"Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery." - Bertrand Russell
Houston sports teams have been letting their fans down for decades now, but they've always been overshadowed by even worse teams in worse cities. Leave it to Houston sports to not even be the best at being miserable.
But how do we quantify our pain and suffering? The folks over at 10 and 3 attempted to do so, and put Houston at number 4 overall, behind Cleveland, Toronto and New York City (the B teams). Here's their methodology:
The Misery Score Explained
We first compute a misery score for each team, as follows: a team gets a demerit point for each year since (i) it last made the playoffs, (ii) it last won a playoff series (which doesn’t include MLB play-in game wins), and (iii) it last won a championship.
We cap each of the three above point values at 30, because the average fan’s age in the major sports is approximately between 42 and 43, and the age of 12 or 13 is the general age of enlightenment when fans start to really understand sports (and the misery that comes with losing).
These points are added together, which gives each team a number of points between 0 (if the team won a championship last season) and 90 (if the team hasn’t made the playoffs in the past 30 years); we then normalize these values onto the [0,100] scale, to get a team-level misery score.
And the results? Number 4. Here's what they said about the Texans specifically, but you should also read what they said about the Astros and Rockets.
Football fans suffered perhaps the ultimate humiliation, losing their Oilers, who moved to Nashville in 1997. A lonely five years without football ensued, before the city was granted the expansion Houston Texans. Despite the return of a team, the misery hasn’t let up, with endless losing seasons and only two brief playoff appearances.
Combine that with the Astros free falling after their lone World Series appearance (in which they got swept), the Rockets perpetually going one-and-done or not-at-all since their '93-'95 period of dominance, and you've got one miserable, trophy-hungry sports town.
So how miserable do you feel, Houston fans? In the macro sense, yes, this sucks, but it's all about the now! The Astros won their season opener yesterday, with some young, promising talent; the Rockets are soaring into the playoffs, despite numerous injuries, thanks to an MVP-caliber season by James Harden; and the Texans just got done bolstering their roster with an exciting, productive free agency period.
The arrow is pointing up, so keep your chin up, Houston.
Also I can't believe they neglected to add in the (now defunct) Houston Comets' four consecutive WNBA titles. I mean, that has to count for something right? No? Okay.