Providence College Investigates: Pro Sports
What Is the Best Sports City in the United States?
Justin Bishop ’24
Everyone knows which city is the greatest sports city in the world: Boston. This city is known for countless championships in hockey, basketball, football, and most recently, baseball.
In combinations ranging from red, white, and blue to black and gold to green and white, these colors represent everything to the people of this city.
Boston is the greatest sports city in the world and that is a fact. The Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox organizations represent greatness and what it means to win. Since 2000, Boston has won 12 championship trophies and has been the only city to have a championship trophy in all four major sports (baseball, basketball, football, hockey).
The New England Revolution, who recently have been on a tear in the MLS are among the teams not in the spotlight in Boston as much as the four major sports teams.
Other notable teams outside the four major sports in Boston include: the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League and the Boston Cannons, the only Major League Lacrosse team to be added to the new Premier Lacrosse League.
The Red Sox are the only team in the MLB to win four World Series in the new millennia. The Sox are a trivial part of the city of Boston. Fenway Park, the Curse of the Great Bambino, Ted Williams, 1999 All Star Game, 2004 World Series Champions, and the 2013 World Series Champions for the Boston Marathon victims are all moments that carry gravity with the people who cheer for the Red Sox and Boston as a city.
On the ice, the Bruins are a powerhouse, not just in the Atlantic Division or Eastern Conference, but also throughout the entire NHL. The B’s have reached the postseason in 16 of the past 19 seasons. They have long tenured superstars like Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and the captain himself, Patrice Bergeron, who have all had sensational seasons in recent memory.
On the court, the Celtics have been up and down since their NBA championship in 2008 but seem to have rebounded with young stars like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. The Celtics have proven themselves in the playoffs over the past 10 years and with young stars on the rise, seem set for another run of dominance.
Tearing it up on the gridiron, the New England Patriots won six Super Bowl titles in 20 years. With the unstoppable tandem of Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach and general manager Bill Belicheck, the Pats could not be stopped for 20 years. The Patriots were a dynasty from 2000 to 2019, winning six Super Bowls, nine AFC Championships, 17 AFC East Division titles, and 17 straight playoff appearances.
This is the definition of winning. This is the way, the Boston way.
Luke Sweeney ’24
The unprecedented success of the New England Patriots during the 2000s and 2010s has shut down the debate over which U.S. city is the sports capital of the country. To many, Boston is the undisputed city of champions and the most dominant city in the United States for professional sports. However, another city might be overlooked, a city with a rich history of success in sports, and the home to some of the best athletes the world has ever seen: Los Angeles.
The L.A. Lakers are considered by many to be the best basketball team of all time. While the Boston Celtics hold the crown for most NBA Championships, no other team has won more playoff games than the Lakers organization. The Lakers have had the privilege of producing elite hall of famers such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, the late Kobe Bryant, and now Lebron James. It is no surprise that the best players in the NBA are attracted to the city of L.A. and their premier basketball club.
Having such a strong market for sports and an almost overwhelming population density, it is surprising that L.A. has gone so many years without an NFL team. The city was home to the original Los Angeles Rams from 1942-1994. During that period they had limited success, making the Super Bowl only once and never taking home the Lombardi Trophy. It was not until the team moved to St. Louis that they won a Super Bowl during the 2000 NFL season with a high-powered offense that was labeled “The Greatest Show on Turf” under quarterback Kurt Warner. Football is currently back in Los Angeles as they are home to the Rams once again and the Chargers.
Baseball has been praised in the city of L.A. since the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to California in 1958. The Dodgers immediately found success in L.A. by winning the 1959 World Series and continued to impress the baseball world into the ‘60s. The pitching tandem of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale gave the Dodgers what they needed for an additional two championships in 1963 and 1965. L.A. was also home to pitching phenom Fernando Valenzuela, who was beloved by fans and led the club to another championship in 1988. They have won multiple World Series since the ‘80s and continue to be dominant today.
While Boston is home to the greatest football player to ever live, and the NBA team with the most championships of all time, it is impossible to exclude Los Angeles from the conversation of the “Greatest Sports City in The United States.”