Get the picture: We’re not as good as Philly or Phoenix, but we’re better than Cleveland. We’re not as good as Miami, but we’re better than Auburn, Ala., or Auburn, N.Y.
We are Atlanta, and we, according to Sporting News, are the 13th-best sports city in these United States. Thirteenth out of 399, I’ll have you know.
I confess: I don’t know that I could name 399 cities, let alone rate them. But SN has made the brave attempt. And here, for purposes of civic pride, is the top 13:
We can, of course, quibble. We’re behind Nashville? With its two pro teams to our four? With its Vanderbilt to our Georgia Tech? But I’m too busy celebrating to carp. I’m so used to hearing the A-T-L described as the worst sports city in the world that anything suggesting otherwise is music to these tired old ears.
In a press release, SN’s chief of correspondents Bob Hille is quoted thusly: “Atlanta is a terrific sports town. On any given night fans can see big-time sports — the Braves, Hawks and Thrashers — and then there’s great college football and basketball, too.”
OK, two quibbles. (Can’t help myself.) The Thrashers qualify as big-time sports, but the Falcons don’t? And we have great college basketball around here? (Tech is about to get good again, I’ll grant you, but it hasn’t been lately.)
Mostly, though, I feel affirmed. I’ve been making the Atlanta-is-not-a-crummy-sports-town argument for years now, and I’d begun to wonder if I was flying Han Solo on this. Now I know I’m not. I’ve found my Chewbacca.