The Fan-O-Meter is The Sports Notebook’s contribution to the vital issue of the day and that’s what the rules and regulations are for being a sports fan. Another part of that discussion is finding what America’s most livable sports city was in any given year.
The Notebook focuses on the modern age, which we’ve marked as 1976. It was a threshold year for a lot of spots–free agency began in earnest in baseball, the John Wooden UCLA dynasty ended in college basketball, and all major bowls game were moved to New Year’s Day. Just prior to this, the NFL started giving homefield advantage for its playoffs based on merit rather than divisonal rotation and just after the NBA-ABA merger took place. And on a self-serving note, the editor was six years old and able to remember at least a few of the big games from that year. Below is our Fan-O-Meter Museum, starting in ’76 and moving forward, finding the best geographic locale for sports.
On The Indiana/Ohio Border: The 1976 Big Red Machine & 1976 Indiana Basketball.
Jesuit Reign: 1977 Marquette Basketball & 1977 Notre Dame Football.
Boston’s Agony: The 1978 Red Sox, Bruins & Patriots.
Steel City Supreme: The 1979 Steelers & Pirates
The Philadelphia Story: The 1980 Phillies, Sixers, Flyers & Eagles.
Populist Uprising: The 1981 San Francisco 49ers & 1981 Clemson Tigers.
Party In New Orleans: 1982 North Carolina Basketball & 1982 Penn State Football.
The Ma & Pa Trail: The 1983 Philadelphia 76ers & 1983 Baltimore Orioles.
Inside The Beltway: Gibbs’ Redskins & Big John’s Hoyas.
Northeast Oklahoma: 1985 Oklahoma Football & 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Underdog New York’s Time: The 1986 Mets & Jets.
Back Home Again In Indiana: 1987 Indiana Basketball, Football & The Colts.
Hollywood Dreams: The 1988 Lakers, Dodgers & More.
Triumph & Tragedy: The 1989 San Francisco 49ers & Giants.
The New York Aristocracy: The 1990 New York Giants & Plenty Of Support.
Breaking Through: 1991 Duke Basketball & 1991 Chicago Bulls.
Return To The Top: 1992 Dallas Cowboys & 1992 Alabama Football.
Windy City Run: 1993 Chicago Bulls, White Sox & Notre Dame Football.
Springtime In New York: The 1994 Rangers, Knicks & Yankees
Life On The Plains: Osborne’s Cornhuskers & Marty’s Chiefs.
Rocky Mountain High: The 1996 Colorado Avalanche Along With The Broncos & Buffs.
Magic In Motown: The 1997 Detroit Red Wings & Michigan Wolverines
Just Missed Glory: 1998 Utah Jazz & Utah Utes
Rocky Top High: The Vols & Titans Keep Tennessee Partying Like It’s 1999
Y2K Apocalypse: The Lakers & Yankees Win In 2000
Dynamics In The Desert: Lute, Schilling & The Big Unit Lead Arizona In 2001
NoCrown In NoCal: The Near-Misses Of The A’s, Raiders & Sacramento Kings
Springtime In New Jersey: The 2003 New Jersey Devils & Nets
Boston’s Championship Grand Slam Hits Apex In 2004: Red Sox & Patriots
South Side Rule: The 2005 Chicago White Sox, Bears & Illinois Basketball
Florida Fury: Gators Double-Dip On National Titles In 2006 & Beyond
Hopes Raised & Dashed In Cleveland: The 2007 Cavs, Indians & Browns
TheSportsNotebook’s Historical Museum honors the five-year induction window followed by the Hall of Fames’ in each sport, to allow a better historical perspective on the events chronicled. Mark down July 2013 for the induction of 2008′s entry.