So does winning in pro sports really matter in the big picture of life?
The answer is a resounding NO! Sure it’s a nice ego boost for some fans. But let me ask you this: Did winning four Super Bowls with Terry Bradshaw make people want to go visit Pittsburgh? Did the Baltimore Orioles get hoards of folks running to their fair city because of their world series wins?
Who’s gonna come visit or move to KC if we ever win anything – not that we will? What’s more, it’s not gonna change anybody’s life in any meaningful way.
So while fans love to wear their tacky shirts and the hats of their favorite team and some will venture several hundred miles to see a game now and then, it really no longer changes the overall image of a city.
I mean if Cleveland won the Super Bowl, Christ, who would actually want to go there for even a brief visit?
The Kansas City Royals for a few years drew a fan base from Omaha in the late 70’s early-mid 80’s. It mattered back then, but let’s face it, they were coming here from Omaha. Stanford & Sons would see those families rubbernecking in our restaurant hoping to catch a glimpse of George Brett.
Then in the 90’s Stanford’s became the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes we had tons of local fans show up to meet Derrick Thomas or Neil Smith in our bar or restaurant. But as time marched on, even when the teams did well, the numbers fell off. Today the Chiefs have no real, consistent hangout. And nobody knows or cares about the Royals. Few people travel to KC to watch the Chiefs anymore, notice the thousands of empty seats at Arrowhead. To be honest the Royals still have some out of towners who just love baseball, but it’s a far cry from the numbers of 20 years ago.
So while we Chiefs fans are sad about losing yet another play-off game at Arrowhead, in the big picture it doesn’t matter much to the rest of the country. We bitch cause nobody talks about our teams on ESPN or national news much.
Big cities are just that, big, but look at Los Angeles. Did not having an NFL team hurt that market? Nope. The Lakers are still THE TEAM in the NBA. And much of that is due to the "see and be seen" experience at a Lakers game. Some fans still think it’s as cool to look at Justin Timberlake as they do Kobe Bryant.
It’s true though that when one travels around KC, the one thing you can walk up and talk to anyone about is, "Hey what do you think of the Chiefs?" Then the conversation gets rolling. Still doesn’t make people want to visit our city. Why would it?
The only American city that having a GLORY sports team seems to matter would have to be New York.
And maybe Dallas with the Cowboys.
The Yankees were just so awesome and promoted world wide – like Manchester United in soccer. Ruth, Mantle, Maris, Jeter, on and on. It did seem to bring some admiration and hate to New York. But New York is, well, New York. They don’t need much more to be a draw.
As for the Cowboys, maybe it was the cheerleaders. After all, didn’t that lead to HOOTERS?