So when does Atlanta get a victory parade?


This is the trophy representing Atlanta's only major pro sports championship in the last 25 years (or ever). I'm not sure who the old guy is, but I think he used to be in TV.

This is the trophy representing Atlanta's only major pro sports championship in the last 25 years (or ever). I'm not sure who the old guy is, but I think he used to be in TV.

There’s a victory parade in Pittsburgh today for the Penguins’ third Stanley Cup since 1991.

There’s a victory parade in Los Angeles Wednesday for the Lakers’ seventh NBA title since 1985.

I think there was a victory parade in Atlanta once. But I guess because of construction and traffic on Peachtree, we just don’t have room for them any more.

I did a little research. (It happens sometimes.) This is one of those things you kinda know the answer to even before you look it up. But here goes: We stink.

Giving away the ending to this blog: Atlanta is not among the leaders in victory parades. The good news is, we’re ahead of Cleveland, which hasn’t won bupkis, thanks to a David Justice home run 14 years ago.

The Penguins’ Cup win means Pittsburgh will hold its second parade in about five months. This follows the Steelers’ Super Bowl parade about five months ago. It’s no wonder my wife, the West Mifflin girl, has reached a new level of obnoxiousness. She summarized her hometown this way: “We might fall a little short in the social graces, but we know how to pick teams.”

So, I guess in this comparison, we have social graces?

Atlanta: Dystopia?

Atlanta: Dystopia?

I broke down 29 cities — actually, 29 media markets; I’m combining Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Francisco/Oakland, New York/New Jersey — with teams in the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL. Simple exercise. Count up Super Bowls, World Series, NBA titles and Stanley Cups since 1984. I picked 1984 as a starting point for three reasons: 1) It sound cool and Orwellian; 2) It makes for a span of 25 years, which is a nice round number; 3) It’s long enough ago to include the Braves’ World Series title in 1995.

Since I went by the actual calendar year, and labor issues voided one World Series and one Stanley Cup, the number of titles is not equal in all sports.

Here goes. These are . . .

The Champions

♦ 12: New York/New Jersey (5 WS, 3 SB, 4 SC)

♦ 11: Los Angeles/Anaheim (2 WS, 1 SB, 7 NBA, 1 SC)

 8: Boston/New England (2 WS, 3 SB, 3 NBA)

♦ 6: Chicago (1 WS, 1 SB, 6 NBA)

 6: Detroit (1 WS, 3 NBA, 4 SC)

The Chumpions

 0 (with number of pro teams): Cleveland (3), Buffalo (2), Charlotte (2), Nashville (2), New Orleans (2), San Diego (2), Seattle (2), Jacksonville (1), Milwaukee (1), Memphis (1),  Oklahoma City (1), Portland (1), Salt Lake City (1), Sacramento (1).

♦ 1: Atlanta (WS), Baltimore (SB), Calgary (SC), Cincinnati (WS), Green Bay (SB), Indianapolis (SB), Kansas City (WS), Philadelphia (WS), Phoenix (WS), Raleigh (SC), Tampa (SC).

Somewhere in between

 5: Pittsburgh (2 SB, 3 SC), San Francisco/Oakland (1 WS, 4 SB), Edmonton (5 SC).

♦ 4: Dallas (3 SB, 1 SC), Denver (2 SB, 2 SC), San Antonio (4 NBA).

♦ 3: Miami (2 WS, 1 NBA).

♦ 2: Houston (2 NBA), Minnesota (2 WS), Montreal (2 SC), St. Louis (1 WS, 1 SB), Tampa (1 SB, 1 SC),Toronto (2 WS), Washington (2 SB).

I’ll leave you with this. After the Falcons traded for Tony Gonzales, the perennial Pro Bowl tight end said: “I’m here for one reason, that’s to win a Super Bowl.”

I hope he brought the parade permits with him.

Because we seem to have misplaced ours.


Can you find yourself in this celebration? (And how old are you now?)

Can you find yourself in this Braves' celebration? (And how old were you then?)



46 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

June 15th, 2009
12:14 pm

Well, at least Atlanta has more than New Orleans and all of those other cities with “0.”

E. Tampa Ironworse

June 15th, 2009
12:30 pm

Think about it. Philly has been playing baseball for 100 years…2 title. Cubs in the last 100…zero. Miami is a great football town…but the Dolphins haven’t done squat in 40 years. And let’s not talk College football and the little chance programs have to win national titles. So when a team wins…it’s almost a weird experience and it needs to be cherished. The Falcons have a REAL chance over the next couple of years. More so than ANY pro team around here does. UGA…maybe. Tech…would be a dream season. And speaking of The Dream…that might be this town’s best best. Kind of stinks when you think about it…


June 15th, 2009
12:34 pm

Hey, we could be on the list for the most championships lost.1-superbowl,4-World Series.You also forgot the parade when we LOST the 91 series to the twins, but boy did the people turn out.Just think what the turnout would have been if we had won!!!

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
12:48 pm

REID: Yeah. But New Orleans destroys everybody in restaurants.

E. TAMPA: Sorry. Took long enough to add the last 25 years. I couldn’t go 100.

WINDER: I think Minnesota and Buffalo could give you a run, at least in football.


June 15th, 2009
12:48 pm

It would be nice to have a 2 next to our city. Thank you, Eugene Robinson.


June 15th, 2009
12:51 pm

It is also worth noting that both of these recent champs had gone from Champion to doldrums and back to Champs again:

In 2004–05, the Lakers went 34-48 and missed the playoffs.
In 2005–06, the Penguins won only 22 out of 82 games!


June 15th, 2009
1:36 pm

“Ad Nauseam”……not “at nauseam”…..who proof reads your stuff? For God’s sake you are a professional! That wasnt the only mistake either!


June 15th, 2009
1:41 pm

I’m standing directly behind the hottest chick, but you can’t see me. I was 33.

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June 15th, 2009
1:54 pm

[...] So when does Atlanta get a victory parade? [...]


June 15th, 2009
2:00 pm

would be nice to finally win something in this town. 4 major franchises and 2 cfb programs…and nothing to show for it except 1 WS 14yrs ago. is there such a thing as an “atlanta sports team curse”?

Trey J

June 15th, 2009
2:03 pm

Looking back man the 90’s were fun! That’s was Braves Fever!
I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this but the Falcons in 2012 bring us our next championship! The Braves have too many questions marks, and just aren’t good enuff.
The Hawks will give us something to be proud of if AMG spends the money right……and grab us another coach! Yeah, I said it cause it needed to be said but with Lebron, and Howard young and getting better we got to make smart moves and a championship as much as I’d like to see it ain’t bout to happen no time soon.
So get the folks ready for a march down Peachtree again in 2012!

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
2:05 pm

JPW: You can never go wrong with a Eugene Robinson reference.

AISIM: I’m betting both make their respective final fours at least next season.

BEE: thanx. Fixed that typo. But I’ve seen it both ways, capped and not capped. Who proof reads your corrections? Also, that should be wasn’t, not wasnt.

MAC: Uh, who? What?

MILTONDAWG: Not that I know of. But I’ll consult an expert in Voodoo.


June 15th, 2009
2:24 pm

I heard the stat a few years ago, it’s a little convoluted, but it makes sense. Atlanta has the lowest percentage of championships to total number of pro sports seasons played by local teams. Meaning if you totaled all the seasons together… 43 for the Braves and Falcons, 41 for the Hawks and 17 for the Flames/Thrashers (not sure about the math) we have 1 championship out of a possible 144 seasons of pro sports. I think you needed a minimum of 100 total seasons to qualify for the list, so a lot of teams that Schultz mentioned with 0 championships wouldn’t qualify because they have only one or two teams, and haven’t had them that long.

Regardless, the point is the same. We suck! Even if you included our beloved college football and added UGA and Tech’s championships since the advent of the AP poll, only Georgia has a national championship. They both claim several others. So even college football doesn’t add to our total very much!

Sonny Clusters

June 15th, 2009
2:26 pm

They is not much better than a victory parade after a state championship. Some ride on the hoods of cars but I road in a convertible with a girl next to me and Jeff. Car dealers will let you have a convertible to ride in parades so they can have celebritys ballplayers seen in there cars. We did that when we was in school.

Colonel Klink

June 15th, 2009
2:47 pm

Didn’t the Silverbacks win a championship? I think it was the year they defeated Bauder Beauty College


June 15th, 2009
2:48 pm

I always hate when outsiders refer to Atlanta as a “bad sports town.” I patiently explain to them that Atlanta is a great sports town for COLLEGE teams because college sports developed many years before the first major pro team (Braves in ‘66) came here. Also, there are a lot of college graduates here from all over the southeast who passionately pull for their teams. Additionally, Georgia and Tech have had traditionally strong football programs, which adds to the enthusiasm. By constrast, pro sports developed here relatively late, the teams have not been particularly good (excluding the ’90s Braves), and most of the metro area residents aren’t from here. All of this helps explain a lot.


June 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

Georgia tech has a recognized MNC…well four really. The only team to have one in the last 25 years in the state of Georgia. The AP poll is not the only source of national championships so you cannot invalidate techs or UGA’s other championships. If you take that into account UGA has two and GT has four. UGA claims two during WW2 but it would be unamerican to recognize them…lol

Sonny Clusters

June 15th, 2009
2:55 pm

It is a college town and we like Clemsun. We was going to go their but something happened. I am pretty glad on the second shift and I get to play some ball and see all the races. I been reading Jeff Schultz since I was little.


June 15th, 2009
3:10 pm

JS: please do consult on voodoo expert. maybe ted turner had sacrificed a llama or something exotic in his home here in atlanta after the 95 WS. if you think about it..96 braves almost had back to back but after leyritz’s HR..everything fell apart (see 99′ WS sweep by NYY). braves haven’t been the same since. eugene robinson and the falcons? that could be his doing as well.


June 15th, 2009
3:12 pm

or was it chief knockahoma who was exiled??


June 15th, 2009
3:17 pm

The Atlanta Xplosion won a women’s Super Bowl over … uhh, I think it was Chicago. The Atlanta Steam, ladies lingerie football, sadly folded before their opening season. Atlanta won some soccer Championship years and years ago. But, the Atlanta Knight Hockey team did capture an IHL championship in 1994, I believe. Sadly, none of these count, in the world of big league pro sports.

My memories of the 1995 World Series Championship include TV anchor woman Monica Kaufman actually being on the air saying, “are we making ‘too much of a big deal’ about this? I mean, so what if we’d lost. I don’t see that winning makes Atlanta any more or less of a sports town with excellent fans.”

Everyone digest that little nugget. Monica Kaufman categorically rejected the notion that the Braves World Series win was the biggest thing that had happened to Atlanta in quite a while. Shrugs. I disagree. I think that one (1) Championship win is very important for the City of Atlanta. And adding more would help the sports image of this town as free agents come-a-callin’.

What free agent would want to come to a town that doesn’t CARE about winning? Where even winning a championship results in a “meh” from local TV personalities? Honestly now. It’s not wrong to take pride in that 1995 World Series win. Ask someone in Seattle or Buffalo or Cleveland what one MAJOR PROFESSIONAL TITLE would mean during their lifetimes. Ask a Cubs fan!! It’s been several generations.


June 15th, 2009
3:34 pm

Delta, and a plethora of other airlines for that matter, is ready when you are.


June 15th, 2009
3:35 pm

Milwaukee has two pro teams (Brewers, Bucks), not one as you have written. Though the Bucks barely qualify.

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June 15th, 2009
3:46 pm

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beau vighn

June 15th, 2009
3:53 pm

I will lead the Atlanta victory parade when the Thrashers FIRE DON WADDELL…..


June 15th, 2009
4:03 pm

Brendan, Atlanta and the southeast in general is a college sports area. I know I watched last years CWS with UGA far more closely than any professional sport in Atlanta and I am not even a baseball fan.


June 15th, 2009
4:15 pm

Hey Jeff,
You need to get your facts strait. Seattle won the 79′ NBA Title. Just because some Oklahoman bought the team and moved it last season doesn’t make that an Okla. Title Team.


June 15th, 2009
4:18 pm

There’s no doubt about that, Otto. This is a huge college sports town. I wonder why there’s so much of a disconnect between collegiate loyalties and the pro sports offered by the City of Atlanta? And I run into this situation all the time. The Bulldog or Yellowjackets fan … didn’t even attend that school. They either went elsewhere and adopted the teams, or they never even went to college.

In a strange twist, I know a Falcons season ticket holder who went to school at Georgia Tech, but lives in Ohio. And kept the Falcons season tickets ever since!! He and his wife fly eight times a year to Atlanta for Falcons home games. I suppose he follows the Jackets, but he doesn’t travel for their games.


June 15th, 2009
4:22 pm

You want the Hawks to get a NBA Title? Get rid of Bibby. He’s too old. Josh Smith thinks HE runs the team and has no respect for anyone who challenges him. He needs to go too. The Falcons can do better if they didn’t have “King Arthur” breathing down their neck on the sidelines. Just like Mark Cuban needs to do, owners stay in the owners box, until they win some kind of championship. Braves should have never gotten rid of Leo Mazonne and that’s probably why our bullpen stinks. Also, Kotchman needs to go and Braves need to spend money on more offense.

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

ARCHIE: I hadn’t seen/heard of that stat. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

SONNY: You get around, don’t you?

COL: I did say MAJOR pro sports title. And actually, it was just Team Super Cuts they beat.

BRENDAN: The Atlanta Steam fondled before their opening season? Oh, folded. Never mind.

SIDEWALK: Seattle and Oklahoma City are both at 0. I’m only going back to 1984.

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
4:29 pm

BRENDAN: From the dept. of shameless self-promotion: Interesting note on the couple who fly in for Falcons games but not Tech games. About to post a column on Tech’s ticket-selling problems.


June 15th, 2009
4:30 pm

Whoomp There it is!! That brought back memories…

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
4:30 pm

Chop It Up All-star

June 15th, 2009
4:49 pm

Watching the Lakers celebrate last night made me realize just how far away the Hawks are from winning the title. They’re so far away, they might as well be playing a different sport. MEDICORE – the Atlanta professional sports teams be thy name.


June 15th, 2009
5:27 pm

Promote away!

Even at my most hardcore point, I wouldn’t fly eight times a year to another city to attend football games. In my view, that’s what PPV is for! Or the NFL Network. Or Satellite TV. In the big picture, the cost of the airfare, hotels, cabs/taxis faw dwarfs whatever the cost might be to “buy” the game, and the Pizza delivery charge!

Paul H

June 15th, 2009
5:41 pm

Wait, there was a hockey championship just on?


June 15th, 2009
5:43 pm

Jeff, read me out here…
I beleive a major factor in Atlanta’s sports team success lies in how the media covers the teams. I understand this does not translate to championships, but it might.

If the organizations are allowed (by the press) to say or not say anthing and not be held accountable, the fans just buy whatever each organization is spewing. I got to believe the cities teams that continually win championships either have ownership that demands results and settles for nothing less. Or, their media doesn’t allow it’s teams management to say whatever they want and not hold them accountable.

I believe this cities media is EXTREMELY soft on the management of the Braves especially, Hawks, Thrashers and Falcons lastly.

I could be wrong or not completely right, but I believe I am on track.


June 15th, 2009
5:45 pm

Best Stanley Cup Finals in years, Paul H. Sorry you missed them. But there’s good news! If you have Comcast’s “Sports & Entertainment Package,” they’ll be replaying the 2009 playoffs in its ENTIRETY on the NHL network (NHL TV). Including the Finals.


June 15th, 2009
5:53 pm

Who will win a Cup first? Sabres or Thrashers
Who will win a Super Bowl first? Bills or Falcons
Will I live long enough to see any of the above?


June 15th, 2009
6:32 pm

Bad owners = NO Winners,look at tom cousins, asg, we will
never have a winner here with owners like that, 100% NO HOPE.

Then the Braves have a wonderful “coporate” owner just great they could care less about Atlanta baseball in DENVER!!!!!!!

At least Arthur Blank saw the problem with Falcons, fixed it and team was BETTER for it. He IS trying hard to WIN, something the other
owner groups, because one is owned by a business and another by a collection of misfits ! Could careless about winning !

An OWNER can and WILL make changes to WIN,
corporations and misfits will NOT ! and that means THEIR TEAMS will
be LOSERS !!!!

P.S. I will also be in the don waddell is fired parade, just think IF
Arthur Blank owned the Thrashers what would be his first move ???????
Sending don waddell back to detroit to sell used cars !


June 15th, 2009
7:20 pm

I will take the quality of life here over the riots by thugs in LA any day.


June 15th, 2009
7:26 pm

Where does Atlanta sit among cities with 4 franchises? 4 franchises means more chances to win. Not sure when the Trashers started but the big 3 had 75 chances to win, winning only once. you add the Thrashers 12 or so years, thats 87 chances to win, with one parade.

Thanks Ted.

Karl Childers

June 15th, 2009
7:28 pm

I like dem french fried potaters over a parade any day…


"Chef" Tim Dix

June 15th, 2009
7:30 pm

Jeff, you missed one victory parade. The Hawks aquired Moses Malone and Reggie Theus had a parade; Before the season started.

Baracked the vote!

June 15th, 2009
7:39 pm

another irrelevant column. no sports city starts counting with an arbitrary number like 25 years. maybe the O’s should take down some of their championship banners.

Jeff Schultz

June 15th, 2009
8:13 pm

TMAC: I can only speak for me, personally. And I would encourage you to ask the owners/general managers/coaches of the four organizations if they believe I’m too soft on them.

DHD: I’m from L.A. Trust me, there’s not riots every day and every where. But there is a beach. A very large beach.

WESTPALMDAWG: Probably even lower, but you can go through the list easy enough and figure out the 4-franchise cities.

KARL CHELDERS: I think some of dem french fries have burned some of dem brain cells, if you know what I mean, though maybe you don’t.

CHEF TIM DIX: Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.