of the major sports franchises in the US (taken to be NHL, NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball). I arbitrarily awarded each a "Fearsomeness Ranking" from 0 to 4 based on how badass it seems, and combined each city's rankings to see how much ruckus they bring. Here are the results; the methodology details follow.
The most fearsome city is Oakland, who come at you with Warriors, Raiders, and Athletics. Nashville (Titans and Predators) and Phoenix (Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes) also roll strong, and if Charlotte and Raleigh were combined to represent Carolina they would win (Bobcats, Panthers, and Hurricanes). The wussiest city is probably Los Angeles, which apart from a collection of bloated, besotted Kings brings nothing but cannon fodder to the table (Kings, Angels, Clippers, no NFL team, and a bench of Mighty Ducks, Trolley Dodgers and Lakers). Also disappointing are Seattle, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. The most fearsome sport is hockey (average fearsomeness of 1.714), followed closely by football (1.710) and basketball (1.5). Baseball's quaint nicknames earn it a paltry 0.9 average fearsomeness. Here's the full listing:
|City Name||MLB||Fear||NBA||Fear||NFL||Fear||NHL||Fear||Total Fear||Avg Fear||City Fear|
|Tampa Bay||Devil Rays||0||Buccaneers||4||Lightning||2||6.0||2.0||12.0|
|Toronto||Blue Jays||0||Raptors||4||Maple Leafs||0||4.0||1.3||5.3|
|Salt Lake City||Jazz||0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Fearsomeness by Sport||0.9||1.5||1.7||1.7|
You obviously do not want to mess with a Lion, a Pirate, a Giant, or a Devil (rating 4). Still fearsome but not as deadly are Rockets, Predators, and Diamondbacks. Mavericks, Chargers, and Broncos (2) are mildly dangerous, slightly more so than Colts or Cubs (1). A King (3) is obviously more powerful than any generic member of a Royal (1) family. As for the touchy subject of how to rate an Indian, Chief, Redskin, Viking, Wizard, Canuck, Cowboy or other historically oppressed group, I assigned a fearsomeness index based on how badass the given alignment would represent in a generic hollywood movie. Don't read any more into it than that.
Each team was relabelled based on the closest major city (the Texas Rangers go to Dallas, while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County go to LA). Cities with multiple franchises only get to count the more fearsome one: New York rolls with Giants and Rangers rather than Jets or Islanders, LA get the Kings over the I-don't-care-how-Mighty-they're-still-Ducks and Chicago goes with bear Cubs and not White Sox. (Mets, Yankees, Trolley Dodgers, Angels, Clippers and Lakers were all considered equally pusswad, making this mostly irrelevant.)
Finally, I created a synthetic City Fearsomeness Index as
This rewards cities for both having many fearsome teams and for having a high average fearsomeness. If you'd like to play with the numbers, here is my original Excel spreadsheet for fearsomeness-by-city.
City Fearsomness := (Sum of All Fears)^2 / (Sum of All Teams)