Miserable: Who Deserves The Super Bowl Most?

Who deserves to win the Super Bowl the most?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself this week. You see, if you’re like me your team is already out of the race. Considering there are 32 teams and only 12 who make the playoffs, there is a good chance you’re searching for at least some kind of rooting interest.

Maybe you hate the Seahawks because you’re tired of ‘Beast Mode.’ Possibly you’re tired of seeing the same teams compete for the title every year (Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Broncos, again, Seahawks). Maybe you’re just sick of those Aaron Rodgers State Farm “discount double check” commercials. Regardless of your reasons, below are how the NFL playoffs would pan out this year if the underdog won every time. Only I’m redefining ‘underdog’ for this article.

My definition of underdog includes not just a team’s football history, but which football cities have been the most miserable? I looked up the 2014 stats to find out.

First, let’s take a look at the playoff picture.

12 teams (6 from each conference) make the NFL playoffs every year. Based on city data and their competitive football history, here’s a breakdown on who you should root-for if you’re an ‘underdog’ kind of fan.


Wild Card

Baltimore — Baltimore Magazine lists all major data here. According to the publication, the city ranks No. 5 in toxic air, has the 5th worst income tax, the second-most dangerous drivers and ranks No. 9 as the rudest city in the country. Other than having the third-highest fraud per capita and ranking at No. 7 as the most dangerous city according to Forbes, Baltimore is pretty solid. 

As far as football goes, the Ravens have two recent SB titles (2000, 2012).

Pittsburgh — In recent years Pittsburgh has been rated near the top of the charts in job growth, low crime, smarts, even been delegated the ‘most livable.’ The only knock on the city that’s easy to find is the fact it’s been listed multiple times as having the ‘worst accent’ in the States. *rolls eyes

The Steelers are the only franchise with six SB championships (2008, 2005, 1979, 1978, 1975, 1974)

Winner: Baltimore


Cincinnati — Rated one of the worst cities for recreation, the unhappiest place to work in the U.S. while ranking one of the worst in job accessibility, not to mention the football team hasn’t even been to a Super Bowl since 1988 (zero wins), the Bungals would shock the world if they make a run.

Indianapolis — Not many people really want to live in Indy. It’s a great sports town because there’s really nothing else to do. Would you live in a town that is rated one of the worst in desserts? How about rated one of the worst weather cities? It doesn’t help there doesn’t appear to be many jobs right now. What does help the Colts is that they have two Super Bowl wins (1970, 2006).

Winner: Cincinnati 



Baltimore — (see above)

New England (Boston) — There are a million reasons to love Boston — one of the oldest, most historical cities our country has to offer. However, there are a few reasons to avoid the area as well.

Travel & Leisure ranks it the No. 5 rudest city, this site claims Boston has the worst drivers in America, and the city has the worst homeless plight. But who are we kidding? Boston is a great town that has held more championship teams than most states in the past century. Tom Brady and Patriots have three SB wins alone (2001, 2003, 2004).

Winner: Baltimore


Cincinnati — (see above)

Denver — Denver has two SB wins (1997, 1998) but is rated one of the worst cities to be young in, tops lists in cocaine use, and is top 10 — of all things — worst in dog attacks. But again, who are we kidding? Denver is beautiful. 

Winner: Cincinnati



Baltimore vs. Cincinnati

Both cities have miserable statistics that include crime and lack of jobs. However with the Raven’s recent success which includes a Super Bowl title, the Bengals are the true underdog here. 

Winner: Cincinnati



Wild Card

Detroit — Wow, how do you sum up the Motor City? Rated the No. 1 worst city to visit by EscapeHere, No 13. worst city for quality of life (NerdWallet) and No. 6 in the country for most dangerous city (Neighborhoodscout), Detroit is possibly the most depressing city in our nation’s history. They’re bankrupt in all facets of life. The only thing they have going for them are their sports teams. 

Dallas – The area ranks as the 12th worst city for quality of life (NerdWallet), the No. 6 rudest city, and the No. 1 worst outdoor city, but this is really no competition. The Lions haven’t won a championship since 1957 (0 Super Bowls) while the Cowboys have won five (1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1995).

Winner: Detroit


Arizona (Phoenix) — Unless you’re a snowbird, many dread the thought of the Arizona heat. But beyond the atrocious weather, Phoenix isn’t a popular place to say the least. One very short search found this: No. 22 on the list for worst city for quality of life (NerdWallet), No. 8 rudest city, “Phoenix is the worst place ever,” No. 14 in worst traffic, rated low in promoting healthy living and has horrible air pollution

The Cards have never won a Super Bowl, having only appeared once (2008).

Carolina (Charlotte) — Go ahead and try to find dirt on Charlotte. It’s nearly impossible. Consistently rated one of the best cities to visit and work in,  the only negatives I could find for the North Carolina city include being the worst city for Halloween (oh, no!), and being one of the worst in dating. 

Just like the Cardinals, the Panthers have never won a SB and have only appeared in one (2003).

Winner: Arizona



Detroit — (see above)

Seattle — Aside from the rain, Seattle seems to be a great town. We all know you can grab a great cup o’ Joe, but be careful if you drive. The only dirt I could dig up on the city was that it ranks in the top 3 of most dangerous cities for driving. Seattle also won the Super Bowl last year over the Broncos.

Winner: Detroit 


Arizona (Phoenix) — (see above)

Green Bay — The only thing Green Bay ranks the worst in is run defense. Yup, the town is too small and cute to be incredibly awful at anything other than stopping Matt Forte from running up the middle. The Packers have won four Super Bowls (1966, 1967, 1996, 2010), compared to zero for the Cardinals. 

Winner: Arizona



Arizona (Phoenix) vs. Detroit 

Both teams aren’t only hosted in miserable cities, but both also have insufferable football history. Phoenix has pollution and a lengthy pile of dirty laundry, but Detroit’s lower ranking in quality of life, along with its economy and crime rate push it over the edge.

Winner: Detroit



Two cities without a Super Bowl win and that have both struggled politically if you will — for lack of a better term — this matchup would be the ultimate surprise for even the biggest advocate of the underdog. So who wins?

Is it really much of a competition?

Winner of Super Bowl XLIX: Detroit


Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports

Photo Credit: NFL.COM